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Proceedings ArticleDOI

Design and Simulation of a Tank Floor Cleaning Mechanism for Mobile Robots used in Storage Tanks

02 Jul 2019-

Abstract: Oily sludge on the floor of the tank is a significant problem for petrochemical industries and floor inspection robots. Oily sludge is a hazardous material containing a complex mixture of hydrocarbon, water, sand, and minerals deposited on the floor of the oil storage tanks. Sludge accelerates corrosion, reduces storage capacity, sticks to floor inspection robots and disrupts further tank operations Industries have started deploying robots in a tank to automate and replace the hazardous manual tank tasks. This paper presents the design of a screw conveyor based sludge cleaning mechanism to clean the sticky sludge from the floor of aboveground oil storage tanks and interface effectively with tank inspection robots to perform cleaning and inspection synchronously. The cleaning mechanism consists of a screw conveyor mounted on a 'C' shaped case with a bearing on both sides, a waterproof motor connected to the screw conveyor with a worm-wheel gear. A Rheometer is used for measuring sludge properties to understand its flow behavior. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) based numerical simulation is performed to visualize the flow of oily sludge through the proposed cleaning mechanism.
Topics: Storage tank (56%), Screw conveyor (55%)
Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
01 Feb 2021-
Abstract: This paper presents the design optimization and testing of a novel screw conveyor based system to scoop crude oil sludge from the floor of oil storage tanks This proposed new system consists of a screw conveyor mounted on a ‘C’ shaped casing with a bearing on both sides driven by a waterproof motor through a worm drive A novel mathematical model is developed to help the design of a screw conveyor for a maximum amount of sludge scooping per turn, and numerical simulations are performed using computational fluid dynamics to visualize the flow of material particles in various possible designs of the system The proposed mechanism was 3D printed, and laboratory tests were conducted to quantify the amount of sludge removal by the different designs of the screw Optimized design of a mechanism screw with a radius ratio of 040 and a pitch ratio of 015 scoops up to a maximum of 588 kg hr of material at 110 rev min

References
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A classification of climbing robots and proper examples with a brief outline are presented with considerations of the locomotive and adhesion mechanisms.
Abstract: Climbing robots are robotic systems to move over 2D or complex 3D environments such as walls, ceilings, roofs, and geometric structures and to conduct various tasks. They will not only replace human workers for carrying out risky tasks in hazardous environments, but also increase operational efficiency by eliminating the costly erection of scaffolding and staffing costs. Climbing robots have special characteristics and the ability to adhere to different types of 2D or 3D surfaces, move around, and carry appropriate tools and sensors to work, while self-sustaining their bodies. Therefore, the most significant criterion for designing a climbing robot is to equip it with an appropriate locomotive and adhesion mechanism for adapting to the given environmental requirements. In this paper, a classification of climbing robots and proper examples with a brief outline are presented with considerations of the locomotive and adhesion mechanisms. Also, a list of climbing robots is provided with respect to fields of application that range from cleaning tasks in the construction industry to human care systems in the biomedical service industry.

182 citations


"Design and Simulation of a Tank Flo..." refers background in this paper

  • ...There is a great deal of interest in the oil industries to bring a cleaning solution to an oil tank without removing the tank from service [6, 7]....

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Journal ArticleDOI
Phil Owen1, Paul W. Cleary1Institutions (1)
10 Aug 2009-Powder Technology
Abstract: Screw conveyors are used extensively in agriculture and industry for transporting and/or elevating bulk materials over short to medium distances. They are very effective conveying devices for dry particulate solids, giving good control over the throughput. Despite their apparent simplicity, the mechanics of the transportation action is very complex and designers have tended to rely heavily on empirical performance data. The performance of a screw conveyor is affected by the operating conditions, such as: the rotational speed of the screw; the inclination of the screw conveyor; and the volumetric fill level of the bulk material. In this paper we examine how these operating conditions influence the performance of a screw conveyor by applying the Discrete Element Method (DEM) to simulate a single-pitch screw conveyor with periodic boundary conditions. The DEM modelling gives predictions of screw conveyor performance in terms of variations of: particle speeds, mass flow rate, energy dissipation and power consumption, due to changes in the operating conditions.

153 citations


"Design and Simulation of a Tank Flo..." refers background in this paper

  • ...This sludge cleaning mechanism contains a helical screw [13, 14] on the circular shaft, which can assemble in front of a robot and can push the oily sludge away from the path of the robot....

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Journal ArticleDOI
Alan W. Roberts1Institutions (1)
03 Aug 1999-Powder Technology
Abstract: This paper is concerned with the volumetric performance of enclosed screw conveyors with particular reference to the influence of vortex motion. Vortex motion arises as a result of internal friction, friction between the granular material and surface of the helical blade, and the infinitely variable helix angle of the helical flight from the outer periphery of the blade to the shaft. The vortex motion, together with the degree of fill, govern the volumetric efficiency and, hence, the volumetric throughput. An analysis of the vortex motion in vertical or steeply inclined screw or auger conveyors is presented. It is shown the vortex motion is characterised by the tangential component of the absolute grain velocity being substantially constant with the radial position of a point on the blade. On this basis, an expression for the volumetric efficiency is derived. The volumetric throughput can then be predicted. The paper also presents results from an experimental screw conveyor where it is shown that the analytical predictions correlate very closely to the measured results.

90 citations


"Design and Simulation of a Tank Flo..." refers background in this paper

  • ...This sludge cleaning mechanism contains a helical screw [13, 14] on the circular shaft, which can assemble in front of a robot and can push the oily sludge away from the path of the robot....

    [...]


Journal ArticleDOI
Domenico Longo1, Giovanni MuscatoInstitutions (1)
TL;DR: The Alicia3 robot, which is based on the Alicia II module, aims to inspect non‐porous vertical walls like those of aboveground petrochemical tanks, with a wide range of surface materials and cleanliness levels, and pneumatic‐like adhesion has been selected for the system.
Abstract: The system proposed in this paper is the Alicia3 robot, which is based on the Alicia II module. Its aim is to inspect non‐porous vertical walls like those of aboveground petrochemical tanks, with a wide range of surface materials and cleanliness levels. To meet this aim, pneumatic‐like adhesion has been selected for the system. The system is also required to move over the surface at a suitable speed, to pass over obstacles and to have a suitable payload to carry mission‐specific instrumentation. The robot design mainly aimed at finding a solution with a high degree of modularity, so that it can easily be disassembled for maintenance purposes and to replace consumable parts such as the wheels and the sealing, making its design easier. Some onboard control algorithms have also been introduced to increase system reliability and reduce energy consumption.

55 citations


"Design and Simulation of a Tank Flo..." refers methods in this paper

  • ...A few sludges - cleaning robots has been developed with a bucket to shovel the sludge (as shown in Figure 1) with a high pressure water nozzle to clean the wastewater and collected with a suction tube attached to the robot [11,12]....

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Journal Article
Abstract: Petroleum sludge is a complex mixture containing different quantities of waste oil, waste water, sand, and mineral matter. Petroleum industries are responsible for the generation of large quantities of sludge, which is a major source of environmental pollution. Oily sludges are hazardous wastes according to Environment Protection Act and Hazardous Wastes Handling Rules. These sludges cannot be disposed off as landfill, even if they are de-oiled unless they are totally remediated. Sludges generated by petroleum industries accumulate in crude oil tanks, refinery products tanks, desalters, and elsewhere during oil production and processing. The sludges containing recoverable oil less than 40% are considered as low oil content sludges. These sludges have to be treated and made harmless before disposal. Bioremediation process can be used for this purpose. Generally, the refinery sludges contain oil content more than 40% and several methods are used to separate the oil, water and solids. The recovered oil is pumped back into the refinery process, while the solids and water are supposed to be treated before disposal. Several methods are available for processing and disposing of slop oil such as thermal, mechanical, biological, and chemical. Each method of processing has its advantages and disadvantages, and it is a common practice to utilize a combination of the four methods to maximize the output of usable oil from sludge. The first step in the process of disposing of the sludge is reclamation. In order to extract as much oil from the sludge as possible, a combination of chemicals and deemulsifiers is used. Topmost layers of oil are collected by the use of pumps and barges. The separation of the sludge is done with a centrifuge. The oil recovered is then delivered to a refinery or sold in the market. Hard particles, from which oil cannot be recovered, must then be disposed of. Hard particles are disposed of by the following ways: Incinerating unusable sludge (hard hydrocarbons-based substances mixed with water and emulsions) and harnessing heat and gases. Dehydration of sludge – the cleaned water is returned to the environment, and the hard particles are buried. Use of consolidating solutions for turning the sludge into a solid state. The solids can then be used in building projects. Use of Sludge as heat source. Biological remediation. The use of surfactants and emulsifiers will break up the old sludge and allow it to be removed from the container. Rhamnolipids, as a natural surfactant are useful in extracting these oil sludges and recovering them for use. These recovered sludges containing the rhamnolipid surfactants have most of the main properties of the original oil except for less viscosity.

49 citations


"Design and Simulation of a Tank Flo..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Sludge is formed in the crude oil tanks due to water separation from the crude oil because of density difference, this separated water remains at the bottom of the tank in direct contact with the metal surface, when asphalt, wax, other materials stick together and ultimately settle as a viscous layer on the tank floor[3]....

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