Fuel Bunker Location on Ships

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Carl Schwamberger
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Fuel Bunker Location on Ships

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 28 Oct 2017 01:29

Seeking illustrations & sources discussing the fuel tank locations. Specifically those where the fuel tank side might be directly adjacent to, or part of, the outer hull skin.

Information on capacity & practice in dealing with fuel vapors are appreciated as well.

Thanks for any help

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: Fuel Bunker Location on Ships

Post by T. A. Gardner » 28 Oct 2017 02:27

On most WW 2 era larger ships the fuel is located in tanks along each side of the hull from about the waterline down, and often in tanks in the double or triple bottom.

Here's the Bismarck's arrangement in part:

Image

The brownish areas are fuel

http://www.battleshipbismarck.com/bisma ... hinery.php

Pretty much everybody but the Japanese followed this practice. The Japanese usually only load the inner bottom with tanks for fuel opting for a "dry" torpedo defense system.

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Fuel Bunker Location on Ships

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 28 Oct 2017 11:09

How many layers of steel from the outer hull to the tank? How thick was it?

Thanks very much for the link

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Fuel Bunker Location on Ships

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 28 Oct 2017 11:12

Any sources that describe how vapors were purged or vented from the bunkers, and descriptions of the site of the bunkers?

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: Fuel Bunker Location on Ships

Post by T. A. Gardner » 28 Oct 2017 15:08

Normally, the vapor is vented through a pipe to a point on the weather deck. These may be grouped to a single release point. It's sort of like plumbing venting in a house or building in design. There usually isn't enough oxygen present to allow the vapor-air mixture to ignite inside the tank so that's not a problem. Sure, when it's released into atmosphere from damage and on the sea, it can ignite, or it leaks into a normally occupied space same thing, but in the tank there isn't enough air to make that happen.
Tanks will also have a sounding tube to take readings on how full it is manually. The tank will also have a bolted down access cover and is a space that requires lots of venting and ventilation before anyone can enter it for work.
Most of the tanks are interconnected such as to level the liquid load in them. This prevents you taking suction on tanks in such a way as to cause a list to the ship.
Tanks are usually just low carbon steel. The thickness depends on design and location but it's basically just normal ship's plating, 1/2" to 1" thick. This would be supported by the ship's framing and other structure as well. Normally there is a void space outboard of the tanks to the outer hull on naval vessels for damage purposes.

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Fuel Bunker Location on Ships

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 28 Oct 2017 17:10

T. A. Gardner wrote:... There usually isn't enough oxygen present to allow the vapor-air mixture to ignite inside the tank so that's not a problem. Sure, when it's released into atmosphere from damage and on the sea, it can ignite, or it leaks into a normally occupied space same thing, but in the tank there isn't enough air to make that happen....
So, the fuel is being replaced primarily by vapor? I had been thinking about wastage from stressed bunker skin leaking, which led to fuel vapor in the bilges, & then to vapor in the bunkers. That is causing me to wonder what happens when a torpedo hits a side bunker which has 10% - 25% fuel remaining. Since I had seen few to none descriptions of bunkers exploding, or rapidly catching fire curiosity led to the question.

The question of bilge vapors igniting seems more obscure. Fires are common results of hits on warships, which leads to the question of what is actually burning.

The answer to the wastage question seems to be less than 1% in newer & well maintained ships. But, The data I'm using needs to be collaborated from better sources.

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