Back in 2009, Chart Ferox was asked to lend its talents to the installation of a tank storage system for liquid monosilane (SiH4) at Schmid Silicon Technology’s pilot plant on-site at Schwarze Pumpe in Germany, Western Europe.

Having received the order itself, CRYOTEC Anlagenbau GmbH chose Chart for the construction and development of the vacuum insulated storage tanks, atmospheric vaporisers and vacuum insulated pipes for the project.

The tank storage system, the world’s first system of this scale, was planned to consist of six separate systems, each with a liquid storage capacity of 6300 litres of liquid monosilane complete with cryogenic tanks, special armatures, vaporisers and vacuum insulated piping system.

The development of the concept for this tank storage system posed a unique challenge for all participating companies, especially because of the highly explosive nature of monosilane and all the requirements concerning high-purity monosilane.

High requirements
It was a challenge that the two companies, who have enjoyed a historical cooperative relationship before, rose to.

The end-user of the technological license for the production of liquid monosilane visited Chart Ferox at a very early project stage. Under the management leadership of CRYOTEC Anlagenbau, two project teams of experienced engineers and technologists, one at CRYOTEC Anlagenbau and another one at Chart Ferox, worked out the constructive solution to ensure a rapid manufacturing process.

Because of the specific characteristics of the high-purity monosilane, high requirements were set for the design and manufacturing as well as the quality control of the tanks that partly led to some new design solutions and technologies.

Now, Chart Ferox has informed gasworld that all of these challenges were solved with success, in close cooperation with experts from both TÜV Nord and TÜV Süd in Germany.

Due to nature of SiH4, all equipment in contact with monosilane must be completed under very strict conditions. Equipment, usually suitable for industrial gases could not be used, as this does not meet the required cleanliness level. All equipment for monosilane storage is considered as ultra high-purity.

Chart Ferox’s suppliers of heads, plates and pipes were actively involved in the project from the start, as they needed to provide considerably higher support than usually required.
In addition to the demanding specifications, the project time frame was very challenging – all six tanks had to be completed by the beginning of December 2009.

CRYOTEC Anlagenbau and Chart Ferox were intensively cooperating in order to maximise the success of this project and the two companies have declared that the cooperation was ‘a clear sign of a great business partnership between both companies’.

Further still, Chart Ferox explained through a press statement, “This project demonstrates how customers and supplier can cooperate, exchange and deepen their company competencies so each can grow and be successful.”