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Technology in Australia 1788-1988Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Table of Contents

Chapter 6

I Construction During The Settlement Years

II The Use Of Timber As A Structural Material

III Structural Steel

IV Concrete Technology

V Housing

VI Industrialised Pre-cast Concrete Housing

VII Ports And Harbours

VIII Roads

IX Heavy Foundations

X Bridges

XI Sewerage

XII Water Engineering

XIII Railways

XIV Major Buildings

XV Airports

XVI Thermal Power Stations

XVII Materials Handling

XVIII Oil Industry
i All Welded Storage Tanks
ii Insulated Fuel Oil Pipeline
iii Wartime Concrete Tanks
iv The Cobia 2 Sub-sea Completion
v Mackerel and Tuna Platforms
vi Snapper Post-Trenching Plough
vii The North West Shelf Project Plough

XIX The Snowy Mountains Scheme

XX The Sydney Opera House

XXI The Sydney Harbour Bridge

XXII Hamersley Iron

XXIII North West Shelf

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All Welded Storage Tanks

For some years storage tanks for petroleum have been of all-welded steel construction. In 1901, however, when bulk importation was begun in Australia, tanks were of rivetted construction. It can be claimed that some early breakthroughs which made possible the change from rivetting to welding, occurred in Australia. In the first place, Australian research led to the development of coated electrodes in place of bare metal electrodes, which resulted in welds of greater strength and integrity. Secondly, these new techniques were applied in the late 1920s to the construction of oil storage tanks in Victoria. This pioneering work on storage tanks was undertaken by C.O.R. Ltd. (later B.P. Australia) by their Chief Engineer Mr. D. E. Baldwin, assisted by Dr. Wilfred Chapman and Mr. H. E. Grove of the Metropolitan Gas Company (later Gas and Fuel Corporation). As a result, between 1927 and 1930, nine fully welded tanks of up to 5 million litres capacity were erected in the Melbourne area. Compared with rivetting, much less shop fabrication was involved and greater freedom from leaks was assured. Details of this early work were published by Mr. D. E. Baldwin in the Journal of the Institution of Engineers Australia in 1930.

A further extension of this work was undertaken by Commonwealth Oil Refineries Ltd. in 1935, when a 550 tonne bunkering barge was built for them by Thompson Engineering & Pipe Co. Ltd. At the time it was the largest all-welded vessel in Australia and one of very few in the world. It remained in active service in the Port of Melbourne for 50 years.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - B.P. Australia; Commonwealth Oil Refineries Ltd; Gas and Fuel Corporation of Victoria; Metropolitan Gas Company; Thompson Engineering & Pipe Co. Ltd

People in Bright Sparcs - Baldwin, D. E.; Chapman, Dr Wilfred; Gorrie, A. W.; Grove, H. E.

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© 1988 Print Edition page 416, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher