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The University of Southampton
Rifi An Enterprise Consultancy Unit

Case Study: Thermal conductivity of liquefied natural gas (LNG) insulation materials

Objective: Thermal validation of insulation material for a leading marine engineering company specialising in the design of a membrane containment system for the transportation of LNG.


  • The company needed an independent supplier of system critical thermal conductivity data.
  • A particular requirement of the company was the reliable measurement of thermal conductivity at very low (-165°C) LNG temperatures.
  • Few other laboratories had the capability to accurately assess this material property at the low temperatures required.
  • What we did

  • RIfI developed its thermal conductivity measurement system in line with the international standard.
  • RIfI continuously seeks to refine the sensitivity and efficiency of its measurement techniques.
  • Our client acknowledges that our measurement systems are state-of-the-art.
  • Impact

    • Over the course of our relationship: (i) Test time per material has been reduced tenfold, from ~10 days to 20 hours. (ii) Delivery to customer has been improved. (iii) Quality of data has been improved.
    Floating LNG platform
    Floating LNG platform
    Inside floating LNG platform
    Inside floating LNG platform

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