A customer from Hanoi, Vietnam, approached us to create a new bitumen loading arm as the previous one had reached an irreversibly worn-out state due to its outdated design and several deficiencies in terms of environmental safety and ergonomics. Therefore, we have successfully finalized a tailor-made loading arm specifically designed for the handling of high-temperature petroleum products.
The first step in the design phase was to gather the customer's requirements and assess the available space. Following this, we created a simulation of the working area and, upon customer approval, decided to develop a long-range top-loading arm, Series 1201.
The choice of materials was steel and PTFE seals, both suitable for high operating temperatures exceeding +220°C. We also added a 4" nominal diameter piping to enhance the speed and load capacity of the tank trucks, as specifically required by the buyer.
SAFETY AND FUNCTIONALITY
Secondly, considering the specific nature of the product, a heating system was necessary because the bitumen solidifies below a certain temperature, completely hindering the arm's functionality and obstructing the system. Hence, it was equipped with a heating jacket that maintains a constant temperature of the liquid being transferred, allowing the passage of a heat transfer fluid. To ensure the operator's safety, we installed an insulation system to isolate the pipelines from the external environment.
The installation of a cone for active vapour recovery at the terminal section proved essential. The environmental risk posed by the presence of these toxic fumes requires stringent management to prevent their dispersion into the atmosphere and subsequent inhalation. Therefore, the cone, resting on the truck's hatch, ensures a tight seal, while a dedicated hose connects the tank's interior to the suction line.
To minimize the possibility of accidents, vertical movement was achieved using a compression spring piston, combined with a pneumatic piston that operates the arm smoothly without exerting strain on the personnel. The same pneumatic piston serves as a ‘Hold Down’ feature, constantly maintaining the vapour recovery cone in contact with the hatch, ensuring a tight seal throughout the loading process.
Thanks to our partnerships with top suppliers, we devised a remote control panel at the end of the arm, ensuring that handling operations can be performed safely without requiring excessive effort.
INNOVATION IN MOTION
Once we constructed the bitumen loading arm, we subjected it to rigorous testing. It proved fully functional, safe, and fit for purpose. All the tests regarding tightness and movement yielded positive results, successfully satisfying the customer with a highly customized product that will revolutionize their company's productivity. A project proudly signed by Silea Liquid Transfer!