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Loading Arm Couplings

  • Emergency release couplings (ERC) are specifically designed for use on loading arms to reduce the effects of major product spillage in the event of a road or rail towaway.

    ERC breakaway couplings are passive devices located on loading arms that are activated when a tanker driver drives off while still connected to the terminal. In this scenario, the coupling will separate and shut off the flow from both the tanker and terminal.

    Alpha Process Controls International has over 30 years’ experience in the design, manufacture and supply of ERC breakaway couplings.

    For more details and free application evaluation contact us.

  • The ERC breakaway coupling is normally flanged onto the loading arm pipe-work, allowing free flow of product in both directions. A simple pull cable, which is shorter than the loading arm maximum working envelope, is attached the collar release mechanism.

    In a driveaway incident, the pull cable comes into tension before the loading arm locks up, resulting in the shear pin breaking which allows the collar to be released.

    The collar falls away and each half of the coupling seals immediately, preventing major spillage of products.

  • Reliable operation
    The simple design of the coupling ensures reliable operation even in the most demanding operations.

    Positive shut off
    Unidirectional valve motion without complex mechanisms.

    Proven design
    Over 30 years’ field experience.

    Range of activation options.

    Flanges are integrally cast and can be finished to customer requirements. There are no pressure containing welds in the construction.

    Range of applications
    Supplied to major oil, gas and petrochemical companies throughout the world.

    Rigorously tested
    Nitrogen gas testing for each individual coupling.

    Obtainable records
    Impeccable records retention to ensure correct spares are supplied when required.

    Spare parts
    Spare parts held in stock.

    Product trials
    Numerous actual product trials at customer sites have over the years proved beyond doubt the effectiveness of the APC ERC couplings.

    Manufacturing quality
    Manufactured to the highest quality Control Standard: QA system ISO 9001 2008 approved.

    CE marked to PED 97/23/EC

  • ERC breakaway couplings applications:

    • Road tanker loading and unloading

    • Rail tanker loading and unloading.

    Typical products handled include:

    • Liquefied gases: LPG, butane, propane & blends, DME

    • Chemicals: ammonia, methanol, aromatics, ethylene & propylene, VCM, alcohols and many more.

  • Sizes
    2" to 4" or metric equivalents.

    Main Body construction
    Standard material stainless steel 316, Duplex, Hasteloy, and Monel available on request.

    Flanged variations, 2” to 4” to most standards including ANSI, BS, DIN, ISO and JIS.

    Viton®, Buna, PTFE, Kalrez®, Chemraz®, others on request. All trademarks acknowledged.

    Activation Systems
    A variety of activation systems are offered from simple pull cable to nitrogen cylinder.

    Couplings are designed for bi-directional flow.

    Temperature Range
    -50˚C to 100˚C.

  • Q. What is an ERC breakaway coupling?

    A. An ERC (emergency release collar) coupling is specifically designed for use on loading arms. The ERC coupling performs very similarly to the safety breakaway coupling, the collar arrangement replaces the break bolts as the means of holding the two coupling halves together. The ERC coupling is usually activated by means of a simple activating cable that comes into tension prior to the loading arm exceeding its working envelope. This helps to prevent higher stresses on the loading arm swivel joints, couplings and pipework.

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