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Loading Arm Systems

  • Alpha Process Controls bottom loading arms are designed for the loading or unloading of road and rail tankers from the side or the rear. A typical arrangement consists of three pipe lengths – A, B and C – which are connected together using rotary swivel joints.

    A design survey is usually carried out to establish the location of the loading arm in the loading bay and the working envelope. The working envelope is the maximum limit up to which the loading arm can be connected to the road or rail tanker in the loading bay.

    The connection of the loading arm can be made by flange, thread or by quick connection coupler such as the Alpha Fluiseal drybreak coupling.

    Loading arm driveaway protection is always recommended to prevent major product spillage in the event that the road or rail tanker moves off while still connected. In this case, the Alpha Process Controls ERC breakaway coupling can provide this safety critical equipment as part of the complete system.

  • In-house design 
    3D CAD systems are used in the modelling of customers’ loading bays, trucks and the working envelope of the loading arm. This enables checks to be carried out for any potential clash problems between the loading arm and the tanker.

    Reliable operation
    The robust design and superior quality of parts gives the loading arms a long reliable service life.

    Superior swivel Joints
    APC swivel joints are designed and manufactured for long life durability and ease of service.

    Choose from our standard range of loading arms or request a bespoke design, manufactured to your specific loading bay requirements.

    Associated equipment
    We can supply the complete loading arm system, incorporating quick release drybreak couplings and emergency release driveaway protection, or specific systems to your specifications.

    Stress analysis
    Full stress analysis is carried as standard on all our loading arm designs, including the dynamic loading that occurs during a driveaway scenario.

    Proven design
    Over 30 years’ field experience.

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

    Rigorously tested
    Hydrostatic testing for each individual loading arm.

    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 have proved beyond doubt the effectiveness of the APC loading arm system.

    Manufacturing quality
    Manufactured to the highest quality control standard: QA system ISO 9001 2008 approved.

  • Loading arms applications:

    • Road tanker loading and unloading

    • Rail tanker loading and unloading.

    Typical products handled include:

    • Liquefied gases: LPG, butane, propane, propylene, chemicals, waste products.
  • Sizes
    2" to 4" or metric equivalents.

    Pipework and elbows
    Low temperature carbon steel.

    Welding carried out by Lloyds-approved orbital welding machine and coded welders

    Swivel joints
    Low temperature carbon steel with vacuum hardened raceways.

    Swivel joint mounting
    Flanged for ease of servicing.

    Swivel joint seals

    Inlet to the loading arm flanged to most standards including ANSI, BS, DIN, ISO and JIS

    Outlet to tanker can be flange to flange, Fluiseal drybreak coupling or ACME threaded couplings.

    ERC breakaway coupling
    Complete with simple pull cable actuation or nitrogen operated cylinder.

    Temperature range
    -50˚C to 100˚C.

    Pressure tested
    Pressure tested to 40bar.

  • Q. Does APC recommend using break bolt-type couplings on loading arms?

    A. APC does not recommend using the break bolt type coupling on loading arms. Having conducted extensive testing since 1989, APC have conclusively proved that there is an increased risk of product leakage between the two coupling halves if the coupling is subjected to unforeseen stresses during the filling operation. APC have also been notified on numerous occasions that break bolt-type couplings (not APC manufacture) have developed leaks or have prematurely separated when being used on loading arms. APC suggests that only emergency release collar couplings should be used for driveaway protection on loading arms.

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