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Safety Breakaway Couplings

  • Alpha Process Controls International is recognised as the world leader in the manufacture and supply of safety breakaway couplings, with over 30 years’ experience.

    Safety breakaway couplings are passive devices located between terminal pipe-work and flexible loading hoses. They are used in the safe transfer of bulk hazardous liquids and gases, including cryogenics. The couplings are typically employed in the liquid transfer between terminals and road tankers, rail tankers and ships. Breakaway couplings are also used in ship-to-ship transfer, as well as supply vessel to drilling platform or oil drilling rig and off shore applications.

    For more details and free application evaluation contact us.

  • The breakaway coupling is normally flanged onto the terminal pipe-work at one end and at the other end to a flexible loading hose, allowing free flow of product in both directions.

    product safety breakaway coupling

    During a driveaway or towaway incident, the flexible loading hose comes into tension, transmitting the load to the breakaway coupling which causes the pre-determined break bolts to snap, allowing the coupling halves to separate.

    When the safety breakaway coupling is employed, each half of the coupling seals immediately, preventing major product spillage.


  • 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.

    Accurate break loads engineered to specific applications.

    Unique break bolt design
    Break bolts designed to prevent easy substitution of a standard nut and bolt, providing increased safety.

    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 couplings compared to other designs.

    Manufacturing quality
    Manufactured to the Highest Quality Control Standard - QA system ISO 9001 2008 approved.

    CE marked to PED 97/23/EC

  • Safety breakaway couplings applications:

    • Road tanker loading and unloading

    • Rail tanker loading and unloading

    • Supply vessel to drilling rig

    • Process product transfer.

    Typical products handled include:

    • Liquefied gases: LPG, butane, propane, propylene.

    • Oils: crude, diesel, fuel oils, Jet A1

    • Chemicals: ammonia, methanol, aromatics, ethylene & propylene, VCM, alcohols & acids, refrigerants, forane.

    • Speciality: hydraulic oils, inks, paints, solvents, locomotive fuelling, helicopter fuelling, aircraft de-Icing fluids.

    See cryogenic coupling page for list of liquefied gases applications.

  • Sizes
    1" to 8" or metric equivalents.

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

    Threaded and flanged variations. 1” to 8” to most standards, including ANSI, BS, DIN, ISO and JIS.

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

    Break bolts calculated to suit each individual application.

    Coupling designed for bi-directional flow.

    Temperature range
    -50˚C to 100˚C (See Cryogenic Coupling page for lower temperature range).

  • Q. What is a safety breakaway coupling?

    A. A safety breakaway coupling comprises two half couplings that are held together with shear break bolts to form a leak tight coupling. The breakaway coupling is installed between the terminal pipework and the flexible loading hose. The safety breakaway coupling is designed to be the weak-link in the system so that in the event that the road, rail tanker or ship moves off while still connected the coupling separates and instantly shuts down the flow. The safety breakaway coupling is used in an emergency only and is not normally connected or disconnected in the course of normal use. 

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