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Chlorine Fittings For Next-Generation Railroad Tank Car Project Approved

Tue, 09/16/2008 - 7:05am
Midland Manufacturing, a division of the OPW Fluid Transfer Group, recently received the Association of American Railroads (AAR) service trial approval for its Enhanced Fittings package, which is specifically intended for chlorine service. According to the company, these designs can greatly reduce the chance for chlorine release into the atmosphere in the event of a derailment accident, even if the top fittings are torn from the railcar.

Midland has created this chlorine service package to achieve two major goals:

  • Lower the overall height of the valves to reduce their exposure in a rollover accident.

  • Move all primary seals level with or below the surface of the pressure plate.
Midland conducted extensive testing (comprised of shock and vibration tests, computational flow dynamics analysis, and flow and cycle testing) of the Enhanced Fittings to prove the new package has improved flow characteristics for loading and unloading the railcars, plus optimal sealing capabilities even under the most extreme operating conditions.

The company is excited to report the first 10 fittings packages have been shipped: 25 railcars will be converted to the new design over the next month to begin the required two-year AAR service trial.
This procedure is a part of the Next Generation Railroad Tank Car (NGRTC) project, a joint collaboration of which principles from the Chlorine Tank Car Development Panel include: The Dow Chemical Co., Union Tank Car Co., Union Pacific Railroad, Occidental Chemical Corp., Bayer AG and AllTranstek LLC.

This group works in cooperation with the Federal Railroad Administration, Transport Canada and the Transportation Security Administration, while receiving support from Engineering Systems Inc., Applied Research Associates Inc., Southwest Research Institute and the Transportation Technology Center Inc. The group's goal is to improve the safety and security of the next generation of railroad tank cars through advanced design and construction.
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