Bitumen & Asphalt Emulsion Transfer

Bitumen & Asphalt Emulsion Transfer

To support regional road construction projects, Storage terminals located in nearby locations are often designed to inventory liquid bitumen and asphalt (used for traditional hot-slab paving) and their associated emulsions (which are used for cold-mix paving). In all cases these fluids serve as "binders" which cement the loose aggregate rock into a pseudo-solid mass that can be applied to road surfaces. The liquid bitumen and asphalt must be handled quickly, being transferred into insulated tanker truckers for immediate shipping to batch heater, semi-continuous or continuous drum mix plants. The emulsion forms of these binding agents, although less viscous and only requiring heating to approximately 40°C (105°F), are shear-sensitive fluids that can become readily damaged when conveyed by pump types that aggressively handle the product.

As operator experience bears out, the transfer of these fluids can be challenging. Hot liquid bitumen and asphalt must be handled at temperatures approaching 190°C (375°F) to keep the paving cement at a workable viscosity that can be directly used as feedstock by the downstream production plant. Even at these elevated temperatures, both fluids possess a certain "stickiness" that can contribute to premature mechanical seal failures if the proper API flush plans (e.g., Plan 11 and Plan 62) are not employed. Although asphalt and bitumen both contain small percentages of sulfur and some small solid particulate, product-lubricated pump designs, as well as external bearing pump types can be reliably used, dry-running being the operational requirement that would favor the use of the later technology for stripping applications.

Have you considered the value of using rotary PD pumping technology?

Oil and asphalt terminal managers and operators around the globe have realized that volumetric, rotary PD pumps are something they can capitalize on in these services. Having one machine that can efficiently transport heavy, medium and lightweight products simplifies the number of pieces of fluid-handling equipment required at these facilities. Controlling the rotary PD pumps with an adjustable speed drive allows operations to be performed in a "timed" manner without the need for flow control valves, eliminating the need for the recirculation of surplus process fluid. This reliable system control method takes full advantage of the tremendous turndown flow range of rotary PD pumps and their inherent high suction lift capability, making them an ideal fluid-conveying solution for your Bitumen & Asphalt Emulsion Transfer systems.

Suitable pump types:

Two-Screw Pumps and Three-Screw Pumps

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