Top Loading Asphalt

Asphalt is a common loading-arm application for trucks and railcars. Asphalt is generally loaded with simple Fixed Reach Style Loading Arms for truck loading applications, but can require Supported or Unsupported Boom Style Loaders for longer reaches.

  • Available with steam tracing or fully jacketed
  • Optional insulation package available
  • Maintains temperature
  • Minimizes risk of injury
  • Increases efficiency
  • Multiple designs available for specific applications
  • Safer, cleaner, faster operation

Loading Arm Solutions

Some examples of loading arm solutions applied in this application*:

*Please note that all applications are different and may be subject to design changes as warranted.


Steam Jacketed Loading Arms- In some applications loading arm may require steam jacketing to maintain product temperatures.

Steam Traced Loading Arms- An alternative to fully-jacketed loading arms, ControTrace bolt-on heating elements may offer some advantages (usually less costly & lighter weight) over fully jacketed piping while providing substantially more heating capacity and reliability than field-applied steam tracing.

  • The basic configuration of a ControTrace element is a 2-in. by 1-in. rectangular tube formed of SA178 Grade A boiler tubing.
  • One of the 2-in. sides is contoured to closely fit the outside diameter of the pipe which it will be placed.
  • One of the 2-in. sides is contoured to closely fit the outside diameter of the pipe which it will be placed.
  • The standard wall thickness is 1/8 in., which gives ControTrace ample robustness and pressure-containing capability.
  • Individual elements are fabricated to specific lengths. The ends of the tubing are closed, and inlet and outlet connections are added to enable heating medium transfer.
  • ControTrace is secured to the loading arm with high-strength banding. Before banding, a thin layer of heat transfer compound is spread onto the ControTrace surface that will be in contact with the pipe or vessel.
Insulation Package- OPW can provide a Custom Insulation Package designed specifically for your loading arm. Unlike field-applied insulation, these packages are completely removable and reusable, making them the ideal solution for loading arm use.

  • Removable & Reusable
  • Safer – Heated arms can pose a potential burn hazard to operators. OPW Insulation Packages ensures that the loading arm is properly insulated to protect your personnel.
  • Superior Heat Retention
  • Durable
  • Construction Details:
    • Inner Jacketing – 17 oz/sq. yd Teflon® Impregnated Fiberglass Cloth
    • Outer Jacketing - 17 oz/sq. yd Teflon® Impregnated Fiberglass Cloth
    • Insulation – 2” THK, low-density Fiberglass
    • Thread - Teflon®-coated Fiberglass Thread
    • Attachments - Teflon® Cloth Belts with stainless-steel double-D rings; drawstring flaps with Nomex Cord
    • I.D. Tags – Stainless-steel embossed

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About Asphalt

Asphalt is a thick brownish or black substance derived from the same crude oil which produces kerosene, gasoline and vinyl. It is literally scraped from the bottom of the barrel after all other petroleum-based products have been refined or processed. Asphalt is at least 80% carbon, which explains its deep black color. Sulphur is another ingredient found in the tar-like asphalt, as well as some trace minerals. Asphalt is primarily used as a sealant for rooftops and a durable surface for roads, airport runways, playgrounds and parking lots.

The tar from the crude oil is usually mixed with sand or gravel (often called aggregate) to form the finished product we call asphalt. The black tar forms a strong adhesive bond with the aggregate, which makes it durable. When used in road construction, asphalt is usually poured over a bed of heavier aggregate in a heated state, then pressed into place by an extremely heavy steam roller. Once the fresh asphalt cools to ambient temperature, it becomes sturdy enough for automobile traffic. Asphalt may harden even more over the years, but it still retains enough flexibility to accommodate natural variations in the roadbed.