Did you know that 99.999% of all tank cars containing crude oil arrive at their destination without an accident caused by a release? That stat from the Association of American Railroads is impressive, isn’t it? Yes, but it’s the 0.001% that don’t reach their destination safely that the folks at Midland Manufacturing are concerned about.
For more than 60 years, Midland Manufacturing of Skokie, IL has been driven by a single mission – to engineer and manufacture railcar products that can play a role in ensuring the safe, reliable and efficient transporting, loading and unloading of hazardous and non-hazardous liquid and dry bulk products.
Now, 60 years and millions of rail miles later, Midland is the leader in ensuring that railway personnel, the public, their communities and the environment are protected from accidents that may involve trains carrying hazardous materials. One way that Midland is meeting this standard is with its Smart-Flow® Pressure Relief Valve.
Safer with Smart-Flow
If there is an accident, every minute matters for first responders. The Smart-Flow PRV is designed to open at 75psi with flow rate of 10,730 standard cubic feet per minute (scfm). This rapid and controlled release of pressure reduces the likelihood that a high-energy event will occur, and even if a pool fire were to happen, the Smart-Flow PRV can help the railcar survive a 100-minute pool fire and 30-minute jet fire without rupturing. The valve provides 17% more time, or 55 additional minutes, for first responders to respond to any such incident before tank failure.
These capabilities also enable the Smart-Flow to satisfy the requirements of the DOT-117 and 117R (U.S.) and TC-117 (Canada) standards regarding the operation of high-hazard flammable trains (HHFTs) and high-hazard flammable unit trains (HHFUTs). One of the tenets of these regulations is that all railcars used to transport high-hazard fluids must have recloseable PRVs that are resistant to pressure spikes during accident conditions.
Defining What’s Next in Safety Innovation
Thanks to its unique design, the Smart-Flow PRV allows a tank car to survive in a fire 3X longer than the federally mandated safety requirements. At OPW, our brands, businesses and employees are focused on “Defining What’s Next,” and that means developing products that help to protect people and the environment while improving the business performance of our customers. The Smart-Flow is a perfect example of how Midland is “Defining What’s Next” in the rail industry.