Molten Sulfur Loading Arms

Loading molten sulfur into railcars can be troublesome as any cold spots throughout the loading arm must be minimized in order to eliminate the risk of the product hardening within the arm. Fully steam-jacketing or strap-on heating elements (Contro-Tracing) can be used to provide even heating within the loading arm.

  • 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.

molten sulfur insullation package
  • 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.
Aspahlt loading arm accessories

  • 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 Sulfur

Sulfur is a nonmetallic chemical element which appears in numerous forms and compounds. It is used extensively in many industries, as are ions of sulfur such as sulfides and sulfates. In addition to having industrial applications, sulfur is also an important part of all living organisms, and it is also used as a food source by some bacteria, such as those found around hydrothermal vents.

In pure form, sulfur has a number of allotropes. Allotropic elements are elements which can have a number of pure structures; carbon is a well known allotropic element, appearing in the form of both diamonds and coal. Most of the allotropes of sulfur are crystalline in structure, although one is more plastic in nature. The most well known allotrope of sulfur appears in a yellow, odorless crystalline form which is also rather brittle. Many people are surprised to learn that sulfur is odorless; the rotten egg scent associated with sulfur is actually hydrogen sulfide, a dangerous sulfur compound.

The extremely reactive element is used in a number of applications including the manufacture of gunpowder, insecticides, and prescription drugs. It is also part of the vulcanization process for rubber, and it is the base for well-utilized compounds like sulfuric acid. In nature, sulfur can be found in compounds like galena and cinnabar, and it may also appear in pure deposits, especially around volcanoes and mineral springs.

Sulfur itself is generally safe to handle, but many sulfur compounds are more risky. Some are extremely toxic, and you should always be careful to follow listed precautions of chemicals like sulfur dioxide.