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OPW Engineered Systems



Emco Wheaton

The 3 Best Top Loading Arms for Chemical Transfer Applications 

From the petrochemical and biofuel industry to pharmaceutical manufacturing, the ability to easily and safely load and unload chemicals quickly and accurately is crucial. At Northern Platforms, we understand that efficient loading processes not only minimize downtime but also reduce the risk of spills and accidents.

However, enabling your operations to achieve the safest, most efficient, and compliant loading process possible means investing in equipment that’s engineered to handle the unique needs of chemical transfer applications. This is where our inventory of OPW Engineered Systems‘ top loading arms can help. Let us explain more below… 

Types of Top Loading Arms for Chemical Loading

Top loading arms are critical for railcar and tanker truck chemical loading operations as they offer a range of benefits, including precise fluid control, adaptability, and reliability. At Northern Platforms, our OPW top loading arms inventory is engineered to provide the horizontal and vertical movement necessary to reach various compartments of railcars and trucks without the need for re-spotting. 

When looking specifically at top loading arms for chemical loading applications, there are three main types Northern Platforms highly recommends: 

1) Fixed Reach Style

OPW fixed reach top loading arms are popular for their simplicity and reliability. Designed for operations where the load vehicle parks at a specific distance from the riser pipe, this style of chemical top loading arm features swivel planes of rotation that facilitate smooth movement throughout the loading process. With options for valve placement and the ability to adapt these arms to tight-fill or close system loading, fixed reach chemical top loading arms offer a straightforward yet effective chemical loading solution. 

Additional Features: 

  • Available in 2″, 3″ and 4″ sizes
  • Available in carbon steel, stainless steel or aluminum
  • Choice of flanged, threaded or all-welded construction

2) Unsupported Boom Style

For chemical loading operations that require variable reach capabilities, the OPW unsupported boom style top loading arm from Northern Platforms should be your top choice. These loading arms’ medium reach capabilities and moderate flexibility make them a good option for applications where moving the load vehicle for accurate fluid transfer is possible. While unsupported boom style chemical top loading arms may be a bit limited in their capabilities, they are simple to operate and fold back for compact storage. 

Additional Features: 

  • Available in 2″, 3″, 4″ and 6″ sizes
  • Available in stainless steel, carbon steel or aluminum 
  • Choice of flanged, threaded or all-welded construction 

3) Supported Boom Style

Like its unsupported counterpart, the supported boom style top loading arm offers excellent reach. By incorporating support sections, this chemical top loading arm maximizes its reach and weight handling capabilities, making it an excellent choice for demanding chemical loading operations. Whether transferring sulfur, propane, or even asphalt, the OPW supported boom top loading arm offers unbeatable flexibility and performance. 

Additional Features: 

  • Available in 2″, 3″, 4″ and 6″ sizes
  • Available in aluminum, carbon steel or stainless steel
  • Choice of threaded, flanged, or all-welded construction 

Simple Solutions for Complex Industries

At Northern Platforms, we understand the complexities of chemical loading operations. That’s why we offer a complete range of top loading arms explicitly designed to meet your loading, safety, environmental, and industry requirements. From our OPW fixed reach and supported boom styles to our ability to create a specialty solution that seamlessly integrates into your current loading platform, our chemical top loading arms are engineered for efficiency, reliability, and safe loading practices.

Contact Northern Platforms today to explore our chemical loading arms further!