Keeping it safe with RADCOFLEX hot bitumen hoses

The fast-growing infrastructure development sector has kept up a steady demand for new roads with the road building industry experiencing great traction in business in terms of new projects and maintenance contracts. Like any other business, road contractors are also under pressure to keep their overheads low, especially on equipment, components and materials. Safety is additionally, a major concern in road building projects with people working in close proximity to large machines and handling extremely hot materials such as bitumen.

A high level of caution should be exercised when transporting, transferring or handling hot bitumen for road building works. Road contractors rely on specialised equipment and best practice to minimise burn injuries to workers from bitumen, hot pipework or bitumen hoses. Handled at extremely high temperatures in a 150°C-180°C range, bitumen, unlike hot water, can cause serious burn injuries on contact, sometimes even necessitating skin grafts.

Given the hazardous nature of bitumen transport and transfer, specialised handling/transfer equipment such as bitumen hoses are recommended in the road building industry, with their specifications and correct use published as safety guidelines by the Australian Asphalt Pavement Association (AAPA) in its ‘Guide to the Safe Use of Bitumen Hoses’. RADCOFLEX contributed its expertise to AAPA during the compilation of this guide.

RADCOFLEX bitumen hoses

World-leading manufacturer and distributor of flexible hoses, expansion joints and tubular products, RADCOFLEX has developed a line of bitumen hoses that meets the standards and specifications mandated by the AAPA. RADCOFLEX’s hot bitumen hoses are HPI stripwound hose assemblies that meet Australian Standard AS2475 and incorporate a composite packing seal for complete leak-proof protection.

The HPI stripwound hose is AAPA’s preferred bitumen transfer hose and is  put through a rigorous testing process to ensure long-term durability, safety and performance in harsh application environments.

RADCOFLEX’s high pressure-tight stripwound metal hoses are designed to safely convey corrosive fluids, bitumen, oxygen, steam, and abrasive and pulverised products in various industrial applications. The flexible metal hoses are produced by helically winding a roll-formed metal strip into a fully interlocked hose and inserting a high temperature composite packing material into the lock section for fluid tightness. Doing so increases the hose’s pressure capability, allowing its use in arduous conditions. Interlocked hoses are robust and can withstand elongation stresses.

These bitumen hoses are constructed in galvanised steel or stainless steel AISI 304 and can withstand temperature levels up to +230°C. HPI stripwound hoses feature a relatively smooth bore to minimise product build-up. The nominal working pressure has a safety factor to burst pressure of 3 with all hoses tested in normal conditions at a test pressure equal to 1.5 times the working pressure.

RADCOFLEX bitumen hoses are available in standard lengths of 9 metres and 15 metres for hoses with 19-150mm nominal bore and 9 metres for hoses with 175-200mm nominal bore.

RADCOFLEX strongly advises against welding any fitting to the HPI stripwound hose as it could cause damage to the composite packing seal within the hose, leading to leakage.

Reusable fittings available for HPI hoses incorporate a threaded ferrule that screws onto the helix of the hose. These fittings include male hex nipples – BSPT; bitumen hose couplings to AS2475; and dust caps and blanking plugs to suit fittings.

Visit or discuss your unique bitumen hose requirements with Radcoflex direct on 1300 456 456. 

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