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Shepherds Crook Emergency Release Valve

Despite technological advances in equipment standards, there still remains a small possibility of a driver, or site operative, getting sprayed by bitumen should the vehicle compressor and/or tank-vehicle equipment become unserviceable during a pressure delivery, leaving a full line of bitumen.

In the past the drivers would simply crack open the flange face and allow it to bleed down. As bitumen is delivered at an elevated temperature, in excess of 150 Deg C, and there could be pressure retained in the line, this was considered a high-risk activity. Working together, Shell and DHL have developed a simple resolution to mitigate this risk.  A vehicle’s outlet pipe work was fitted with a manual ball valve, in-between the foot valve and secondary valve, in a shepherds crook style arrangement.
This simple device now allows a delivery hose and the customers inlet pipe work to be bled back down under control, before the driver disconnects the hose.
A successful evaluation was conducted under field conditions using tall storage tanks at Lafarge Aggregates, Renishaw Asphalt Plant, Sheffield.  The device has been used in service without issue and is regarded as a low cost, practical solution to a long-term industry problem. As such, Shell Bitumen in the UK are fitting the device to all their vehicles.