Marine breakaway couplings are a life and asset saving technology used during offshore oil and ship to ship product transfers. Used between two strings of hose, they are designed to break-away only with inline pulling action. It is similar to a standard industrial coupling; however, it’s been designed with extra resistance to torsion and bending, which may occur on the coupling. This means when the ocean is rolling and twisting and pulling on the line, your coupling will stay coupled – right until you want or need it to break-away.
Generally, the standard for marine breakaway couplings is a maximum working pressure of MWP PN 10/16/25 and MAWP 150/300 psi. Couplings are usually made of brass, hastelloy, aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium. All good metals for the harsh ocean environment. There are also non-closure types of marine breakaway couplings. These are made so that it is easy to see and verify a safe parting point. They’re good for non-hazardous goods as long as spillage is acceptable.
There are lots of ways to utilise marine breakaway couplings. They can be a part of single-point mooring, refined product/bunker hose strings, under-buoy and or subsea manifold flexible risers, off and on-shore service lines, as well as well choke and emergency kill disconnects operations. They are good for helping to prevent oil spilling while offshore. Should a spill occur, the coupling will shut down the flow of product inside the hose, for instance, in a tanker breakout scenario or an extreme pressure surge.
Probably the world leading manufacturer and supplier of marine breakaway coupling technology is Gall Thomson who has over 35 years of operational experience in this industry.
They have two types of MBc?s available which are;
?The Petal Valve MBC which are suitable for crude oil.
The Flip-Flap Valve MBC which is designed for kerosene and LPG.
In the event of failure both devices will operate independently and offer 100% shut off and low headloss.
There are many varieties of marine breakaway coupling available. Some of the more common include the ABML, Marine Breakaway Coupling with Petal Valve – MIBreak (HB), and the Flip-Flap Valve Marine Breakaway Coupling.
The ABML is a flow-optimised breakaway coupling which is very resistant to force and torsion. It is made for high-flow rates. It offers a cylinder overlap between the coupling halves to increase its lateral force stability. Its main function is to allow high-flow rates with minimal losses, and can be an asset with retrofitting existing equipment.
The Marine Breakaway Coupling with Petal Valve – MIBreak (HB) is made in Italy and is geared toward new-generation environmental protection. This coupling has increased break bolt reliability for seawater environments. The larger segments implement rapid closure, resulting in full bore shut off followed by controlled closure of the smaller segments. It is designed to handle debris and solids ingress. The multi-closure protects hose strings from fluid surge pressures as well as excessive tension situations.
Flip-Flap Valve Marine Breakaway Couplings are a safe parting point for hose transfer strings, which are identifiable in the hose. Made to deal with tanker breakout and pressure surges; the Flip-Flap valve can minimise spills and prevent larger interruptions from occurring. It is suited for low viscosity products or in short term crude oil operations. Also for liquid gas and fuel transfer or temporary loading and offloading.
Innovations in the industry have made today’s marine breakaway couplings safer and more effective to use than ever before. By specialising your coupling, you can choose exactly the coverage you need and know that you will be installing or retrofitting state of the art equipment into your operations.