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Level Measurement In Bitumen Truck – Hawk Guided Radar

Bitumen properties require that it remains at high temperature 180°C whilst being transported to prevent the product hardening. This heat is provided by a heating element located in the bottom of the vehicles tank.

Additionally, the product itself is extremely sticky and forms a thick coating on any structure within the vessel instantly making typical contact and mechanical measurement systems much more likely to fail.

Existing Installation: Previously the truck used simple level switches to detect bitumen level.

Application Problem

Due to the properties of the bitumen, the heating element at the bottom needs to be covered with bitumen all the time. If this element is exposed to air, Kerosene (present in the bitumen mix) will ignite which has happened 3 times in 2017.

The causes of these incidents were:
Existing level switch became stuck due to product solidifying on it.
The truck was on a hill meaning part of the element was exposed whilst the switch read a “good” condition.
Existing level switch failed.
Alternative technologies were also tried such as pressure transmitters but temperature and pressure fluctuations caused issues with readings.

Solution

From previous experience with bitumen storage tanks HAWK was able to recommend the use of 2 Centurion Guided Radars (CGRs) located at the front and back of the tank to monitor the level at both ends of the heating element.

The units work as a safety device but it is expected that over time, it will be there primary level measurement so people do not have to climb on top to do manual dips. The accuracy of the HAWK units is so good that on flat ground the readings are within 10-15 litres of one another.

Ordering Information

Qty: 2 x CGR: CGR2H13K08STB15V21XX180

For more information on the product used in this application

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