Stainless tankers

A UK tanker manufacturer has adopted stainless steel and updated welding techniques for the manufacture of road tankers. In 2004 the UK adopted ADR 2003 safety regulations specifying the design of all road tankers conveying dangerous goods. Maidment Tanker Services, which specialises in manufacturing road tanker vehicles for carrying petroleum spirits and fuel oils, was already prepared. John Frost, Sales and Marketing Director at Kemppi (UK) explained: “Traditionally rigid tankers have been broadly manufactured from carbon steels, with aluminium used to a lesser degree. The introduction of the ADR Regulations demanded that road tanker manufacturers re-examine their design and construction techniques […] The choice was straightforward: continue to manufacture in thicker mild steel, thus increasing the tank weight and reducing the payload capacity, or introduce new products manufactured from alternative materials. Maidment made the strategic decision to offer mild steel and stainless steel, rejecting the option of aluminium as they believe it unsuitable for use on rigid chassis and will possibly result in higher maintenance and repair costs during the life of the tank. Stainless steel tanks, whilst more expensive, provide the benefit of a lighter, more durable tank with the additional advantage of greater design flexibility under the new ADR design codes.” As a result of the changed design, a new welding process and new equipment were needed. Maidment’s welding products supplier Rapid Welding and Industrial Supplies of Cosham recommended Kemppi’s Pro Evolution 4200 Pulsed MIG welding equipment. Kemppi’s PRO Evolution is a digitally controlled, software-based, modular welding system usable on all weldable materials including mild steel, stainless steel, aluminium and more exotic materials such as CuSi3 and duplex steel. Maidment used this equipment to undertake the construction of its first 10 tankers in stainless steel. Maidment’s Managing Director, Derek Mihell says: “The whole project has taken a couple of years and has been a great success.”

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