Kelso Technologies, a Canada-based company with operations in Downers Grove, has completed development on its new rail tank car bottom outlet valve (BOV) featuring ceramic components designed to increase valve life and reliability and has received approval from the Association of American Railroads (AAR) to undergo field service trials.
The ceramic BOV is an evolution of Kelso's current stainless-steel BOV design, currently in service trials. Most general service tank rail tank cars carrying commodities such as crude oil and ethanol have a BOV to empty the tank's contents. Current valves made with stainless-steel components have abrasive or corrosive characteristics that could be detrimental to the valves' construction. The new ceramic valve is designed to address the shortcomings. In-house testing has shown that the ceramic BOV offers a significant design improvement.
"Kelso continues to develop and achieve new designs that provide better alternatives to service the unique challenges of transporting hazardous materials," Kelso CEO James Bond said. "Our innovation objectives are focused on creating 'best available safety technology' products designed to better protect the lives of first responders and all in harm's way. Our new ceramic-based BOV is a unique innovation that will be the first commercial use of ceramics to be approved by the AAR for use in rail tank cars. Our industry has been bogged down with regulatory and economic challenges over the past year but we remain optimistic that our long-term product strategies should eventually lead to enhanced financial performance when economic conditions improve."