Australian composite materials business, Omni Tanker, has launched a world-first composite triple road train, with a payload of almost 100 tonne.
Three triple road train sets have now been delivered to Townsville Logistics for use in heavy acid transport across northern Australia.
Townsville Logistics, along with Sun Metals Corporation, is a local subsidiary of South Korea’s Korea Zinc, the world’s largest base metals producer.
Sun Metals has set ambitious decarbonisation targets across the organisation, including a goal of being the first in the world to produce “green zinc”. It aims to be 100 per cent renewable energy-powered by 2040 at its Townsville site, where it makes high-grade zinc metals, as well as secondary products including sulfuric acid and copper cake.
The new triples are helping to reduce operational costs, with their greater payload capacity meaning fewer trips.
Employing advanced composite materials and engineering practices commonly found in aerospace, Omni Tanker’s new triple tanker features world-first “Mould-in-Baffles” to better manage the movement of fluid (surge) in the road tankers, in order to enhance safety, while advanced fabrication techniques also reduce the weight of the trailer units.
The Omni Tanks used on the triple road trains were required to contain baffles inside, as a safety feature to mitigate sloshing of fluids, and to meet dangerous goods transport tank regulation requirements.
Omni Tanker says the Mould-in-Baffle principle has been five years in the making and is now an important part of its portfolio, with the technology set to enter service in the Australian market, as well as export markets including North America and Europe.
The Mould-in-Baffles developed for these tanks are highly specialised and unique to Omni Tanks. Based on a moulding process that produces the internal baffle at the same time as the lining of the tank, there are no seams or joins associated with the baffle joining the tank wall. As a result, the interior lining of the tank is weld free – a major enabling feature for the triple road train.
This collaborative project between Omni Tanker and Mick Murray Welding has delivered a triple road train solution that boasts a 15 per cent gain in payload – as a result of the advanced carbon fibre composite construction – enabling a reduction in the number of trips and associated emissions.
CEO and founder of Omni Tanker, Daniel Rodgers, said, “Omni Tanker is combining advanced manufacturing technology with aerospace materials and heavy-duty trailers to deliver game-changing liquid payloads for the critical minerals processing industry – right here in Australia.”
He continued, “Mick Murray Welding was crucial in achieving project success for our first product in the mining sector. They knew what the mining industry demanded, and they knew the harsh operating conditions they operate in, so it made absolute sense to combine Omni Tanker’s lightweight tanks with their high-tensile steel-skeletal trailers.
“Via advanced manufacturing techniques and outstanding partners, we were able to boost the payload carrying capacity of road tankers for chemical liquids from the current 85 tonnes per load, typical of stainless-steel tanks, to 98 tonnes – a 15 per cent uplift.”
Type approval of the new Mould-in-Baffle structures has now been granted, with unit builds completed for Australian road trains in late 2022, followed by first type approval for European Swap Tanks under the European ADR (Road) and RID (Rail) in early 2023.