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Raw material(Plastic) freezing in railcar

Raw material(Plastic) freezing in railcar

(OP)
We will soon be getting Keldax(type of filled EVA) in railcars. The problem is they will be moving from the warm climate in Tennessee upto the cold winter months in Michigan.The material also absorbs some moisture. We are planning to use the railcar as our storage.We plan to empty one railcar in two to three weeks time. I want to know if anybody has had the freezing issues with the railcar and how you addessed it.

We do not have any garage to park the railcar in a warm area. Some solutions are the vibrators on the railcar and the blowing warm air through the car. But blowing warm air will cause more condensation if we do not use the railcars soon enough.

Your inputs would be very helpful. Thank you.

RE: Raw material(Plastic) freezing in railcar

In the dead of winter, when the lakes in both Michigan and Tennessee are frozen over, it shouldn't be a problem.  For the remainder of the year, sparging the car with warm _dry_ air should work okay, but you'll have to keep it flowing even when you aren't withdrawing material, or otherwise ensure that moist ambient air can't enter.

Has the railcar owner been made aware that you will be keeping a car out of inventory continuously, and paying demurrage charges for the privilege?


Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Raw material(Plastic) freezing in railcar

Can you get the material in insulated cars? That could add a week to the freezing time possibly.

RE: Raw material(Plastic) freezing in railcar

(OP)
I can ask our supplier about insulated cars, but I guess since its our problem they would not do much about it at their end.

The main reason we went from getting material in bulk truck to railcars is the cost of resin. Its cheaper if we get it in railcars. I think they allow us to keep the railcars for a certain period of time. Got to check on that. That said blowing warm air all the time(we operate 24/7) in the winter months would not justify the cost savings.

The main thing which happens is the change in weather and hence the dew point of the air which leads to condensation and hence freezing. I looked into some agents to be added to de-ice them and help make it flow better but I am not sure how it will affect our product.

RE: Raw material(Plastic) freezing in railcar

Could the supplier charge the car with nitrogen or CO2 after filling it with resin? Wouln'd take much, and very little pressure, to keep air out until you open the car and start withdrawing.

Easy to get them to do it in large qtys, but difficult if you only buy a few cars a year. We are also a small company (totally different industry), so I realize it's hard to get any leverage with big suppliers.

RE: Raw material(Plastic) freezing in railcar

(OP)
I found out about raiclars, we can keep them for 90 days without demurrage charges. I want to thank you all for your response.

Nitrogen purging, I looked into it, I have'nt asked my supplier yet but looks like it involves additional safety permits,licences, etc for transporting. Though we would not be a small customer since we are looking at buying 2 railcars a month in the near future.

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