The inventor and market-leader of Marine Breakaway Couplings (MBC), Gall Thomson, has announced the latest evolution, PetalC, which reduces axial loads on the most exposed breakstuds by up to 30% and reduces MBC install length by 60%.

Gall Thomson MBCs are fitted to marine hoses used in offshore operations to transfer petroleum products and are designed to separate and close in an emergency such as vessel drift or extreme and damaging pressure surge events. Gall Thomson MBCs are therefore designed to protect operations, people, assets and the environment.

PetalC is an evolution of the proven Gall Thomson Petal Valve MBC and utilises tried and tested technology that has delivered a reliable performance for more than 40 years. This evolution is informed by knowledge gained from over 340 successful MBC activations. It is this unique collation of field verified MBC activation experience that has enabled this new standard of performance for MBC technology.

The 60% reduction in installed length compared to the established market-leading Gall Thomson Petal17 MBC is achieved by elements of its cartridge profile positioned inside the hose fittings. This optimisation of overall geometry enables a reduction of axial load on the most exposed breakstuds by up to 30%.

Since 1992, Gall Thomson MBCs have been supplied on more than 50 FPSO reel systems, with some located within extremely harsh environments. On occasions and depending on the offloading reel configuration and operational parameters, the Petal17 MBC required transit bolts during the reeling and deployment of the hose string. PetalC substantially reduces the need for transit bolts, keeping the MBC robust but simple to use and in line with offshore operations.

The evolutionary design of the Gall Thomson PetalC means the body size of the MBC is smaller than the diameter of adjacent hose flanges. This minimises the risk of external structural impact and abrasion damage.

PetalC uses internal failsafe mechanisms and valve components which have proved effective with the Petal17.

As with the Petal17, PetalC is powered only by the energy of flowing product acting on the Petal assembly, which instigates shut-off during an emergency. This means the unit does not rely on any external power source or multiple levels of MBC management complexity – both of which introduce additional risk that may unnecessarily compromise operational reliability.

The PetalC has been extensively tested with the assistance of Dunlop Oil and Marine and independently witnessed by Lloyds Register. Tests confirmed that PetalC provided up to a 30% reduction in axial load on the most critical breakstuds when compared to the Petal17.

Although PetalC has been specifically designed for use with FPSO export reeled hoses, its design has also indicated impressive performance in floating and submarine applications, particularly in harsh environments.

PetalC is self-contained and self-energised with adjustable parting load and closure speed. The design is compact, lightweight and radially in balance, as well as reusable and failsafe.

The maintenance-free period of the PetalC is similar to the Petal17 and can be serviced in any of the 12 Gall Thomson Approved Repair Centres strategically located around the world.

“Given its decades of operational and activation experience, Gall Thomson possesses unmatched insight into what is important in delivering the optimum MBC design,” says Fred Boufennane, Gall Thomson Business Development director. “The innovation of the PetalC sets new performance standards for MBCs, but within the context of Gall Thomson proven technology. This delivers both enhanced performance and reduced risk to operators.”