Large Inflatable Rubber Plugs have been in use in large-scale infrastructure projects since at least the early 1920’s, when they were used in large cities to isolate and empty sewer sections to enable repairs avoiding excavation. Storm drainage pipelines, sanitary sewer lines and low-pressure underground pipelines do not have valves or spectacle flanges to block fluid flow in the line. Blocking these lines and permitting access to them without the need for expensive, maintenance-intensive valves and flanges so that the pipeline becomes accessible for inspection, maintenance, or modification proved somewhat difficult.
Now, one century later, such systems, i.e. collapsible bladders or plugs inserted into sewer or industrial pipelines and inflated to create a dam or a block, are used in nearly all infrastructure sectors, from deep sea platforms to hydroelectric facilities, to overflow and miscellaneous sewers, as well as the whole land based petrochemical sector.
One company providing plugging systems is the Pipestoppers® Division of Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT®. As well as their Mechanical and Freeze Range of plugging systems, HFT® are providing a wide range of Inflatable Plugs and Bladders, which are no longer regarded as expensive as they were traditionally in the past.
The Pipestoppers® Steel Plugs Range is specifically designed for heavier duty applications, such as immersion in water, for use at a higher temperature or for contact with acidic or alkaline environments.
Pipestoppers®, a division of Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT®, manufacture Steel Plugs, which have been the favoured heavy-duty plug for applications such as leak testing, pipe stopping and blocking for their sealing effectiveness and durability.
HFT Pipestoppers® Steel Plugs can be used for low pressure testing and plugging all pipes, pipelines and pipe work between 2 to 48” (50 to 1,200 mm) diameter.
With the ever increasing list of challenges posed by welding on-site, Weld Purging Experts Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT®’s innovative PurgEye® Site means quality doesn’t have to be affected when welding in difficult conditions.
CEO for HFT® Georgia Gascoyne said: “Welding on-site does not eliminate the need to measure oxygen levels when welding metals such as stainless steel, zirconium and titanium. Often, welders are left to guess at purge levels, due to some Weld Purge Monitors® not being able to handle various on site conditions.”
“Now with our networking device PurgeNet™, the PurgEye® Site is our on-site monitor, that has been specifically designed for extreme conditions. By using the PurgEye® Site, welders can ensure non-oxidised, zero colour welds are achieved regardless of conditions.”
World Leading Designers and Manufacturers of Weld Purging Equipment, Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT® manufacture their very popular Tungsten Electrode Grinder at their UK HQ.
With over 45 years of successful business and with their UK HQ located in Burry Port, Carmarthenshire, HFT® are proud to continue to contribute to the British Manufacturing Industry.
Ron Sewell, Chairman for HFT® said: “All of our Weld Purge Monitors® and Inflatable Pipe Purging Systems are manufactured right here in the UK and we are proud to have our TEG-1000 Tungsten Electrode Grinder on that list too.”
“Using a Grinder that has been designed and manufactured specifically for tungsten metal is not only a much safer option, they provide more accurate results leading to as many as ten times greater number of arc strikes and giving very directional arcs without flicker or wander.”
Inert gas welding requires the removal of oxygen from the welding zone before, during and after welding. This is known as weld purging as is crucial during the welding of stainless steel.
The low cost, hand held PurgEye® 100, designed and developed by Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT® is perfect for welding stainless steel, reading accurately from atmospheric oxygen level (20.94%), right down to 100 ppm (0.01%) of oxygen.
Ron Sewell, Chairman for HFT® said: “The PurgEye® 100 Weld Purge Monitor® delivers an extremely accurate measurement of 0.01% or 100 ppm, which is the right amount to ensure welds remain free from oxidation.”
Many companies may have pipework systems such as sprinkler systems for example, that are full of water or other fluid that need to be completely drained for the smallest of repair.
Companies facing system downtime can drastically reduce pipe and valve repair and maintenance costs with Accu-Freeze™ available from the Pipestoppers® Division of Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT®.
Luke Keane, Technical Support at HFT® said: “We carried out an installation of an Accu-Freeze™ System for a client who was contracted to repair pipework in large blocks of apartments. Working in the plant room, access was pretty tight as the pipes were only 6 – 8” from the ground. At one end of the pipe there was a pressure gauge and at the other, a 1,000 litre hot water cylinder. Ambient temperature in the pipe was approximately 38ºC.”
The Pipestoppers® Division at Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT® manufacture a range of Inflatable Stoppers for fast, reliable and safe stopping, blocking and testing of pipes, joints, channels, inlets and a number of other uses.
Customer application: An export customer required a large stopper for blocking hot fumes from a chimney stack measuring 114” (2,896 mm) diameter to carry out vital maintenance and repair work. HFT® manufactured two Inflatable Stoppers, their largest size to date.
A Heat Resistant Cover was also required to protect and prevent the Inflatable Stopper from being damaged. The recommended maximum temperature for this type of stopper is 90°C (194°F) but with a Heat Cover fitted this increases to 300°C (572°F).
For many years, oxygen monitors and gas analysers have been used for weld purging. They are specifically designed and calibrated for accuracy at atmospheric oxygen level but not for weld purging where accuracy is required when reading much lower oxygen levels.
Using the latest scientific knowledge and innovation, Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT® have designed and manufactured the PurgEye® Nano, the World’s first and only low cost, no frills, Weld Purge Monitor® that measures accurately down to 10 parts per million (ppm).
Ron Sewell, Chairman for HFT® said: “A Weld Purge Monitor® is essential to monitor oxygen levels when welding metals such as stainless steels, titanium and nickel alloys where a high quality, non-oxidised, zero colour weld is required. The PurgEye® Nano has been developed for weld purging where data logging, alarms and welder control are not necessarily required. It is small, lightweight and inexpensive. There are no knobs, no switches, no controls, making this a really simple, ‘plug and play’ monitor.”
Care is necessary when welding large diameter pipework in stainless, duplex, chrome steels, nickel alloys and zirconium. When welding such reactive materials, they need to be purged of oxygen before, during and after welding, which can cause a huge expense when they are of a large diameter.
Weld Purging Experts Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT®’s innovative QuickPurge® Systems, which are manufactured up to 88” (2,235mm), dramatically reduces the space that needs to be purged, thereby reducing purging time dramatically, making huge savings in both time and gas costs.
Ron Sewell, Chairman for HFT® said: “Using QuickPurge® means there is no longer a need to fill complete pipes with an inert gas. The systems are so efficient they pay for themselves in the first couple of welds in gas savings alone, whatever the pipe size. QuickPurge® is simply inserted into a tube or pipe, inflated within the pipe, restricting the area that is to be welded, reducing the oxygen level down to 100 ppm (parts per million) within minutes.”
The increasing popularity of Grade 9 titanium alloy has brought with it some questions about weldability.
Grade 9 titanium alloy contains 3% aluminium and 2.5% vanadium, less alloying material than the more common Grade 5 (6% aluminium and 4% vanadium). Grade 9, alternatively referred to as Ti-3-2.5, offers improved resistance to corrosion and better mechanical strength and is now routinely used in applications as diverse as aircraft hydraulic tubes and high specification bicycle frames.
Weldability of Ti-3-2.5 is good provided that the necessary precautions are taken. Due to the reactive nature of titanium and its alloys, inert gas shielding must be in place on both the OD and ID of tubes and protection assured when welding plate and sheet.
Tungsten Electrodes are used during Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) or Plasma welding and are the most important consumable during welding. However they are often manufactured using thoria, dust from which poses a risk to health.
Recognising both the performance requirement and the health benefits, Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT®’s MultiStrike® Tungsten Electrodes not only deliver an increased overall performance, they also contain a mix of non-radio-toxic compounds. These MultiStrike® electrodes give at least 10 times more arc striking capacity than alternative electrodes tested under the same conditions.
MultiStrikes® can be used for welding aluminium with the AC process, as well as steels and alloys with the DC process, which allows the welder to have just one type of Tungsten Electrode to weld all materials and reduce the amount of stocks and purchasing requisitions.
For welding nickel alloy, titanium and stainless steel tubes and pipes, including stubs, elbows and tees, Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT® have designed and developed clinically clean, white nylon Weld Purge Plugs™, providing a great barrier for weld purging.
Luke Keane, Technical Sales Manager for HFT® said: “When other purge systems cannot be used, Weld Purge Plugs™ can be used to make a suitable barrier for purging pipes, tubes or fittings.”
“These low cost, lightweight Weld Purge Plugs™ are available for a variety of applications for pipe sizes 0.5 to 6” (12 to 152 mm) diameter eliminating the need for welders to create their own homemade purging dams out of unsuitable materials such as foam, paper or cardboard.