Weld Purging tubes and pipes for the Oil and Gas Industry is crucial when joining metals such as stainless, duplex and chrome steels, as well as nickel alloys, titanium and zirconium. However, when welding larger pipe diameters it is not cost effective to completely fill tubes and pipes with expensive inert gas.
Weld Purging Experts Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT®’s innovative QuickPurge® Systems 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, removing the oxygen down to 100 ppm (parts per million) within minutes.”
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With the growth of Nuclear Power activities around the World, there is a large volume of stainless steel pipework that will need to be welded to a high standard, with no oxidation that can lead to loss of corrosion resistance.
To meet the higher standards of welding that the Nuclear Industry expects, a unique Weld Purge Monitor® has been designed and developed by Weld Purging Experts Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT® that reads all the way from atmospheric level of oxygen (20.94%), down to one part per million (0.0001%), in one instrument.
CEO for HFT®, Georgia Gascoyne said: “The PurgEye® 600 incorporates the features and benefits of all the other Weld Purge Monitor® designs in the HFT® Family Range, but for the first time, this one instrument has a full range of measurement reading from atmospheric concentration (20.94%), down to 1 ppm, accurate to 10 ppm. Readings are indicated either as parts per million or in percentage, breaking all technological boundaries in one instrument.”
Using ground breaking technology, the PurgEye® 600 has a long life sensor that won’t need replacing or recalibrating. This high level, advanced instrument has been designed with a large, full colour touch screen (3.2"/ 81 mm) and on-screen graph displaying the oxygen levels during the welding process.
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Replacing valves in fire sprinkler systems can be a challenge, especially when the pipelines have liquids running through them. One option is to completely drain the system to make the repairs, which can prove costly, time consuming and problematical as to where to drain the liquid.
Pipe Freezing Experts Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT® recently introduced the Qwik-Freezer™ Systems to their Pipestoppers® Division. These systems create ice plugs or freeze seals in the pipes, either upstream of a valve or on both sides, avoiding the requirement to completely drain down systems and making a substantial reduction in lost time and costs.
Qwik-Freezer™ is the industry standard portable CO2 Pipe Freezing System, in use around the World, covering pipe diameters from 3/8” – 8” (9 – 200 mm). The quick and easy to use system requires very little set-up time and is the only CO2 Pipe Freezing System capable of freezing larger pipe diameters.
HFT®’s US Partner, COB Industries said: “When a sprinkler head has to be repaired or replaced in a large system, there are many issues that can arise. Draining large fire systems can create problems with disposal of all the water, more so when it is treated chemically with rust inhibitors and/or anti freeze. Environmental concerns prevent disposing of this water in a normal drainage system, even if it is possible to access one.”
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When welding titanium or nickel alloy parts within the Aerospace Industry, it is important that the welding zone is purged of oxygen to a level as low as 10 parts per million (ppm).
Flexible Welding Enclosures® are available for a fraction of the cost of a rigid welding chamber, providing a technically viable option to the very expensive rigid metal chambers. Size for size, these Enclosures cost considerably less than a metal glove box or a vacuum system, with a very fast purging time down to a few ppm of oxygen. The Welding Enclosures are ideal for small production quantities of items that need total gas coverage as well as single large items with critical joints.
A combination of translucent material and optically clear sheet is used depending on the viewing requirements of the customer. Large access zips are fitted to each Enclosure and additional entry points can be provided for operators’ gloves. A service panel incorporates access ports for welding torches, electrical leads and water-cooling supplies and a purge gas entry port and exhaust valve are also manufactured as standard to vent displaced gas into the atmosphere.
Flexible Welding Enclosures® are used by companies such as British Airways, Airbus, Pratt and Whitney, Lufthansa, Senior Engineering and Shapes Aerospace International along with many other companies in the Aerospace field.
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Welders often face difficulties when working under the conditions experienced on-site. When welding critical joints on-site the challenges might come from exposure to extremes of heat and cold, harmful sand and dust and even hazardous fumes. Therefore using an expensive Weld Purge Monitor® in such conditions may not always be ideal.
To overcome these challenges, Weld Purging Experts and Innovators Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT® have designed a virtually non-destructible Weld Purge Monitor® for on-site conditions. Designated the PurgEye® Site, this new instrument is a guarded oxygen monitor in a secure, safe, waterproof and dustproof box, IP68 with the lid open and IP65 rated with the lid closed.
CEO Georgia Gascoyne said: “The latest addition to the Family Range of the PurgEye® Weld Purge Monitors® is the PurgEye® Site, measuring oxygen levels from 1,000 ppm, right down to 1 ppm (accurate to 10 ppm). It is portable, robust and has been specifically designed for site conditions.”
“The PurgEye® Site has a new design long life sensor with a very fast response time, ultra sharp OLED display and is equipped with PurgeNet™ for smart weld purging, automatic welding machine interface and traffic light visual warning accessory.”
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Due to the constant upward trends in Quality Control procedures, there is growing pressure on the Process Industries to carry out their welding in the absence of oxygen to an ever increasingly lower level. Metals such as stainless steel, titanium, zirconium and nickel alloys are now available to these industries to ensure the greatest strengths, the highest resistance to corrosion and of course the lowest failure rates.
These metals are commonly welded with the GTAW (TIG) process that needs the arc and its surrounding zone to be shielded with a high specification inert gas that has the minimum amount of oxygen. If the welds and their adjacent metal become oxidised, that leads to a lower resistance to corrosion and that has to be prevented.
For this purpose, Weld Purge Monitors® were invented in the 1970’s to measure the oxygen levels for welding by World Leading Weld Purging Experts Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT®. At the time, 100 parts per million of oxygen in argon was deemed to be a good level for most stainless steel and other metals, however research shows that it has become necessary these days to try to attain a purity approaching 1 ppm of oxygen in argon when shielding the welds zones in front and behind.
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There is a large variety of pipe plugging and blocking requirements in the Oil and Gas Industry, including repair work, leak testing, weld purging and debris stopping. One major concern is the entry of debris into pipes during operations.
The Pipestoppers® Division of Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT® now design and manufacture a range of low cost, lightweight Inflatable Stoppers, available for pipes up to 120” diameter to prevent the entry of debris into pipes.
Ron Sewell, Chairman for HFT® said: “For pipe diameters of 36” and over, not all applications require expensive and very robust, heavy rubber plugs, nor is it always necessary to use mechanical plugs which are also heavy and may be difficult to manipulate.”
“Where there is little backpressure and the absence of corrosive petrochemical fluid, lightweight Inflatable Stoppers are a great solution. They are light in weight, which makes them easy to manipulate and inexpensive to ship and because of their low cost, it is easy to keep all sizes in stock and ship them the very same day.”
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High strength steel joints must pre-heated prior to welding and also require a post-weld heat treatment. Weld joints of this nature are often purged of oxygen and welded in an inert atmosphere to reduce the risk of ‘sugaring’, an imperfection that could allow metal pieces to break off inside pipework and cause damage to turbines, for example.
With the high temperatures and length of time at such temperatures, most weld purging systems are unsuitable. HotPurge® has been developed by International Weld Purging Specialists Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT®, an Inflatable Pipe Purging System for Heat Treated Chrome and High Strength Stainless Steel Pipe Joints where the temperatures might be as high as 760ºC (1,400ºF) for many hours.
Luke Keane, Distributor Support for HFT® said: “HotPurge® allows the purge to be safely continued for up to 24 hours whilst pre-heating, welding and post weld heat-treating with the purge system remaining in place.”
“Along with our other ranges of Inflatable Pipe Purging Systems, the HotPurge® Systems are manufactured in the UK, with scientific knowledge and research invested in each of our products. We do not sacrifice quality! You can be sure to achieve perfect welds, time and time again.”
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