Pipe stopping where access is tight can pose challenges for when duties such as repair work, leak testing and weld purging are required.
Pipestoppers, a division of Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT, design and manufacture a range of mechanical and inflatable pipestoppers and plugs to suit a variety of applications.
Ron Sewell, chairman at HFT, said: “The Low Profile Stopper can fit into a pipe end that may be directly on an elbow or just inside a flanged neck on a casting. Other applications include blocking pipe ends to keep gases inside or to keep debris and vermin out.
“When used in a vertical mode, these Low Profile Stoppers have already been used to prevent machine swarf or tools from falling into pipes, into an unrecoverable and dangerous situation, in a nuclear power steam turbine.”
Manufactured from tough, robust fabric, these Low Profile Inflatable Stoppers are available in sizes 6 to 88 inch (150 to 2,235 mm) diameter and provide excellent grip inside the pipe, with an effective airtight seal.
Each Low Profile Stopper is fitted with a standard Schrader Valve connected to a 1.2m hose, is easy to inflate using a foot pump or compressor and is heat resistant up to 80ºC (176ºF).
The Pipestoppers division also provide pipe freezing systems that make ice plugs inside pipes, to stop the flow of liquids so that maintenance can be carried out on valves.
This technique avoids the draining of a complete pipe system that might have an expensive product inside, ranging from heated water to expensive petrochemical fluids. Freezing can be carried out remotely, which is excellent for nuclear service personnel.
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