Huntingdon Fusion Techniques HFT® inflatable stoppers (photo: HFT®)
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-inch diameter to prevent the entry of debris into pipes.
Ron Sewell, Chairman for HFT® says, “For pipe diameters of 36-inch 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.”
HFT®’s Inflatable Stoppers are available in Cylindrical and Spherical formats. For straight pipes the Cylindrical Stoppers are recommended, whereas, for bends, the Spherical versions are more appropriate.
Where there are fluids inside pipes that need to be retained by a stopper, it is usual to use plugs made of aluminium, steel or rubber. In cases where the fluid is aggressive, nitrile, silicon or Viton rubbers can replace the standard natural rubber seals. PetroChem™ Inflatable Stoppers are also available for petrochemical duties by using a protective cover over the inflatable section.
For larger diameter pipes, Aluminium Stoppers are manufactured up to 36-inch diameter, and Steel Plugs up to 72-inch diameter. After that it is necessary to consider Inflatable Stoppers that are available up to 120-inch diameter and greater.