Posted on June 27, 2017
Innovation, efficiency and cost savings: 3 things on the mind of oil and gas producers attending the 2017 Global Petroleum Show (GPS) in Calgary, Alberta as the industry looks for ways to streamline operations. To this end, the innovative Victaulic Refuse-to-Fuse™ system for joining HDPE pipe drew a lot of interest at the show for its speed and weather independent installation using simple tools. Our very own Scott McDonald, Senior HDPE Specialist for Victaulic, presented at the conference on our HDPE solutions. Below were some commonly asked questions.
Q: Is Victaulic’s HDPE solution reusable or permanent?
A: Yes, on both accounts.
Fracking companies are a good example of those who immediately saw the benefit of adopting the mechanical system. Not only can service lines be installed quickly, but the Victaulic couplings and components can be taken apart, reconditioned and used again, making them a reusable asset. This is not possible with fused joints without consumption of one’s own inventory to replace fused fittings and HDPE pipe. In addition, with Victaulic’s solution, if there is media coming out of the pipe, you don’t have to stop the flow to perform the work.
A Victaulic mechanically joined system is also designed for permanent, reliable, long term installations and can be direct buried given its coated hardware, stainless steel rings and housings made of ductile iron (which has been successfully buried for over 100 years, both with Victaulic and class 53 ductile iron pipe). In a trench, installation is possible without needing to dewater, saving what would be a timely and costly endeavor.
Q: Is it only for water service?
Amongst other things, it can also be used for oil, sludge and sewage. The self-contained gasket can be supplied in various material compounds such as EPDM and nitrile to accommodate a variety of services and applications.
Q: What is the rating of the Victaulic couplings for HDPE?
A: The coupling is rated to the DR of the pipe with a 3-to-1 safety factor.
The pressure rating of all Victaulic Refuse-to-Fuse products meets or exceeds the performance capabilities of the pipe. The pipe will fail before the couplings.
Q: Can they be installed in any temperature or weather condition?
The Victaulic system for HDPE can be installed in any weather condition… sun, rain, or wind, and in any temperature warm or cold with no cooling times. Fusion, on the other hand, is extremely weather dependent, with any adverse conditions requiring tenting. Days with outside temperatures lower or higher than those ideal for fusion will impact both fusing and cooling times.
Q: How can I ensure the system is installed correctly?
A: Visual inspection to verify pad-to-pad contact is all that is required.
No additional steps or torquing is needed. A witness line, marked on the pipe end prior to install, aids in ensuring correct insertion depth. With fusion, there is no visual way to confirm a correctly fused joint. Destructive examination is the only way to test a series of joints, which adds to project time and cost.