The embarrassment and expense of dropping tools or leaving debris down holes
or in pipes during maintenance can often be prevented by using inflatable
plugs. Conversely the same product can be used to prevent overhead debris
falling on to operators or onto sensitive equipment. Huntingdon Fusion
Techniques has extended its range of 'pipe stoppers' which are simply
inserted and then inflated to seal a pipe or tube.
o One of the earlier applications for this innovative product was a UK naval
dockyard faced with the task of preventing debris weighing up to 1kg falling
into the nuclear power plant during maintenance. The stopper had to be fed
through a 600 mm aperture and then inflated to seal a 953 mm diameter
HFT manufactured the stopper with safety ties so that in the event of the
stopper collapsing and falling down the hole it could be retrieved.
Additionally a skirt was incorporated around the periphery so that any dust
and debris would not fall into the crevice between the vessel wall and the
edge of the stopper.
o Power generating companies have standardised on inflatable stoppers to
prevent dust and particulate material falling into the turbines when repairs
o A number of pipeline companies use the stoppers to seal off pipelines at
night or at the weekend to inhibit vermin and other animals crawling into
the pipes and interfering with subsequent operations.
Huntingdon Fusion can manufacture these stoppers up to several metres in
diameter and can also produce non-circular section devices to meet specific
Huntingdon Fusion Techniques Limited
Tel - 44 1 554 836 836
Fax - 44 1 554 836 837