Hot bolting isn’t a perfect solution, but in many cases it’s the only viable option for operators in oil and gas production. Unfortunately, hot bolting is also a dangerous procedure that can have fatal consequences caused by the occurrence of equipment failure or mishandling. Bolt material can only withstand so much stress and hot bolting procedures can add additional extraneous pressure, the sum of which can exceed the acceptable threshold for the material. The result? Ruptures and explosions of hot, caustic fluids.

High temperatures, extreme pressure and the natural volatile properties of chemical contents accelerates corrosion of piping fixtures, making it difficult to repair them as they fail. Shutting down the entire line is the safest option for replacing worn flange components, but this can also cause an unacceptable loss in productivity. Pausing all station operations for a few days or even a few hours can cause logistical and financial havoc that is felt throughout the chain of command. 

Since hot bolting is a necessary practice in many situations, energy industry operators need solutions that makes the process safer and more reliable. That’s where the award-winning Flange Cuff, designed by Practical Engineering Solutions (PES), comes in.

 

Using Flange Cuffs to Stabilize Hot Bolting

As its name suggests, the Flange Cuff fits snugly around flange joints to connect pieces of pipe, equipment or other fixtures. The cuff is composed of several discrete sections linked together to allow for extreme flexibility and mobility. This makes it easy to handle, slide and wrap around joints despite awkward positioning. 

Once the mechanism is in place, workers fit the latch and bolt into place to secure the cuff around the joint. After achieving a snug and sealed fit, workers can remove and replace bolts from the flange joint. The extra pressure exerted by the cuff helps stabilize the pipe and can maintain the seal even when multiple bolts are removed simultaneously. 

 

Technical Product Details

There are dozens of different types of flanges used in piping and equipment for oil and gas operations, so operators need to know the exact specifications of their own hardware before considering a cuff. Currently, the Flange Cuff fits 150# raised face flanges of 1, 1.5, 2 and 3 inches in diameter. Operators should consult with engineering experts if they aren’t sure what kind of cuff is appropriate for their situation.

 

Freshly Engineered Solutions to Old Problems

Since its introduction to the marketplace, the Flange Cuff has already been adopted by companies throughout the oil and gas industry. The Flange Cuff has been vetted, approved and used in facilities by Shell, Dow Chemical, Mistras and more. Clients report that it has been successfully used on thousands of hot bolting operations under active operating conditions, leading to millions of reported savings in operational costs.

While there’s no way to completely engineer risk or uncertainty out of hot bolting, the team at PES takes pride in developing an effective, award-winning solution to a problem that has plagued the industry for years. We look forward to improving and expanding our pipe handling equipment to provide even more value to our clients in the years ahead. 

 

Looking for a team that can provide practical solutions and deliver field-proven results? Partner with PES today.