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Explosively quick protection helps safeguards waterways

Supplier: Air Springs Supply By: James Maslin
25 July, 2016

Pollu-Plugs are one of the simplest and quickest ways to prevent accidental contamination of waterways from spills into water, sewerage and other pipelines lines during materials handling operations.

The proven range of Pollu-Plugs manufactured by global elastomer specialist Pronal is designed to provide protection against mishaps and spills involving potentially hazardous liquids and chemicals.

Pollu-plugs are permanently and unobtrusively fitted into such pipelines ready for virtually instantaneous inflation by remote triggering as soon as an emergency arises in industrial, agribusiness, civil, military, emergency and municipal applications.

When an emergency arises - such as the urgent need to contain a toxic fluid spill or to prevent spreading of firefighting or contaminated process water - they are triggered by a gust of compressed air from standard factory pneumatic systems, or from cylinders of compressed nitrogen in more remote situations.

The rapid inflation acts immediately to protect environmentally sensitive waterways downstream from the pipelines, an environmental risk management issue which is common both as industry operates close to urban infrastructure or adjacent to water tables in remote agribusiness process and farming areas.

When pipelines are not subject to an emergency, the uninflated stoper allows normal non-polluted contents to pass beneath the elastomer-coated Pollu-Plug, which is snugly located to conform to the internal diameter of the upper half of the pipe. It is connected by an air supply line to an all-weather control panel or to a nitrogen inflation cylinder supplied by the customer and located outside the pipe.

Early users of the Pollu-Plug system include major Australian packaging, processing and military manufacturing plants, which had concerns about many multiple vehicles moving through plants with numerous forklifts and other materials handling technology shifting bulk containers and drums of materials including liquid chemicals and fuels, glues, paints, urethanes and common process substances.

"In a couple of instances such Australian plants were located adjacent to environmentally sensitive urban bushland waterways, which they wished to protect from  potential spills by permanent installations of Pronal plugs  that can be activated virtually instantaneously," said Air Springs Supply National Sales and Marketing Manager James Maslin.

"The beauty of this technology is its absolute simplicity, efficiency and near total lack of maintenance. The quality and durability of the product – and of related Pronal pipeline products - is backed by Pronal’s global experience in elastomer technology, with more than 3,000 global customers relying on Pronal design projects in fields as diverse as military, aerospace, offshore, industrial, mechanical, hydraulic, nuclear, water and waste water and environmental areas."

Pollu-Plugs are available in diameters of 100-1000mm and lengths of 450-2050mm (both measurements when empty). Custom sizes can be produced on request.

Inflated at pressures of between 40 and 120 KPa, depending on pipeline diameter, they complement Pronal’s extensive range of OFR stoppers designed for maximum sealing diameters of 770-2115mm. They also feature rapid inflation for tight sealing to prevent accidental pollution.

One of the major advantages of Pronal technology – in addition to its proven performance globally – is that its inflatable elastomer products can also be custom-fabricated to suit particular applications, said Maslin. Air springs supply also has more than 30 years specialist national experience in applying pneumatic actuation and isolation technologies.

Pollu-Plugs are part of an extensive Pronal range of inflatable emergency, rescue and maintenance equipment used by industrial, military and civil defence organisations worldwide (including transportable water and fuel tanks and lifting cushions used to raise equipment such as mining plant and pipelines needing installation or maintenance).