Versatile Pronal inflatable lifting cushions and pipe stoppers from Air Springs Supply can be invaluable during installation, maintenance and dewatering operations.
Especially in rugged, sometimes remote and particularly muddy or sandy locations — including areas affected by recent floods — it can be difficult to provide crane access overhead for work on pipelines, or to obtain sufficient clearance and a firm foundation for pipeline lifts from beneath.
One way to provide an easy, safe and predicable lift in areas with restricted access is provided by Pronal's seamless CLP lifting cushions, which can not only delicately raise pipelines, pumps and associated dewatering equipment, but also hoist of all types of trucks, tracked vehicles, beams, bridge components, building components, machinery and resource development structures.
Pronal's cushions range from ultra-thin bags (just 20mm thick deflated) that can lift weights of more than 65 tonnes each, to powerful spreading cushions that can exert hundreds of tonnes
of force to lift loads, separate plant and machinery components for servicing, or to extract quarried material. Complementary low-pressure CPB Maxi-Lift cushions can be used on land and under water, offering greater strokes of up to 700mm (or 1400mm where a pair are employed).
"These are superbly engineered lifting cushions developed for industrial, municipal, military and civil tasks by the French elastomer specialists Pronal," James Maslin, Air Springs Supply national sales and marketing manager, said.
"The materials involved are so tough and durable that the cushions are used to lift tanks or split rocks in quarries and mines.
"In addition to the standard models – such as the workhorse 920X920mm square cushion – a major advantage of Pronal cushions is that they can be custom-engineered to particular shapes and sizes to perform particular tasks."
Complementing Pronal lifting cushions (left) is Pronal's family of pipe stoppers, including the Vari Plug range (examples right), which is used for for maintenance, testing and emergency tasks. Vari Plugs fit pipe diameters of 70-1500mm in industrial, resources, municipal and infrastructure applications.
Inflated by compressed air on remote sites, the tough, polyamide-reinforced stoppers can be used to seal concrete, plastic and metal pipelines carrying potable water, stormwater, waste water and non-petroleum based solutions.
"These light, easily manoeuvred and easily positioned stoppers are typically employed for uses ranging from routine pipeline maintenance and testing through to emergency stopping of polluted water," Maslin said.
"They might be employed to block a leakage of waste entering the surrounding environment or waterways, for example, or to provide a tight seal upstream of a pipeline fault so it can be repaired in a safe, clean and clear environment."
Vari Plugs are available with or without a flow-through bypass. In a pressure testing application, for example, a blank (non-bypass) stopper may be installed upstream in a pipe with another bypass-equipped stopper downstream so liquid or gas can be pumped into the space between.
Ongoing protection against contamination of waterways from spills into water and sewerage lines is provided by Pronal's OPAP and OFR Pollu-Plug stoppers, which are permanently and unobtrusively fitted in water and sewerage lines ready for instantaneous inflation by remote triggering as soon as an emergency arises in industrial, civil and municipal applications.
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 located flat inside the top of a pipeline. It is connected by an air supply line to an all-weather control panel and nitrogen inflation cylinder supplied by the customer and located outside the pipe.
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.
Information about Pronal products can be obtained through the website of Air Springs Supply Pty Ltd, www.airsprings.com.au which is one of Australia's most comprehensive guides to pneumatic actuation, isolation and suspension.