Versatile pipe stoppers combat drought losses

Jan 19, 2019 in January 2019, News 2019
Versatile pipe stoppers combat drought losses

Drought conditions have persisted over much of the past year. Photo: Bureau of Meteorology

With many areas of Australia facing severe drought – some the worst in 400 years* – great importance is being placed on water pipeline construction, maintenance and elimination of leakages over local, regional and far-reaching networks.

The Australian government has acknowledged the scale of the challenge with a $12.9 million Water for the Future plan focussed on more efficient water infrastructure and refurbishment of older pipes and systems.

Such initiatives are seeing the arrival of new technologies to assist in the process of preventing, locating and repairing water losses by public and private water authorities, agribusiness irrigators, and engineers and operators in water-dependent industries, including food, beverage and mining.

One such technology from Air Springs Supply Pty Ltd is a new range of OPL and OPLT pipe plugs for easy portability and perfect sealing of water pipelines, as well as sewage, hydrocarbon and chemical process pipelines that can leak into the environment.

These proven products are used where sections of pipeline need to be effectively and safely sealed for maintenance and leak testing. Rather than installing valves to shut down sections of pipelines, the stoppers are introduced and inflated to stop pipe flow during maintenance or to seal newly installed pipes for air-tightness tests.

Available with or without bypass as required, they are designed to make the job swifter and safer for use in a wide variety of pipes, including steel, plastic and concrete, over diameters ranging from 30mm up to 2000mm, with just four plug sizes covering the 100-2000mm range.

Pronal OPL and OPLT plugs (example located within a pipeline, left) are part of a global range of pipeline stoppers (examples right)

Weighing from 200g to 145kg for the biggest model with bypass – the plugs are easily transported to infrastructure, maintenance and construction sites, says Pronal Sales and Marketing Manager, Mr James Maslin.

Optional accessories include:

  • Single or double bypass for pipe testing and dewatering
  • Handling wire
  • Inflation line
  • Remote inflation/deflation device
  • Air/water exchange system

*University of Melbourne research of historical and international records back to the First Fleet and beyond

About Pronal

Pronal is one of the world’s most experienced and respected producers of flexible products used to lift, push, press, seal and store. Founded in 1961 and headquartered near Lille in the north of France, PRONAL builds standard and customised flexible products from fabrics coated with elastomer and/or plastomer. In addition to extensive industrial expertise, Pronal also works in the defence, aerospace, civil emergency and maritime/harbour sectors.

Pronal’s Australian distributor, Air Springs Supply, is Australia’s leading supplier of air springs and associated pneumatic technology for the industrial and transport sectors.