WeldFit Corporation Develops Capability to Produce 48 Inch Heavy-Walled Extruded Outlets

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WeldFit Corporation announced today that the company has developed the capability to extrude 48 inch outlets through heavy-walled cylinders. Through the achievement of this milestone, WeldFit is now one of the few companies in the world with the equipment, tooling, and expertise necessary to produce such large extruded outlets.

http://www.weldfit.com/

WeldFit 48" x 48" Flow Tee with extruded branch outlet

WeldFit is proud to be one of the few companies in the world to have made the necessary investments in capital equipment and personnel required to produce large extrusions.

WeldFit Corporation announced today that the company has developed the capability to extrude 48 inch outlets through heavy-walled cylinders. As explained by Todd Sale, Sr. Vice President of Engineering and Quality, “WeldFit has specialized in extruded outlets for over 30 years, but we recently expanded our envelope of capabilities to the point where we can now extrude up to 48 inch outlets.” The initial 48 inch outlets were produced to form the bodies of multiple 48” x 48” flow tees the company manufactured for a major international customer. Through the achievement of this milestone, WeldFit is now one of the few companies in the world with the equipment, tooling, and expertise necessary to produce such large extruded outlets.

WeldFit’s first 48” outlets were extruded using the closed-die hot-forming method from 60 ½” OD cylinders with 2” wall thicknesses. WeldFit engineers carefully designed the male and female dies required based on their years of experience in the extrusion field. The die dimensions were carefully controlled during their production to ensure the final dimensions of the outlet and to minimize the distortion of the fittings. The procedure for completing the final extrusion included several intermediary forming steps with progressively larger male dies. Between each forming step the area around the outlet was carefully heated to ensure the success of the process. Upon completion of the final extrusion, the tees were quenched & tempered to increase the strength of the material to a minimum yield of 65,000 psi.

After the extruded body was completed, it was assembled into a flow tee by adding forged end-rings and an internal sleeve. The entire assembly was machined, welded and pressure tested in WeldFit’s facility prior to delivery to the customer. Flow tees are just one of several applications for extruded outlets. WeldFit routinely uses extruded outlets in its line of hot tap and line stop fittings. Extruded outlets are also produced as a component of header and manifold assemblies, including pipeline pig launchers and receivers. Heavy-wall extruded outlet tees are commonly used in applications where standard butt-weld forged tees are unavailable, particularly when high-yield material or reduced branch outlets are required.

Most branch connections are created by directly welding the branch pipe to the header pipe. This is the simplest method of construction, but it has several drawbacks. Due to the three-dimensional geometry of the weld connection, it normally cannot be performed with automatic welding equipment and requires a skilled welder. Additionally, the weld is not easily inspected by radiography. Even if x-rays are taken, the results of such examinations are difficult to interpret even by the most experienced NDE technicians.

Except in low design pressure applications, there is normally not enough excess wall-thickness in the run and branch pipe to compensate for the hole cut in the run pipe to accommodate the connection; and welded connections are not recommended in situations where vibration, pulsation, or other types of cyclic stresses can occur. Reinforcing pads (repads) or saddles can be used to strengthen the connection and to minimize the effects of cyclic stresses, but their use significantly increases fabrication cost.

Extruded outlets are often an excellent alternative to welded branch connections. Recognized by all of the major piping design codes, extruded outlets have inherent benefits that minimize or eliminate the problems associated with welded outlets. Because the branch connection weld is eliminated, welding and inspection issues are eliminated. By modifying the input variables, the outlet and run thicknesses can be carefully controlled ensuring the fitting satisfies reinforcement requirements without the need for external reinforcement pads or saddles. The smoothly contoured intersection of extruded outlets minimizes discontinuities in the crotch area of the connection. The continuous geometry of the extruded outlet increases the strength of the connection and allows for significantly better resistance from the effects of cyclic stresses like vibration.

Extruded outlets have been in use for nearly a century. In the past, they have primarily been used for small, thin-walled run cylinders due to the complexity of the extruding operation. As the size and thickness of extrusions increase, the required investment in equipment and tooling required to perform these extrusions grows as well. In addition, skilled and experienced personnel are required to ensure extruded outlets are consistently produced in accordance with engineering requirements, due to the number of variables that must be controlled during the process. WeldFit is proud to be one of the few companies in the world to have made the necessary investments in capital equipment and personnel required to produce large extrusions.

WeldFit is a leading provider of extruded outlet products, including hot tap & line stop fittings, extruded outlet manifolds, and heavy-walled tees. Along with its extrusion expertise, WeldFit also has a complete fabrication facility with ASME qualified welders and the ability to machine large and small specialty parts. Based in Houston, Texas, WeldFit is recognized for the quality of its products and is ISO 9001:2008 certified.

Visit http://www.weldfit.com for more information about the company

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Todd Sale
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