In environments where temperatures can reach freezing or below freezing, it is possible to run into a scenario known as pipe joint failure. As the name suggests, these failures occur in the area where the pipe ends are joined together, which is considered the weakest pipeline installation point.
While pipes are frequently tested to ensure they can withstand stress, the same isn’t always the case for the joints. When conditions become harsh, this may cause problems. These joints are typically fused using either butt fusion or electrofusion. While both of these methods may run into issues in freezing conditions, the latter can become more of an issue than the former. The reason for electrofusion issues is the sensitivity to welding conditions.
Should pipe freeze, it will result in forces in a pair of directions. When a solid such as water expands, it will cause expansion and force the pipe outwards, resulting in what’s called “hoop stress”. The second force on the pipe will cause the plastic to shrink along the length of the pipe, causing a pull on the pipe from where it is fixed, or jointed at one of the ends. Along with this force, the coupler itself will shrink, exerting force in the opposite direction and, therefore, placing additional pressure on the joint.
A joint that’s been done well will be ductile, allowing the plastic to stretch without the risks of cracks or outright failures.
Miami International Machinery & Equipment Corporation (MIMECO) specializes in industrial equipment and machinery supply. We have more than two decades providing professional solutions in The Guianas, the Caribbean, and Suriname, supplying brands like Performance Pipe, McElroy, Carboline, and more. With our years of experience working as exporters and purchasing agents, we look forward to supplying your company with robust, quality products and solutions at the best prices. Call 305-570-3831 for additional information on our product selection, industrial equipment rentals, or industrial products online.