Hot Tap Pipeline: What You Need to Know

Few engineering techniques can repair or improve a pressurized pipeline without forcing it out of service. What’s more, there are far less techniques that are environmental-friendly yet cost effective for repairing pipelines.

Industries have relied for a long time on the old shut down method to repair and improve their pipelines. Yet this method suffers from the glaring flaws mentioned above. Now is the right time to look elsewhere for more viable solutions.

A hot tap pipeline could be the silver lining in the cloud that you haven’t been paying attention to. Adopting its usage can save you precious revenue as you won’t have to out of service when you make repairs. It’s also gentle to the environment.

In this piece, we discuss all you need to know about hot tapping. Read on to learn more.

What Is a Hot Tap Pipeline?

A hot tap pipeline is a connection that specialists make to a pipeline or a pressure vessel without depressurizing the system. The whole process of installing the connection is known as hot tapping or pressure tapping. In the context of welding, hot tapping describes welding onto in-service equipment.

The continued operations that this method offers has both economic and environmental benefits. Industrial plants shield themselves from costly losses arising out of shutting pipelines because of repairs/maintenance when they rely on hot tapping.

Hot tap pipelines also prevent large quantities of greenhouse gases from escaping into the atmosphere when connections are added onto pressure vessels.

Hot Tapping Basics

Three components are crucial to the safe drilling of a pipe while it is in service. These are the hot tap machine, the fitting, and the valve. Experts attach the fitting to the pipe by welding in most cases.

Specialists then attach a valve onto the fitting, after which they attach a hot tap machine to the valve. It’s important to note that a pressure test must be performed once you attach the fitting/valve combination onto a pipe. Otherwise, you won’t verify if there’re structural defects to the fitting that’ll’ lead to leaks.

The Risks and the Solution

A hot tap pipeline can develop problems if you don’t’ consider burn-through and hydrogen cracking adequately before you install a pipeline connection. Burn-through results from the internal pressure of the pipe that normally melts the area beneath the weld pool if it’s’ weak.

Hydrogen cracking results from shorter cooling times due to an increased rate of heat flow from the weld region. The heat increases the chances of a hard microstructure forming on the pipeline, thus the greater susceptibility to cracking.

The solution to these problems is to adopt a safe procedure for hot tapping. Specialists rely on heat flow modeling techniques to devise the procedures. They then qualify them using flow loops for better results.

Avoid the Interruptions With Hot Tapping Technology

Time is a crucial component for industries that offer pipeline services. Any interruptions to the pipeline system can lead to massive losses due to the wastage of productive time. Sometimes these interruptions are inevitable, and so there’s a need to find solutions for mitigating the situation.

A hot tap pipeline can help you to make connections or repair areas that have suffered from mechanical damages without forcing you out of service. Get in touch with RAK Industrial Services today for hot tapping solutions.

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