Roll Groove Fittings in Pump Pipe Connections

24 February 2023

Pipe networks that are well-designed and well-assembled provide a safe and efficient route to carry commodities from one point to another. Indoor plumbing, petroleum pipelines, and fire sprinkler systems rely on innumerable leak-free connections to guarantee that nothing is lost. Grooved couplings have greatly simplified this dependable connection.

In this post, we will look into grooved couplings and explain how they provide the properties of flanged or welded connections while greatly decreasing installation and maintenance work hours. We also discuss their history, how they compare to other joint types, the installation procedure, and other key factors that affect contractors’ bottom lines.

History of Roll Groove Fittings

The flamethrower, a weapon meant to flush enemy troops out of trenches with blazing liquid, was introduced during World War I. Ernest Tribe—later the co-founder of worldwide piping powerhouse Victaulic—trained soldiers in their usage as a lieutenant in the British Army. While early flamethrowers may be lethal to their targets, they could also backfire. Fuel tubes frequently separated, blasting flames upon operators and other soldiers nearby.

In response, Tribe invented and subsequently patented mechanical couplings, which he viewed as a dependable means to connect pipes. His ambitious idea attempted to eliminate the need for flanges in pipe connections, allowing pipes to be linked end-to-end. A leak-preventing ring wrapped around the circumference of two neighbouring pipes, kept in place by a metal housing, preventing liquid from escaping even under pressure.

Mechanical grooved couplings based on Tribe’s concept are now employed in many pipe systems. They’re a popular choice in commercial HVAC and fire protection systems, an increasingly widespread connecting method in commercial plumbing and piping systems, and an essential component of over 25 Olympic venues.

Various Connecting Choices, Including Grooved Couplings

Roll groove fittings rely on indentations—or grooves—near inlets and outlets to hold pipes, fittings, and valves together. These indentations are formed in roll-grooved pipes by a machine that rotates the end of the pipe while pressing in, leaving a ring-shaped impression in the pipe.

Cut grooving, on the other hand, creates a groove in a pipe by removing metal from the outside. This grooving method, commonly used on Schedule 30 and heavier pipe, thins the pipe wall. Without failures or noticeable pressure loss, both cut-grooved and roll-grooved pipes can meet manufacturing requirements for grooved and shouldered joints.

Grooved couplings use a flexible gasket, metal housings, nuts, and bolts to join roll- or cut-grooved pipe. The gasket wraps around both pipe ends, preventing liquid from escaping, while the housing, nuts, and bolts secure it in place, forming a vacuum or pressure-resistant seal.

Pipefitters don’t have to limit themselves to grooved couplings. Pipes can be bonded with adhesives, joined with flanges, soldered, welded, or even brazed. However, grooved couplings are frequently compared to two of these methods: flanging and welding.

A series of bolts connect two plates or rings, known as flanges, in flanging. These flanges attach to pipes, valves, and fittings through welding or threading and are commonly used for quick assembly and disassembly. Welding directly joins components using heat—and occasionally pressure and metal additives—to establish a chemical and mechanical connection.

Decrease Installation Times When Compared to Flanged Or Welded Joining Methods

Grooved couplings are frequently preferred over flanged and welded pipe connecting methods because they are easier and much faster to instal. Copper pipe coupling installation can take anything from 24 minutes for a pipe less than 1/2′′ to more than three hours for a single four ′′ pipe connection. Flanged steel pipes may dramatically reduce the time required for higher diameters, ranging from just under a half-hour for 1/2′′ pipe to just under an hour for flanges fitted on six ′′ pipe. Grooved couplings need considerably less time to instal, taking less than six minutes for one ′′ pipe, less than 20 minutes for six ′′ pipes, and less than an hour for 18′′ pipes.

In terms of installation time, these figures indicate that welded pipe cannot compete with grooved couplings—an assumption backed up by Victaulic’s estimations for grooved and welded pipe installations. The work hours necessary for joining grooved pipes instead of welding pipes together are also significantly reduced. Grooved pipe systems decreased overall installation time by nearly two-thirds in an HVAC project with more than 120 connections, reducing the total person-hours required from over 2,000 to only 740.

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