The Pipestoppers® Division at Huntingdon Fusion Techniques (HFT®) have manufactured Qwik-Freezer™ - a portable carbon dioxide (CO2) pipe freezing system.
It is the only CO2 pipe freezing system that is capable of freezing pipes up to eight inches in diameter, but Qwik-Freezer can also produce ice plugs that are reliable and robust for smaller applications.
In order to freeze the desired liquid, a flexible jacket containing a nozzle connected to a cylinder of liquid CO2 is wrapped around the pipe. The CO2 is then injected into the space between the jacket and the pipe at a temperature of -78°C, creating a secure ice plug and effectively sealing the pipe.
The blockage just forms in the section of the pipe covered by the jacket, only resulting in a small rise in pressure and eliminating any potential damage to the pipe. The technique can be safely used on iron, lead, stainless steel, brass and plastic.
Despite already being used around the world for over 40 years, HFT claim this technology has experienced an increased demand recently thanks to delivering an easier method of maintenance. Freeze sealing pipes is becoming increasingly popular as it eliminates the need to completely shut down or drain a system to carry out repairs or upkeep.
Georgia Gascoyne, CEO for Huntingdon Fusion Techniques, said, “Qwik-Freeze has become the preferred solution for a very wide range of water-carrying pipework, where valves need to be changed, in industry sectors such as petrochemical, building and maintenance services, food and beverage, hospitals, water treatment, shipping and aerospace.”