Huntingdon Fusion Techniques (HFT®) recently introduced the Qwik-Freezer™ systems to their Pipestoppers® division. These systems create ice plugs or freeze seals in the pipes, avoiding the requirement to drain systems – a costly procedure.
Qwik-Freezer is the industry standard portable carbon dioxide (CO2) pipe freezing system, covering pipe diameters from 3/8” – 8” (9 – 200 mm).
The quick and easy to use system requires very little set-up time and is the only CO2 pipe freezing system capable of freezing larger pipe diameters.
Georgia Gascoyne, CEO for HFT said, “Qwik-Freezer has become the preferred solution for a 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.”
Once liquids have been brought to a standstill, a specially designed flexible jacket is wrapped around the pipe at the point where the freeze is required. A nozzle in the jacket is then coupled to a cylinder of liquid CO2 by means of a high-pressure hose. For valve replacement, a second jacket is installed on the other side, creating a double freeze, blocking flow on both sides of the valve.
When the CO2 is injected into the space between the jacket and the pipe, at a temperature of -78oC, the pipe contents freeze and a secure ‘ice plug’ is formed, which seals the pipe. The ‘ice plug’ forms only in the section of the pipe covered by the jacket, so the resulting rise in pressure is very small and there is no damage to the pipe itself. The technique can be used safely on iron, steel, lead, stainless steel, copper, brass and plastic pipe.