The lightweight new tools, initially available in North America before a global launch later in 2013, are self-centring, self-adjusting and reduce installation guesswork. Their low weight means typical sizes can be handled more quickly and efficiently.

Their main application is for branch-line pipework, where they can isolate the line completely; create a vapour barrier for hot work or localise a line for flange weld testing.

Aluminium variants have been available from Hydratight in Europe for some time, where they have proved very successful. “The technology is a perfect complement to Hydratight’s many current products and services,” said Western Region leader Steve Earney.

“As a company we offer many solutions to ensure bolted pipework integrity. The in-line weld test tools are a natural extension of our general pipework integrity products. It makes it possible, in many cases, to have one technician do work that previously had to be done by two people, and to the same level of accuracy.”

Operators save time by limiting the test area to the new weld or welded component only, and the minimised pressure test volume reduces system downtime.

The new tools come in a range of sizes to accommodate all variations in nominal pipe size, wall thickness and flange configuration. Common pipe diameters up to 14in are standard, and sizes up to 36” available on request.

The tools feature double block and bleed isolation and once positioned, provide a verified vapour barrier for safe hot-work activity. Aluminium variants offer faster installation and removal times than steel, while wide integral seals create greater integrity during vapour barrier work.

Hydratight will both sell and rent the new range of tools and can also offer fully-certified on-site technicians able to undertake weld isolation and tests that meet or exceed industry safety standards.

Hydratight will also continue to supply its existing heavier range of steel line isolation units for applications to which they are best suited.