Once in service, pipes allow for the reliable movement of liquids or gases from one place to another. Pipes that are actively used will typically be closed off from the surrounding environment, making for predictable, manageable conditions within.
On the other hand, pipe that is being transported or stored will not normally benefit, by default, from the protection and predictability inherent in such a closed system. Simple, affordable accessories known as pipe plugs can be used to protect pipe during transport or until needed in the field.
A Straightforward Solution to a Common Problem
There are many kinds of pipe plugs, but they share some common attributes. In just about every case, such a plug will be designed to seal the ends of a pipe so nothing can gain entry from the outside. A properly fitted plug will block out potentially harmful contaminants, protecting the interior of a pipe from corrosion or other forms of damage.
There is a range of materials that can be used to produce such accessories, however, a couple are most widespread today. While it was common in the past to see a plug made of metal or even wood, most now are constructed from polyethylene or other plastics. Naturally resistant to contaminants, these polymers can be formulated to be flexible and resilient, allowing them to stand up well to temperature fluctuations, physical impacts, and other sources of stress.
Designs Well-Suited to Any Situation
While all provide a valuable form of basic functionality, any given plug will often be designed to serve more specific goals, as well. Some of the kinds most commonly seen and used in industry include:
- Ribbed: A ribbed plug will include several distinct flanges, each sized to securely stop a standard NPT taper. A plug of this kind will therefore often be especially versatile since it might be employed to fit any of a range of pipe sizes. Keeping an appropriate supply of these on hand will often make pipe protection duties simpler.
- Threaded: Where threaded pipe needs protection, it will often make sense to use a matching plug instead of relying on simple friction for a secure fit. Making use of threaded plugs will generally enable superior protection for the threads themselves.
- Butt Weld: Some pipes are meant to be joined end to end with an appropriate weld. This arrangement is especially common with heat exchangers, pumps, and other conventional kinds of equipment. A plug designed to seal such a pipe will normally both do so effectively and also completely cover the exposed cross-section.
- Socket Weld: In other cases, a pipe will be meant to protrude some distance into a socket provided on another part before a weld is laid down at the boundary. A plug designed to seal and protect such a pipe will cover an appropriate amount of the exposed surface.
- Sucker Rod: A sucker rod is a strong, threaded steel shaft employed to connect the visible portion of a reciprocating oil well to the pump underground. A plug designed for use with such an asset will be designed to provide a tight seal while being easy to install or remove in the field.
From environments where flexibility is at a premium, to the most particular of industry-specific applications, there are pipe plugs ready to live up to any set of requirements. Arranging for this highly important, yet basic form of protection often turns out to be an especially effective way of keeping pipe of any kind in prime condition and ready for immediate use.
Where to find the most durable and reliable plugs and pipe protection products to maintain your investment is easy! Look no further than MSI Pipe Protection Technologies; for decades, we’ve been providing top quality pipe protection products and service excellence to valued and satisfied customers. Call us, or shop our products online.