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PIPELINE ENGINEERING

Applying Science to the Art of Pigging

Welcome to Pipeline Engineering


As the Managing Director and a major shareholder in Pipeline Engineering I
am committed to ensuring that we meet and fulfil the needs of our customers,
our employees and our shareholders.
As technology in our industry advances the needs of our customers are
constantly changing. Every pipeline is unique and each pigging system has
to be carefully designed to ensure maximum efficiency and performance and
to closely match the needs of our customers
To meet this challenge it is my intention to ensure that Pipeline Engineering
provide the best and most cost effective pigging system solution. This means
making available to our customers the best design, material, construction and
service facilities.
To make this happen and on behalf of Pipeline Engineering I will ensure that:

Our employees are trained to achieve the highest


standards in the industry.

Our representatives and agents are fully familiar with


our products and trained in all technical and commercial
aspects of pigging systems.

Our manufacturing process and procedures


continuously improved to maximise efficiencies.

The most suitable materials available are used in the


manufacturing process.

The highest level of quality, safety and employee


relations are maintained.

are

My ultimate aim is to provide a situation where our customers get the most
cost-effective solution and our agents, employees and shareholders receive a
fair reward for their contribution.
With this in mind I believe we can all benefit from the success of Pipeline
Engineering and I look forward to working with you to achieve these goals.

Willy Watson
Managing Director

PIPELINE ENGINEERING
Applying Science to the Art of Pigging

PIPELINE ENGINEERING
Since our formation in 1969, we have been supplying pipeline related
products and services to the oil, gas and petrochemical industries throughout
the world.
By focusing on our users requirements we have acquired a reputation for
high quality products, reliable deliveries and a real concern for customer
needs. We are considered by many to be Europes leading manufacturer of
pigs, spheres, scraper traps, pressure vessels and assemblies.

OWNERSHIP
Pipeline Engineering is a private limited company registered in England.
Following a management buy out in 1997 the Company shareholders are as
follows:
Quester Venture Capital Trust managed by London based Quester Capital
Management Limited are one of the UK's leading independent venture capital
groups devoted to providing finance and support to smaller unquoted
companies. Quester have an impressive track record and hold 49% of the
equity of Pipeline Engineering. Their representative, the Chairman of the
Board of Directors, is Tom King.
Tom King graduated from the Imperial College, London University in Oil
Technology. Following which he has followed a successful career in the
international oil and gas industry, initially working for Shell and then moving
up to a senior management position in Gulf Oil Corporation during the 70's.
In 1982 he joined Burmah Oil Exploration Limited, initially as General
Manager of their UK Operation, later becoming Deputy Managing Director.
Following the sale of Burmah Oil & Gas assets, he was briefly President and
CEO of Trafalgar House Oil & Gas Inc in Houston, before joining LASMO In
1987. Following a period as Director of Exploration and Production, he
became their Director of New Business until he retired in 1998.
Kit Maunsell a non-executive director to the Company spent seven years in
the Brigade of Gurkhas which was followed by an MBA at Cranfield (where
he met Willy Watson). Kit has spent a career in the clothing, textile and
catering industries both in Europe and South East Asia. He is currently
responsible for the European activities of USI Ltd, a publicly quoted Hong
Kong company with interests in textiles, property, retailing, and a mobile
phone network. In addition he is a non-executive director of the Gieves
Group plc., and the Lee Cooper Group Ltd. Kit Maunsell holds 25% of the
equity.

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PIPELINE ENGINEERING
Applying Science to the Art of Pigging

Willy Watson Managing Director of the Company, is an engineering graduate


and a Cranfield MBA. He spent 15 years in the multinational BICC
engineering group mostly in international marketing and general
management. More recently he has been involved as managing director
turning around smaller engineering businesses. He joined PE in August
1996 and has returned the company to profits after a number of difficult
years. Willy Watson holds 26% of the equity.
With a strong balance sheet and shareholders that are actively involved in
the day to day running of the business, our customers, suppliers and
employees can be assured of a total commitment to this business.
COMPANY STRUCTURE
Pipeline Engineering is structured into five departments:

Quality Assurance
Sales and Marketing
Technical
Manufacturing
Administration and Accounts

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PIPELINE ENGINEERING
Applying Science to the Art of Pigging

LOCATION
We are located in the North East of England

Aberdeen

Airports

Teesside (25minutes)
Leeds (1 hour)
Newcastle (1 hour)

Railway

Darlington(15minutes)
London Edinburgh Main Line

Road

2 Minutes from A1
London Edinburgh Main Trunk Road

Edinburgh

Pipeline Engineering

London

To Edinburgh

A66

A1
Scotch Corner

Richmond

Pipeline Engineering
Catterick Garrison

IV

To London

PIPELINE ENGINEERING
Applying Science to the Art of Pigging

PRODUCT RANGE
Pipeline Engineering offers solutions to various pipeline problems through pig
and pigging related activities. Some of these areas are as follows:
Design and Manufacture of:

Pipeline Pigs and Spheres


Pig Traps
Trap Closure Doors
Pig And Sphere Signallers
Pipeline Isolation Systems
Sub-Sea and On-Shore Sphere Flow Tees suitable for
the passage of spheres and all intelligent pig vehicles
Sub-sea and On-Shore Piggable Wye Pieces

Project Management, Engineering and Fabrication of:

Choke and Kill Manifolds


Weld Test and Appraisal Manifold Systems
Automated Skid Mounted Launching And Receiving
Traps
High Specification Sphere Flow Tees (Crevice Corrosion
Free, Inconel Clad, Internal Stress Free Designs)
Flow Diverters
Skid Mounted Oil And Gas Separators

Pipeline Testing

Hydro Testing
Pigability Trials
Pipeline/Pigging Simulation

On-site Operations

Pigging Advisory Services


Joint Testing Services

All standard equipment can be modified or developed to meet the specific


needs of the client. All our products are designed, manufactured and
inspected through our BS EN ISO 9001:1994 accredited Quality Assurance
system.

PIPELINE ENGINEERING
Applying Science to the Art of Pigging

POLYURETHANE
Our sister company - Polyurethane Engineering - possesses vast technical
and practical experience in formulating and processing urethanes.
This means that we can produce urethanes for specific applications; and do
not have to rely on standard urethanes which may not be the best for a
critical job. Many pigging operations, which may have been impossible using
standard rubbers and urethanes, have been carried out successfully after
research has resulted in the development of a special urethane for that
particular application.
Physical and chemical characteristics, such as high tear strength, high
resilience, low compression set, high flex life, high heat resistance, high
solvent and hydrocarbon resistance, high abrasion resistance and low
hysteresis, have all been achieved through our research and development
programmes and have resulted in products of outstanding quality and
performance.
TRACK RECORD
Our client list covers the spectrum of major oil and gas producers and service
companies throughout the world, including:

Adnoc
Aker Engineering
Brown & Root
Chevron
Distrigaz
Elf Enterprise
Hyundai Industries
Kvaerner
Maersk
Nowsco Pipelines
National Iranian Oil
Penzoil
Phillips Petroleum
Shell
Saipem
Statoil
Texaco

Aramco
BP Petroleum Developments
British Gas Corporation
Conoco
Esso
Elf Petroleum Norge
Kanaghaz
Mobil North Sea
Marathon
National Iranian Gas Co
Pak Arab Refinery
Petroleum Development Oman
Rockwater
Snamprogetti
Stolt Comex Seaway
Stena Offshore
Total Oil Marine

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PIPELINE ENGINEERING
Applying Science to the Art of Pigging

FACILITIES
Pipeline Engineering operates from two factories situated on the same
industrial estate, covering a total area of 20,000 square feet.
Manufacturing is organised into three activities:

A machine shop which incorporates computer controlled CNC


machines

A polyurethane moulding plant with testing and research


laboratory.

A fabrication shop with metal forming, welding (with coded and


qualified welders) assembly and pressure test facilities.

Our manufacturing facilities are supported by fully computerised production,


administration, finance, sales & marketing. Design facilities are enhanced by
the use of the latest Computer Aided Design systems

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PIPELINE ENGINEERING
Applying Science to the Art of Pigging

PERSONNEL
Pipeline Engineering currently employs over 80 people, of which 60% are
directly involved in manufacture.
Key people you may wish to contact are:Managing Director

Willy Watson

Works Manager

Geoff Nathan

Financial Controller

Jo Benn

Product Quality Manager

John Spraggon

Projects Department Manager

Kevin Wilson

Sales Office Manager (Internal)

Fred Feenan

Export Sales Manager (Middle East)

Nigel Baxter

Export Sales Manager (South-East Asia)

Jason Tuer

Contracts Manager

John Fisher

.
Board of Directors

Sales

Technical

Production

Fabrication

Machining

Contract Sales

VIII

Quality

Polyurethane

Finance & Administration

PIPELINE ENGINEERING
Applying Science to the Art of Pigging

TECHNOLOGY
Pipeline Engineering is a market leader in the design and development of
pipeline pigging equipment being responsible for several industry firsts.
These have been achieved in association with our customers or as a
development in our own right. Notable amongst these developments are the
following:

The first inflatable single-moulding pipeline sphere for general


meter prover use, thereby overcoming the risk of splitting

Hyperbaric spheres for use in sub-sea completions, in cooperation with Shell Expro and Comex Diving Company

Patented composite pig cups to provide good sealing with


adequate support for large, heavy pigs travelling long
distances

Patented low maintenance, magnetically actuated pig and


sphere detector

Sub-sea pig and sphere detector

Flange weld testers to allow hydrostatic testing of the weld


zone

Magnetic pigs to collect ferrous debris

The first sub-sea sphere tee with inconel 625 weld overlay, all
operations performed in-house

Sub-sea tie-in sphere tee

Fire safe pig detectors

Corrosion crevice and stress free riser sphere tees

ROV Operable Pipeline Recovery Tools

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PIPELINE ENGINEERING
Applying Science to the Art of Pigging

PROJECT ENGINEERING
Whilst being known world-wide for supplying a complete range of pigging
products, we also have a department integral within our BS EN ISO
9001:1994 Quality network to provide a specialised product tailoring service.
Following 29 years of experience in the pipeline and pigging industry we have
an enormous amount of experience to draw upon when confronted with
special problems and needs. These highly qualified engineers working
together with experienced field personnel ensure a precise and practical
solution to even the most demanding of requirements. This means clients
can be sure that multi product packages can be designed, manufactured,
tested, commissioned and certified from a single source.
Our customers are closely involved in this process being constantly informed
of the progress on their individual job.
This is made possible in part by the use of sophisticated computerised
systems in the following areas

Vessel design programmes


Design drawing stations (CAD)
Graphics and laser printing
Production programming and machining (CNC)
Inventory control
Purchasing
Document control and origination
Quality Assurance Certification

This means that our customers can be confident that they will get the most
efficient, speedy and accurate service available.

PIPELINE ENGINEERING
Applying Science to the Art of Pigging

QUALITY CONTROL
Regular monitoring of materials and manufacturing output ensures that all of
our standard products are manufactured to the highest. This ensures that
operators can use our products over and over again and still be sure that
they will give excellent performance.
We have introduced a Quality Assurance system to monitor and control
materials, welding standards, assembly, testing and documentation. This
programme more than satisfies the requirements of the industries it serves.
QUALITY ASSURANCE
High quality standards and continued product reliability have resulted in
award of the following recognised quality certificates:
BS EN ISO 9001:1994
Part I (ISO 9001) incorporates specification for
design/development, production and servicing.
QUASCO INSPECTION NO 0973
QUASCO member companies include:
Amerada Hess
BP International
Conoco UK Ltd
Elf Caledonia Ltd
Hamilton Oil
Shell UK Materials

British Gas Corporation


Britoil plc
Esso Exploration UK
Enterprise Oil plc
Phillips Petroleum
Texaco North Sea UK Ltd

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Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE PIGS & PIGGING

CONTENTS - SECTION 1.0

1.1

1.2

Tools and Techniques

1.1.1

Description (What are Pigs?)

1.1.2

Function (What do pigs do?)

1.1.3

Description of Pigging Functions

1.1.4

Method (How do pigs work?)

1.1.5

Selection (How do I choose a pig?)

Pipeline Design Factors

1.2.1

Internal Conditions (Conditions inside the pipe)

1.2.2

Pipeline Specifications (Dimensions & materials)

1.2.3

Fittings & Equipment (Components fitted to the pipe)

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TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES
1.1.1

DESCRIPTION (What are Pigs?)

1.1.1.1

OVERVIEW

Pipeline Engineerings formidable reputation is based on the high specification and


quality of its pigs, traps and related equipment which have been used to maintain
pipelines world-wide for many years.
But, what is a pig. The name refers to a mechanical device that can be inserted into
a pipeline and used to carry out pre-defined tasks (depending upon its construction)
at critical points, or along the full length of the pipeline.
Pigs are driven by pressurising the pipeline behind them or, in most cases, inserting
them into the existing product flow, using specialised laundering equipment.
Whilst the potential applications for pigs are limited only by the imagination of the
specifier and the manufacturer, most tasks have now been defined and accepted
design characteristics are used by all the major suppliers.
Pigs and spheres must be suitably equipped to carry out a function or task. These
tasks are given names (cleaning, gauging, separation, drying, etc.) but the demands
of any individual task may require very different qualities from the pig depending upon
the stage in the development of the pipeline (pipeline development stage) at which
the pig is to be used (construction, pre-commissioning, commissioning, etc.)
Pipeline design factors influence the overall design of the pig and the types of seals
and fittings to be used.
1.1.1.2

PIG TYPES

The chart in fig. 1 shows the way in which pigs are generally classified:
Fig. 1
Pipeline Pigs
Utility Pigs

In-Line Inspection (ILI) Tools

Metal-Bodied Pigs
(Mandrel Pigs)

Solid Cast Pigs

Bi-Directional Uni-Directional
(Disc)
(Cup)
Standard

Foam Pigs

Hard Medium Soft

Spheres

Special Pigs

Solid Inflatable

Conical

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There are two types of pigs at the highest level:
1.
2.

In-line inspection tools (Intelligent Pigs)


Utility pigs

1.

In-Line Inspection Tools (I.L.I)

Because of the complexity of these pigs (which make extensive use of on-board
electronics, they fall outside the scope of this manual.
2.

Utility Pigs

Utility pigs include all categories except intelligent pigs. They can be divided into 5
sub-groups based on their construction characteristics:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Metal bodied pigs (often referred to as mandrel pigs) sealing components


axially mounted on a tubular or solid metal body.
Solid cast pigs single piece polyurethane casting usually dumb-bell shaped
Foam pigs moulded polyurethane foam, usually in 3 densities: soft; medium;
hard.
Spheres manufactured from cast polyurethane and various rubbers according
to task
Special pigs construction is similar to metal bodied pigs.

Specialised categories are allocated according to function (the task, or type of work
that the pigs will be required to perform). Although functions are referred to
collectively (cleaning, gauging, etc.) operating conditions will vary according to the
pipeline development stage. This will influence parameters such as component rates
of wear which will, in turn, effect the quantity of spares or complete pigs required to
complete the task.
1.1.1.3

CONSTRUCTION CHARACTERISTICS

Overview
The length of metal-bodies, solid cast and foam pigs is approximately 1 - 2 x
nominal diameter of the pipeline in which they will be operating. Special pigs may not
confirm to this formula due to other factors that may effect their design. Spheres are,
obviously, spherical.
There are 3 elements to be considered with regard to pig construction:

The pig body


The type of seal
The fittings

Only metal-bodied and special pigs have independent bodies onto which seals and
fittings can be attached. These bodies are usually made from carbon steel, although
polyurethane can be specified in some types of pig for improved flexibility.

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Solid cast pigs are constructed entirely from polyurethane whilst spheres can be mad
from several types of elastometric material:

Polyurethanes
Rubbers: Neoprene; Nitrile; Silicon; Viton Seals

There are 3 types of detachable seal:

Discs
Standard Cups
Conical Cups

Seals made from polyurethane are specified for most pigging functions it possesses
excellent physical characteristics which can be formulated for specific applications.
However, there are good reasons for specifying some rubbers, which are given later.
Careful formulation of urethanes allows characteristics such as harness, tear
strength, abrasion resistance, hydrocarbon and hydrolysis resistance, flex life and
compression set to be modified.
There are 2 types of polyurethane:

Ethers (Good hydrolysis resistance; high resilience; low compression set).


Esters (Better physical properties than ethers).

As a general rule, it is not always possible to specify and formulate a particular


urethane, unless all the operating conditions are taken into account. Although
urethanes work in applications where rubbers could not, they must be carefully
selected, especially for very critical tasks.
Pipeline Engineering was one of the first companies to use polyurethane for pig seals
in the late 1960s. The company developed its own polyurethane, known as
Omnithane that was very successful and is still being specified by clients.
However, the drive for technical excellence led to the development of Super
Omnithane an ester/MDI/diol system and Hyper Omnithane a TDI/amine system.
These formulations are used for the seals of some of the most durable pigs in use
today.
Fittings
Fittings are those items other than seals which can be attached and removed from
the pig body; these include: brushes; scraper blades; plough blades; transmitter
housings; gauging plates; magnets and any item not usually found on a standard pig.
1.1.1.4

PIG CHARACTERISTICS BY TYPE

Metal-Bodied Pigs
This is the only pig type in which the 3 construction elements can be identified
separately. This form of construction allows the specifier to develop a pig that
accurately meets the demands of the task.

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The pig body is manufactured from steel tube in pigs 8 and above and a steel bar in
pigs below 8. Other materials, including aluminium and polyurethane, are also used.
Flanges are welded to the body at both ends of the pig for seals and spacers; studs
and pads are provided for attachment of fittings.
These pigs incorporate discs, standard cups and conical cups, manufactured
primarily from polyurethane, although discs can also be supplied in several types of
rubber, as previously described. The quantity and type of seal depends upon the
pigging function and operating conditions.
Metal-bodies pigs allow the greatest range of fittings to be attached. This range
covers fittings of all types and includes brushes, scrapers, plough blades, transmitted
housings, gauging plates, magnets and many other types necessary for specific
tasks.
Solid Cast Pigs
These pigs are made from a single polyurethane casting. Therefore, the sealing
elements are not interchangeable or replaceable. All seals are disc-type and
comprise 4 sealing and 2 support discs. They are designed, primarily, for small-bore
pipelines of approximately 2 to 12 nominal diameter.
The one-piece construction method limits the choice of fittings. However, brushes,
gauging plates and magnets (for tracking and location purposes) can be fitted to this
type of pig.
Foam Pigs
Foam pigs are often specified in similar circumstances to metal-bodies pigs.
However, they employ very different design characteristics. The pigs are normally
bullet shaped and moulded from open cell polyurethane foam which is available in
several densities (designated soft; medium; hard). External coats are applied to
increase the pigs effectiveness in specified operating conditions.
They have no independent sealing elements. The pig is compressed in the pipeline
by the pressure and forced against the pipe wall to form a seal.
The density of the pig is matched to the pigging function and operating conditions.
Hard pigs are tougher and last longer; soft pigs are more commonly known as
swabs and are used for drying and other specialised tasks.
A thin polyurethane coating is often applied to bare pigs to help increase the
efficiency of the pig with respect to its function: cross-cross, spiral or fully coated. A
coating of polyurethane is also applied to the base (the flat end) of most bar pigs.
Although there are many options for foam pigs, there are relatively few fittings.
Specialisation is controlled at the moulding stage when options are built-in: gritted
bands, brushes, jetting holes, magnet inserts (for tracking and location), transmitted
cavities, ropes, studs for gauging plates, stud inserts for scraping are some of the
options available. Some fittings are removable and include magnets, gauging plates,
transmitters and studs for scraping.

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Spheres
The spherical elastomeric body of a sphere forms a single-line seal in the pipe.
Therefore, there are no independent sealing elements to consider. Spheres do not
accept fittings (with the exception of some spheres which have magnets cast into
them for tracking and location purposes).
There are 2 types of sphere (with typical uses given):

Solid automated pigging programmes; batching; condensate removal


Inflatable meter proving; batching; condensate removal

Once the type has been decided, the characteristics of the pig are dependent upon
the formulation of the material from which the spheres are constructed. This will
influence properties such as sealing efficiency, rate of wear, operating temperature
limits and chemical resistance.
Inflatable spheres have a removable valve and are usually filled with water or a
water/glycol mixture. Meter proving spheres are produced in hardnesses of 65-70
Shore A while, for most other operational purposes, spheres tend to be specified with
hardnesses of approximately 65 75 Shore A.
Special Pigs
Special pigs define those pigs usually metal-bodies which have to be significantly
modified (relative to the ideal standard in terms of dimensions and seal
configurations) in order to pass through the limitations imposed by the pipeline design
factors which exist for that specific pigging application.
Special pigs include:

Dual diameter pigs


Articulated pigs
High differential pigs

By definition, special pigs must cope with increased problems imposed by the
pipeline design factors. Therefore, their design is much more critical. Body, seals
and fittings may use standard components, but it is much more likely that they will
include characteristics which will require detailed information on all aspects of the
pipeline and its design factors.

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1.1.2

FUNCTION (What Do Pigs Do?)

1.1.2.1

OVERVIEW

Pigs must first be selected to carry out a specific function (task). This results in a pig
which can generally be described by its function type. e.g cleaning pig, gauging pig,
de-watering pig (section 1.4.0 explains this principle in more detail). For now, the
scope of pigging functions is set out as follows:
1.1.2.2

PIGGING FUNCTIONS

As a result of the experience gained in pigging operations world-wide, most functions


are now pre-defined and can be found somewhere within the following list:

Debris removal
Cleaning
Gauging
Filling
De-watering
Drying
Separation (batching)
Condensate removal
Meter proving
Product displacement
Product conversion
Gel pigging
Coating application

These pre-defined functions all rely on one (or a combination of) the following
aspects of the pigs design characteristics (the ability(s) required to complete the task
successfully):

Ability to SEAL
Ability to CLEAN
Ability to GAUGE
Ability to ABSORB
Ability to RETAIN PRODUCTS

Some of the characteristics may need to be enhanced in order to provide the best pig
for the task (e.g more or improved seals and fittings may be required). All will be
influenced by the pipeline development stage.

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1.1.2.3

PIPELINE DEVELOPMENT STAGE

Pigging function depends upon the stage in the operational life of a pipeline at which
the pig must carry out its task. Most stages in the development of a pipeline can be
found in the following list:

Construction
Pre-commissioning (including hydrostatic testing)
Commissioning
On-line operations
Inspection
Maintenance and repair
Renovation and rehabilitation
Decommissioning

Some pre-defined functions can take place at several stages in the development of
the pipeline. However, pigs designed to carry out tasks at one stage of pipeline
development may not possess features that are suitable to enable them to carry out
the same task at other stages. This is due to a combination of the following factors:

Pigging distance
Frictional resistance of the materials in contact
Lubrication
Pigging speeds

These factors are dealt with later when we consider pipeline design factors and the
operating conditions that apply. However, for now we can consider what is involved
in each of the pigging functions previously listed.
1.1.2.4

DESCRIPTIONS OF PIGGING FUNCTIONS

1.1.3.1

DEBRIS REMOVAL

Debris removal is generally the first operation to be considered. It occurs at the


construction stage and involved the clearance of the constructors waste, rocks, sand,
dead animals, etc. These items must be removed prior to cleaning and gauging
operations at the pre-commissioning stage. This particular task is extremely
demanding and requires a robust, well specified pig. Bi-directional pigs either foam
or metal-bodied are required as it may be necessary to reverse them if they
become stuck.
The nature of the operation varies depending on whether it is carried our on land of
offshore/sub-sea. Sub-sea operations are more complex and may involve the use of
lay-down heads with the pigs being pre-loaded for operations after the line is tiedin. Debris removal onshore usually involves pigging with compressed air between
test-ends (temporary pig traps).

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Compressed air operations impose several conditions on the pig no lubrication is
available and pigging occurs in a series of high speed excursions between localised
restrictions. The pig stops and the pressure builds until there is sufficient energy to
launch the pig past the obstacle. As the pig moves forward rapidly, the pressure is
dissipated until the pig reaches the next restriction, causing the process to be
repeated.
1.1.3.2

CLEANING

The specification of cleaning pigs depends upon the pipeline development stage at
which cleaning is required usually at one of the following:

Pre-commissioning
On-line operations
Inspection
Renovation and rehabilitation
Decommissioning

Cleaning at each stage imposes a different set of demands on the pig. This could,
but would not automatically, require variations in pig design. There are 2 main
requirements for cleaning irrespective of the type of pig.
1.
2.

Pigs must be fitted with cleaning devices brushes (circular or spring mounted;
scrapers; ploughs.
By-pass must be introduced across the pig and, in particular, the brushes.

Cleaning operations are usually carried out by either metal-bodied or foam pigs. Both
have advantages, although metal-bodied pigs can be more readily adapted to suit
specific conditions.
Liquid flows improve cleaning efficiency by allowing the pig to maintain a constant
velocity. Unfortunately, a liquid flow is not always available (at the construction
stage, for example). Cleaning then has to be done with compressed air, where the
efficiency is diminished as the pig speed cannot be easily controlled.
Cleaning included the removal of scale (mill scale, silica, coke, calcium) which often
requires a much more aggressive pig. Conversely, pigs can be fitted with nylon
brushes for cleaning pipes that are internally lined. Foam pigs are often used for this
task hard foam pigs have inserts for studs integrally moulded into the pig body.
These studs are made from steel and are available in several types to suit the
operating conditions. Metal-bodied pigs are available with steel scraped blades and
special pigs (such as the pin-wheel pig) have also been developed for this purpose.
Old pipelines, or those which have never previously peen pigged, require a special
approach. A progressive pigging programme must be carried out to avoid the risk of
a more robust pig becoming stuck in a pipeline which cannot be accurately evaluated.
This approach involves the step-by-step use of progressively harder, more
aggressive foam pigs, run until the pipeline is considered acceptable for metal-bodies
pigs to be used.

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1.1.3.3

GAUGING

Gauging is commonly carried out at the following stages:

Construction
Maintenance and repair
Decommissioning

It is necessary for 2 reasons:

To check that there are no unintended intrusions into the Pipeline Engineering
To confirm that the ovality of the pipeline is within acceptable limits (tolerances)

Metal-bodied pigs (uni-directional or bi-directional) are fitted with a circular aluminium


gauging plate (steel plates can also be used), which is usually machines to 95% of
the smallest internal pipeline diameter. Foam pigs can also be adapted to accept
gauging plates but they are not often used for this purpose.
At the construction stage, gauging operations are usually conducted with compressed
air. As with all other operations using compressed air as the pigging medium, it is
extremely dangerous and less effective.
1.1.3.4

FILLING

Filling is carried out at the following stages:


1.
2.

Pre-commissioning
Commissioning

1.

Pre-Commissioning

Filling is carried out in order to evacuate air and fill the line with a solid column of
water prior to hydrostatic testing. The most important characteristic required is the
ability of the pig to maintain an effective seal against the pipe wall in order to
minimise leakage. For this reason metal-bodied bi-directional pigs using multiple
sealing discs are specified.
Pigs are run in front of the water column, evacuating the air from the pipeline that is
vented at the receiver. It is extremely important that all pipeline design factors that
apply are considered in order to produce a pig which is capable of travelling through
the pipeline system successfully.
2.

Commissioning

Filling is carried our in order to bring the pipeline to the point of operation when it
has been filled with product. Several metal-bodied, disc-type pigs are required as
filling involves slugs of other liquids e.g methanol, glycol, held between pigs
preceding the pipeline product.
Commissioning is complex and required
considerable expertise.

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1.1.3.5

DE-WATERING

After hydrostatic testing the water must be removed from the pipeline prior to drying
and subsequent commissioning. This is done by a series of pigs pushed through the
pipeline using compressed air.
The same qualities are required for de-watering as for filling the most important
characteristic again being the ability to maintain an effective seal in order to minimise
leakage. All relevant pipeline design factors should be considered.
Soft foam pigs (swabs) are often run after de-watering to swab away any water
remaining on the pipe walls, or which has accumulated at low points in the pipeline.
1.1.3.6

DRYING

In on-shore pipelines, foam swabs are pigged with extremely dry compressed air (90F atmospheric dew point temperature). Together with pigs and the air pick up the
remaining water leaving behind a dry pipeline. However, it takes more than one
swab to do this and is, of course, dependent on the length of the pipeline. Several
hundred swabs may be required to fully dry a pipeline.
After the pipeline is dry, brush pigs must be run to remove the rust, mill scale and any
deposits that have settled out from the hydrostatic test. Again, several hundred
swabs may be required to remove the material loosened by the brush pigs. These
swabs will then be run until the air reaches a specified dewpoint.
1.1.3.7

SEPARATION (BATCHING)

Batching is a technique used during on-line operations, primarily on multi-product


pipelines that transport different products in the same line at the same time.
In order to minimise interface mixing (caused when two products being transported
in the same line come into contact with each other), the pig has to be inserted into the
pipeline at exactly the right time. This task can be automated by using spheres preloaded into magazines. They can then be automatically inserted into the pipeline
when required.
1.1.3.8

CONDENSATE REMOVAL

Condensate removal is a constant activity during on-line operations in untreated gas


lines. It settles out in low spots in the pipeline, reducing efficiency. As it builds up,
the condensate is pushed along the line by the flow until it reaches the receiver. The
resulting slug can be so large that it frequently exceeds the capacity of the slug
catcher set up to receive it.
Sphering provides the ideal solution.
Automatic launching from pre-loaded
magazines allows un-manned pigging activity over extended periods. Spheres do not
have to seal in the pipe their purpose is to move the condensate into the slug
catcher at the receiver.

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1.1.3.9

METER PROVING

Meter proving describes the procedure for calibrating flow meters (e.g turbine and
positive displacement meters) in which pigs are used to batch a known volume of
product through the meter. This volume is then compared against the volume
indicated by the meter.
Early meter provers were simply a measured mile of pipe in which batching pigs
were used to push the product through the meter in one direction only. When the
pigs had completed the task they were transported back to the launcher to be used
again. To save on transportation and handling costs, bi-directional pigs began to be
used as these pigs could be returned simply by reversing the flow of the pipeline.
The next development saw spheres used in a continuous pipeline loop with an
interchange valve closing the top from the bottom. These interchange valves
subsequently proved to be inadequate and bi-directional meter provers became
standard.
In their simplest forms, meter provers consist of an internally coated pipe containing
an inflatable sphere. Electrical pig signallers and a scraper trap (for launching and
receiving spheres) are installed at each end of the pipe. The volume of product
contained in the pipe between the detectors is accurately calibrated against certified
columetric tanks and the meter to be proved s connected in series with the meter
prover system.
Outputs from both signallers and the flow meter are connected to a counter. When
the pig trips signaller 1, pulses from the flow meter are counted. When the pig trips
counter 2, counting stops and the count is recorded. The signal count is compared
against the known volume to obtain a factor which can then be used to calibrate the
meter.
Only inflatable spheres with a hardness of between 65 - 70 Shore A are specified
for use in meter prover loops.
1.1.3.10

PLUGGING

Plugging is carried out during the maintenance and repair phase of a pipelines life.
The plug is most commonly a modified metal-bodied, bi-directional, disc-type pig in
which the sealing elements not only seal but cause the pig to be an extremely tight fit
in the pipeline.
Depending upon the diameter of the pig, pressures of up to 8 bar may be required to
move it in the pipeline higher pressures are required to reverse the pig and flip the
discs.
Plugging is often carried out in trains where the pressure that a single pig can
withstand s cumulative and which therefore allows a series of pigs to withstand
greater differential pressures.

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1.1.3.11

PRODUCT DISPLACEMENT

The same qualities are required for displacement as for filling and de-watering duties.
Product displacement is carried out whenever the pipeline contents have to be
evacuated, particularly at the decommissioning stage.
1.1.3.12

PRODUCT CONVERSION

This involves sterilising the pipeline prior to running other products which may
become contaminated. Pigs used for this purpose require similar quantities to pigs
used for filling and de-watering duties.
1.1.3.13

GEL PIGGING

This technique does not involve utility pigs. A jelly-like substance is either injected
directly into the pipeline or moulded into cylindrical pigs. The jelly picks up and
holds within it deposits found in the pipeline. It is bio-degradable and can be broken
up under pressure.
1.1.3.14

COATING APPLICATION

There are 2 pigging phases involved in the application of in situ pipeline coatings:
1
2

Cleaning
Coating application

1.

Cleaning

Cleaning prior to coating application requires as much debris to be removed from the
pipe wall as possible. Therefore, it is usually done using methods other than cleaning
pigs. e.g: grit blasting techniques). Pigs are then used to remove loosened deposits
from the pipeline.

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1.1.4

METHOD (How Do Pigs Work?)

1.1.4.1

PROPULSION METHODS

Pigs travel through the pipeline under pressure from the pigging medium being
pumped behind them. This medium takes on of two forms:
1
2

Gas
Liquid

Whatever the medium is gas or liquid has a dramatic effect on operational pigging
characteristics, especially in terms of the pigs velocity profile.
Irrespective of the type of pigging medium, pig velocity has a profound effect on
pigging efficiency. Pigs are designed to work most efficiently within a limited velocity
range which may be difficult to achieve, depending upon the pigging medium or other
factors, such as the ability to regulate existing product flow rates.
1.1.4.2

PIGGING WITH A GAS

A stationary pig requires increased pressure to start it moving. Once this pressure is
reached, the pig moves forward very quickly as the pressure begins to decrease
behind it. Eventually the pig comes into contact with an obstruction, such as a weld
bead, the pressure is insufficient to keep it moving forward and the pig stops. The
cycle then begins again.
This velocity profile is typical when pigging with gasses, due to their ability to be
compressed. Once the pig begins to move this energy is released very rapidly. Pigs
have been measured at speeds in excess of 100mph and have been know to burst
out of thin walled pipes at bends in the pipeline.
Aside from the safety aspects, pigging in this manner is inefficient, increases wear on
the pig seals and brushes (if used) and is generally more destructive to the pig.
1.1.4.3

PIGGING WITH A LIQUID

This method is much more efficient. Velocities can be maintained, within limits. They
are lower and controllable at the pump. Seal wear rates are also reduced as the
product or pigging medium acts as a lubricant.
The pressure required to move a pig depends upon a number of factors:

The pressure in front of the pig


Condition of the pipe wall surface
Pressure exerted by the seals on the pipe wall (the fit of the pig in the pipe)
The presence of a lubricant

Pigs move in the pipeline under the influence of the differential pressure across
them. That is to say, the pressure behind the pig (P1) minus the pressure in front of
the pig (P2). This differential pressure (delta P) gives the pig a velocity. (i.e. It gives
the pig both speed and direction). Obviously if P1 is less than P2 the pig will move
backwards which is only of benefit when using bi-directional pigs (refer to
illustrations on page 14).
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The differential pressure contributes to the efficiency of pigging operations in the
following ways:

It improves sealing efficiency by forcing the seals against the pipe wall, making
them act like non-return valves.
It is used as by-pass in cleaning operations

1.1.4.4

BENEFITS OF BY-PASS

By-Pass is the controlled flow of pigging medium, gas or liquid, through and/or past
the pig. It has two effects:

It reduces the pressure (P1) behind the pig and hence the differential pressure
(delta P) across the pig variations in the differential pressure effects the speed
of the pig. The pig slows down as the differential pressure decreases.

It provides a very necessary jetting action which increases the efficiency of


cleaning pigs by preventing brushes from becoming blocked with loosened
deposits and holding these deposits in suspension in front of the pig rather than
allowing them to form into a solid slug. These slugs are difficult to deal with at
the receiver but, more importantly, may cause the pig to become stuck.

Studies have shown that it is better to drive the pig in the pipe using the front seals
only, the rear seals act as support. Pluggable by-pass ports are built into the pig
body for this purpose and allow the pressure to flow through the pig body and be
directed into the space between the two sets of seals.
More ports can be added to create flowpath right through the pig. This reduces the
pressure P1 behind the pig and the differential pressure (delta P) across the pig.
Consequently, the pig can be driven at slower speeds in pipelines with fixed flow
rates.
The relative importance of by-pass depends on the task which the pig has been
designed to perform. These tasks can be divided into 2 groups:
1.
2.

Sealing
Cleaning

1.

Sealing

If the pig is used for operations where its ability to seal in the pipe is most important
(e.g filling, de-watering) then the principle benefit of by-pass is to allow the pig to be
driven from the front set of seals. However, in addition, it is thought that by-pass may
help prevent the formation of slugs of solids building up in the liquid which the pig
would then tend to ride over and leave behind in the pipeline.

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2.

Cleaning

During cleaning operations, especially was removal, the deposits on the pipe wall
very quickly build up in the brush reducing its effectiveness. To prevent this
happening, limited by-pass can be used to create a flow path of pipeline product
through and around the brushes. This tends to prevent the deposits removed from
the pipe wall from building up in the brush by holding them in suspension within the
product flow created by the by-pass.
Pigs are often fitted with jetting nozzles (also known as spider noses) which are
positioned in front of the leading set of seals. The nozzle jets are directed back
towards the leading discs or brushes (depending on the pig type) and again are used
to create a flow of product that is designed to hold in suspension any deposits
removed from the pipe wall.

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1.1.5 SELECTION (How Do I Chose A Pig?)
1.1.5.1

OVERVIEW

There are 3 fundamental questions to ask when selecting the appropriate type of pig:
1. What is the function, of task of, the pig?
2. At what state in pipeline development will the task be performed
3. Which pipeline design factors are relevant and to what extent will they influence
pig design
This approach will establish:
1. The most suitable type of pig and consequent arrangement of body, seals and
fittings
2. The extent of any modifications and additions to the body, seals and fitting of
standard pigs (resulting in the basis of a design or a special pig).
All pre-defined tasks will be carried our by one of the following 5 types of pig:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Metal-bodied pigs
Solid cast pigs
Foam pigs
Spheres
Special pigs

The construction characteristics of each type of pig influences its suitability for a
particular task. Some types (metal-bodied and foam) include within their range pigs
suitable for most tasks while others (solid cast and spheres) are themselves
specialised and are limited in the number of options they can offer. Special pigs are
those pigs which have had their body and seal configurations significantly modified as
a result of pipeline design factors or which belong to no pre-defined category.
In order to carry out the function for which they were designed, many pigs are
equipped with fittings of some type. The range of fittings, and hence the range of
tasks, are limited by the type of pig specified.
Metal-bodied pigs, other than those specified solely for their sealing qualities, may
incorporate any of the fittings listed below:

Blades
Brushes
Scrapers
Magnets
Gauging plates
Jetting nozzles
Transmitters

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The way in which some fittings are mounted will influence the pigging direction. The
following table refers to those fittings which do influence the pigging direction:
Uni-Directional

Bi-Directional

Brushes

U-spring mounted
Cantilever Mounted

Circular
Arch-spring mounted

Blades

U-spring mounted
Cantilever Mounted

Arch-spring mounted

Scrapers

U-spring mounted
Cantilever Mounted

Arch-spring mounted

Each pig type incorporated very different design characteristics which are examined
in more detail below:
1.1.5.2

METAL-BODIED PIGS

Metal-bodied pigs are divided into 2 groups according to their directional ability within
the pipeline. This can be selected or, more likely, will be imposed by the operating
conditions;

Uni-directional pigs travel through the pipeline in one direction only


Bi-directional pigs travel through the pipeline in either direction

The directional ability of a metal-bodied pig depends upon 2 factors

Seal type
Fittings

Seal Type
There are 3 types of seal which are further classified by their suitability for use with
regard to pigging direction:

Discs bi-directional
Standard cups uni-directional
Conical cups uni-directional

Discs
Discs increase the scope of the pig to be used for a more diverse range of
applications. They allow it to be reversed, they provide a scraping/swabbing action
and are lighter and cheaper. However, they wear more quickly, are more prone to
damage and are less able to pass obstructions and reductions in the pipeline than
conical cups.

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Cups

Standard cost effective design


Conical greater flexibility of use

Selection depends on the pipeline design factors detailed in section 2.0.0. However,
conical cups do offer one particular advantage over standard cups an increased
ability to pass restrictions in the pipeline (up to 20% of minimum pipeline internal
diameter compared to 5% with standard cups).
Other Factors
After ensuring that the pig will travel through the pipeline, selection is based on the
pigging function, particularly when the function relies on the qualities of the seal (e.g.
de-watering, filling, pigging long distances)
Unless operating conditions dictate otherwise, the pig body will be constructed
relative to the diameter and length of the pig. This ratio is as follows and varies
between pig types it does not include spheres:
Length of pig = nominal pipe diameter x n
(The value of n varies between approximately 1.4 2.0 according to pig type)

Fittings will then be sized and configured to match the pigging function. All of the
fittings listed earlier in this section are available for selection for use with metalbodied pigs.
1.1.5.3

SOLID CAST PIGS

These pigs have limited application as they cannot be readily adapted to suit complex
operating conditions. They are often used in the food process industry because they
can be manufactured from a single piece of polyurethane that complies with food
hygiene standards. They are typically supplied in diameters from 2 to 12 and the
integrally moulded disc seals offer low leakage and high scraping efficiency
compared with spheres. They are bi-directional and can have a limited range of
brushes, gauging plates and magnets fitted (for tracking and location).

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1.1.5.4

FOAM PIGS

Foam pigs are initially selected according to pigging functions the following types
are commonly available for the task specified:

Bare swabbing displacement


Fully polyurethane coated displacement
Criss-cross polyurethane coated displacement/light cleaning
Wire brush spiral pattern cleaning
Wire brush fully covered cleaning (long run)
Silicon gritted heavy cleaning/scale removal

The characteristics of foam pigs are more closely matched to the task by specifying
the density of the open cell polyurethane foam:

Soft approximately 2lb/ft3


Medium approximately 5lb/ft3
Hard approximately 8lb/ft3

Hard foam pigs assist aggressive cleaning whilst Soft foam pigs improve swabbing
characteristics.
Foam pigs are often specified as an alternative to metal-bodies pigs as they have
several advantages.

They are relatively cheap


They can pass through tight bends (ID depending on density and type)
They are easier to handle than comparable metal-bodied pigs
Softer, non-brush types do not require specialised launching facilities
Swabs can be used for testing blockages in a pipeline (if they become stuck they
will disintegrate under increased pressure)
As a product group, they form the basis of a progressive pigging programme ( a
vital approach for pipelines which have never been pigged previously).

Not all foam pigs are bi-directional but most can be suitably adapted at the design
stage. Several types of fitting are available:

Jetting holes
Magnet inserts
Transmitter cavities (for tracking and location)
Ropes for pulling (or being pulled)
Studs for gauging plates
Stud inserts for scraping

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1.1.5.5.

SPHERES

Spheres play a vital role in pigging operation due, particularly, to their shape. It
allows them to be pre-loaded into launcher magazines and used to carry out
automated pigging operations (e.g. batching, condensate removal in untreated gas
lines) where the launching facilities are un-manned for long periods.
There are 2 types of sphere:

Solid
Inflatable

Solid spheres can be made from various elastomer materials:

Polyurethane
Nitrile rubber
Neoprene rubber

Solid spheres are used for batching and condensate removal from unmanned
launching stations
Inflatable spheres made from polyurethane are always specified for use in meter
prover loops because the sphere can be precisely inflated to give a constant seal as
the sphere wears with use. Meter prover spheres are softer than standard spheres
(65-70 Shore A compared to 70 75 Shore A for standard spheres). Making the
sphere softer improves the quality of the seal.
Rubbers such at nitrile and neoprene allow spheres made of the materials to be used
within a much greater temperature range than is available with spheres made from
the standard formulations of polyurethane. However, polyurethane formulations do
exist which greatly improve the spheres ability to operate in temperatures up to
150C
The best polyurethane spheres are of seamless construction which, although it is
more technically difficult to achieve and requires significant investment by the
manufacturer, results in a sphere of much higher quality.
Due to their construction and sealing characteristics, spheres cannot accept fittings
however, some spheres do have magnets incorporated during the moulding process
for tracking and location purposes.

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1.1.5.5

SPECIAL PIGS

If standard pigs must be modified to such an extent that they no longer comply with
an ideal standard model in order to perform a function, then a special pig must be
designed.
This usually involves changing the dimensions of a pig relative to the nominal pipeline
diameter. The body dimensions may be changed or constructed in two modules
(articulated), and the fittings and seals may also be suitably adapted. In some
instances, the dimensions of the pig remain unchanged with modifications being
confined to altering the specification of the materials used in the construction of the
pig.
Pigs designed for one-off tasks (tasks for which there is unlikely to be any further
demand) can also be classified as special pigs.

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PIPELINE DESIGN FACTORS
1.2.1

INTERNAL CONDITIONS (What Are Conditions Inside the Pipe?)

This section considers the potential problems posed by factors such as the chemical
compatibility of the pipeline product with the materials used in the construction of the
pig. It also considers the contributory effects of temperature, pressure, flow and
pipeline deposits on the pig and its components.
1.2.1.1.

PIPELINE PRODUCTS

Most pipelines carry one or more of the products listed below:

Hydrocarbons
Petrochemicals
Chemicals
Water
Food Products
Gases

Each of these product groups has an effect on polyurethanes and rubbers to a


greater or lesser extent. (Pig body materials are also effected by pipeline product).
The typical effect of chemical incompatibility with polyurethanes and rubber leads to
blistering, cracking and chemical breakdown (Material is described as having a
cheese-like consistency).
Whilst it is extremely important to select a material which has good compatibility with
the pipeline product, a compromise will almost certainly have to be made because
the most compatible material with the product is unlikely to have the necessary
physical characteristics.
Most rubbers can be moulded into spheres or supplied in sheet form (hence can be
supplied as discs) but they cannot be economically moulded into more complex cup
shapes. Therefore, the choice of seal materials may have great effect on the overall
pig design.
1.2.1.2

TEMPERATURE

Internal pipe temperatures primarily effect elastomeric components and, in particular,


pig seals. Temperature increases the effect that product incompatibility has on
elastomeric components. Elastomers, in this instance rubbers and polyurethanes,
operate most effectively within specified limits. These limits are much wider in
rubbers (Nitrile, Silicon, Neoprene, Viton) than they are in polyurethanes, which have
relatively low upper operating limits.
In almost all instances, rubbers withstand high temperatures better than
polyurethanes but have significantly inferior physical characteristics, resulting in
inferior wear rates, material strength, etc.

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1.2.1.3

PRESSURE

Pressure does not have a significant effect on the construction of utility pigs which
contain no sealed units. In-Line (I.L.I) pigs do have sealed units and pipeline
pressure has a much more significant effect on this type of equipment.
The general effect of pressure is to move the pig in the pipeline. If this movement is
smooth and constant then pigging will be much more efficient. In pipelines
transporting liquids, this characteristic movement is not difficult to achieve. However,
it is much more difficult in gas pipelines or where pigging is being carried out using
compressed air.
Minimum pressure levels need to be achieved in order to keep pigs moving past
obstacles (typically weld beads) without stopping. IF a pig does stop, pressure will
increase until it is sufficient to launch the pig past the obstacle. Initial acceleration will
be rapid and overall velocity will be high with consequent safety implications, possible
damage to pipelines and fittings and much lower pigging efficiency. These problems
can be relieved by pressurising the pipeline ahead of the pig and venting at the
receiver.
Recommended minimum pigging pressures are often requested but are not easy to
supply as they are a compound of many factors: function, pipeline, condition,
deposit, lubricant, seal material and type, liquid or gas pigging.
1.2.1.4

PRODUCT FLOW

Maximum pigging efficiency id dependent upon a constant product flow that, by


definition, is usually only available in on-stream applications. There are guidelines
giving approximate pigging speeds for different types of pig however, the speed is
dependent on the velocity of the product flow and may not be changeable.
The main consideration is t move the pig smoothly at a constant speed through the
pipeline. Pigging in gas lines is less efficient and moor likely to result in speed
excursions. This is more destructive to the pigs as the higher speeds and more
abrasive conditions cause greater wear on the pig components. Increased speed
also causes a decreased pressure differential across the pig which, in turn, results in
decreased sealing efficiency.
1.2.1.5

DEPOSITS

The main types of deposit are as follows:

Condensate (untreated gas lines)


Water (most lines)
Waxes (oil lines)
Scale
Mineral deposits
Rust

The type of deposit to be removed influences the type of seal and cleaning elements
required for carrying out the work most effectively.

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Condensates and water are swabbed our using pigs with seal discs, spheres or foam
pigs.
Polyurethane ploughs and scrapers are recommended for removing soft and hard
waxes respectively. Scale and mineral deposits often have to be removed using
foam stud pigs to break up the hard scale initially then followed using cleaning pigs
equipped with brushes.
Rust (corrosion) can be removed using brush-equipped cleaning pigs, possibly with
magnets fitted to pick up the ferrous debris. Foam pigs gritted with silicon carbide
can be used to burnish the pipeline, which will improve frictional losses and which, in
turn, lead to increased pipeline output.

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1.2.2

PIPELINE SPECIFICATIONS (What Are the Pipeline Dimensions and


Materials?)

1.2.2.1

PIPELINE LENGTH

It is not the overall pipeline length that is of interest but the maximum pigging
distance the distance between launching and receiving stations. This factor
influences the wear rate of the seals along with several other factors:

Pipe wall condition


Pipe wall lining (if any)
Product compatibility
Seal material
Pigging medium
Presence of lubricant
Pigging speed

Throughout the world, pigging distances range from a few metres to hundreds of
kilometres. Whilst the pig design for the two extremes may possibly involve similar
characteristics, it is essential that, along with the factors mentioned above, the
maximum pigging distance is specified.
1.2.2.2

PIPELINE DIAMETER

Most pipelines have a constant external diameter while their wall thickness changes
to accommodate design pressure, etc. This variation in wall thickness can greatly
effect the function of the pig, whether it is batching, cleaning or gauging. At the
extremes, the variation in wall thickness is equivalent to specifying a dual diameter
pig and many standard pigs would possibly become stuck in the narrower bores.
The other aspect relating to pipeline diameter is the tolerance on ovality, particularly
important to consider when gauging.
1.2.2.3

MULTIPLE PIPELINE DIAMETERS

Pipeline systems can include pipes of two or more nominal diameters (say 8 and 10
for example). This can result in a very significant narrowing of the internal diameter
of the pipe. In order to overcome this problem, dual-diameter pigs are available
which are usually designed to cope with two changes in pipe diameter (e.g. 10 to
8; 12 to 10).
Ideally, pigging should be carried out from the large diameter into the small diameter
pipe. To assist the pig, the transition from diameter to diameter should be smooth
and gradual. Reducers should be concentric with a taper no steeper than 1:5.

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1.2.2.4

PIPELINE MATERIALS

Pipelines are made from many different materials:

Steel, including stainless steel.


Cast iron
Wrought iron
Cement
Reinforced concrete
Plastic

Whilst there are many reasons for selection of the line pipe, compatibility with the
proposed product is extremely important. If the product is particularly aggressive, the
pipe can be lined (this also improves the flow characteristics of the product in the
pipe.
1.2.2.5

INTERNAL LININGS

Linings minimise corrosion of the pipe walls and improve the flow characteristics of
the product. They can be applied when the pipe is constructed or after it has been
laid.
There are several types of lining:

Epoxy linings
Concrete linings
Plastic lining (sleeve)

Pigs must be carefully chosen for use in lined pipe all points of contact with the pipe
(brushes, seals) should be constructed from non-metallic materials (polyurethane,
nylon, etc.).
1.2.2.6

EXTERNAL COATINGS

External coatings do not directly influence pig design but can influence the reception
of signals from pig mounted transmitters fitted for tracking and location purposes.
Any external coating and the depth and nature of ground cover should be made
known to the pig manufacturer who can then offer advice on suitably powerful
transmitters, should they be required.
1.2.2.7
1.
2.

FLEXIBLES

Smooth bore plastic lined for chemical/water injection systems


Rough bore for flowlines, jumpers, risers.

Smooth bore pipelines are not suitable for pigging and any metal-to-metal contact
with pigs should be avoided in rough bore pipelines.

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

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Section 1

Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE PIGS & PIGGING


1.2.2.8

BUNDLES

Bundles allow several pipes to be laid together. The operational pipelines are
contained within a large conduit that is laid as a single pipeline in the normal manner.
Bundled pipelines do not present any problems to utility pigging.
1.2.2.9

RELATIVE POSITION FEATURES

This refers to the minimum distance between any two significant pipeline features
that might influence the efficiency of a pig or cause it to become stuck.
These features are as previously listed and are particularly relevant to the positioning
of:

Valves
Offtakes (tees and laterals)
Bends

The general rule is that a minimum distance of 3 x pipeline diameters should be


allowed between any two features.

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

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Section 1

Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE PIGS & PIGGING


1.2.3

FITTINGS AND EQUIPMENT (What Components Are Fitted to the


Pipe?)

1.2.3.1

VALVES

Valves present major obstacles to successful pipeline pigging. There are several
types:

Ball valves
Gate vales
Check valves
Butterfly valves
Plug type valves

Some types cannot be pigged but others can. Certain features can be included in the
valve design to assist pigging. Only those valves which can be pigged are illustrated,
with relevant features noted.
There are two types of valve that cannot be pigged:

Butterfly/Plug type

There are three types of valve that can be pigged:


1. Ball valves
2. Gate vales
3. Check valves
Valve design should include the following features:
1. Ball valve:
Solid ball
Full bore
Concentric bore
Smooth, shallow transitions between valve bore and pipe
2. Gate valve (Through-conduit only)
Full bore
No gaps or intrusions
Concentric bores
Smooth, shallow transitions between valve bore and pipe
3. Check Valve
Full bore
Concentric bores
Smooth, shallow transitions between valve bore and pipe
Contoured (shaped) valve clapper
Side hinged valve clapper improves piggability

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

Page 29

Section 1

Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE PIGS & PIGGING


Possibly the single most important factor applies to all valves, irrespective of type.
They must all be OPEN. Appropriate mechanisms or checking procedures must be
in place to ensure that this happens as the consequences of not doing so involve
great expense.
Valves should always be fully specified as there will usually be some compromise
with regard to the most effective pig design for the function. Specialised components
may need to be added to the pig to improve its ability to pass safely through any
valves.
1.2.3.2

OFFTAKES

All offtakes present a potential hazard to pigging. It is easy for pigs, especially
spheres, to be diverted into an offtake and become stuck or continue their journey
down the offtake with obvious and expensive implications. Alternatively, if the size
and relative positioning of offtakes are not offered for consideration at the pig design
stage, it is possible that the pig may stall at the offtake as a flowpath opens up for
product/pressure to bypass the pig. Spheres are particularly vulnerable as they
incorporate a single line seal (the circumference of the sphere I contact with the
pipe).
Offtakes are sub-divided into 2 groups:
1.
2.

Offtakes which connect to the main pipeline at 90 - Tees


Offtakes which connect to the main pipeline at other anges Laterals

1.

Tees

There are three types of tee:

Unbarred

Barred

Sphere (or flow)


Unbarred Tees
Most pigs can pass tees where the inside diameter (ID) is less then 70% of the main
pipeline ID. However, spheres would undoubtedly be lost at this point. It is always a
good practice, therefore, to install guide bars when designing pipelines for pigging.
Always make the presence of unbarred offtakes tees or laterals known to the pig
designer.
Barred Tees
This is the preferred condition of all tees in a pigging system (except sphere tees).
Sphere (Flow) Tees
Sphere tees have been designed for use in pipelines that are regularly pigged with
spheres. If spheres do not disappear into an offtake, they are highly likely to stall
opposite the offtake. This is because their spherical shape results in a single line
seal in the pipe. When the pig reaches an offtake, the seal is broken and flow
bypasses the sphere.

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

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Section 1

Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE PIGS & PIGGING


Sphere Tees allow product flow into and out of the offtake through slots around the
inner sleeve preventing the sphere from pushing into the offtake.
2.

Laterals

Laterals are offtakes that connect to the main pipeline at angles other than 90. They
are either barred or unbarred although, when designing pipelines for pigging, they
should always be barred. Laterals present an increased opening when compared to
Tees. Therefore, pig design must take account of this. Pigs have to be made long
enough to span the opening to prevent stalling.
1.2.3.3

WYES

For the purpose of pigging, wyes join two lines together, both of which must be
pigged. The pig emerges from a branch pipeline into the main pipeline (main and
branch do not imply any difference in pipe diameter) where it changes direction by
bouncing off the opposite wall of the pipeline into which it has emerged. The
convergence angle between the two pipelines is between 22 - 30.
Wyes can be pigged on one direction only and there is therefore no requirement for
the pigs to be bi-directional although disc-type pigs offer the most popular solutions.
There are two types of wye, each of which requires a pig possessing different design
characteristics:
1.
2.

Wyes with parallel bores


Wyes with over-size bores

1.

Wyes with Parallel Bores

The pig must be long enough to emerge into the main pipeline whilst still being driven
in the old pipeline. As with laterals, the convergence angle extends the opening at
the junction of the two pipes which allows product/pressure to bypass the pig before it
seals in the new pipe. Articulated pigs are usually specified to overcome this
problem.
2.

Wyes with Over-size Bores

Standard size pigs are used and are intended to float into the main pipeline. The pig
is driven out of the branch pipeline under pressure and into the over-size bore where
product/pressure bypasses the seals. The pig then drifts on the flow until it hits the
wall of the main pipeline where it seals again and continues its journey.
In both examples, pigs are equipped with special polyurethane bumper noses to
assist with shock absorption and to help locate the pig correctly in the main pipeline.

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

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Section 1

Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE PIGS & PIGGING


1.2.3.4

DIVERTERS

Diverters are designed to guide pigs from a main pipeline into a branch (lateral) the
opposite of wye pigging. The pipeline product is not diverted only the pig.
Most diverters use mechanical methods but some divert pigs by means of magnets
which attract the metal bodied pigs.
1.2.3.5

BENDS

There are three types of bend:


1.
2.
3.

Forged (or factory) bends


Field bends
Mitred bends

1.

Forged (Factory) Bends

Forged bends are classified according to their bend radius which is expressed in
terms of diameters or D. Standard sizes are produced as follows:

2.

ID or short radius bend should not be included in a system designed for pigging.
However, if they are present, it may be possible to manufacture special pigs to
cope.
1D or long radius bend suitable for: spheres, foam pigs, specified metal
bodied pigs
3D most utility pigs are suitable
5D all pigs are suitable
10D all pigs are suitable
Field Bends

These are cold bends made by machine before laying. Bend radii are extremely
large and will not cause problems for pigs localised pipeline deformation as a result
of bending/laying is a much greater problem.
3.

Mitred Bends

Mitred bends are sections of pipe cut and welded at an angle in order to change the
direction of a pipeline. They are not recommended as part of a piggable pipeline
system. However, it may be possible to design a pig for some applications but
detailed specifications of the bend would need to be supplied to the pig manufacturer.
Bends have other characteristics that influence pig design:

Bend angle 22; 45; 90.


Increased wall thickness in forged bends
Ovality in forged bends
Distance between bends in a pipeline system (Minimum 3 x pipeline diameter).

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

Page 32

Section 1

Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE PIGS & PIGGING


The minimum bend radius is almost always the first piece of information requested by
the pig manufacturer after establishing the pipeline diameter and pigging function. It
is important that as much relevant information as possible is made available.
1.2.3.6

TRAPS AND PIG HANDLING EQUIPMENT

To some extend, pig design is dependent upon the type of launching and receiving
equipment installed. Some systems will only accept their own specially designed
pigs and some systems will allow pig design within the limits of the trap dimensions.
These systems may be specified in applications where complex industrial pigging
strategies are necessary or where trap size must be restricted because of space
limitations.
Where there are no such restrictions, the following points should be considered:

Are handling facilities adequate for pig types and weights?


Are the traps sufficiently oversize to allow the pigs to be properly
launched/received?
Are the traps large enough to meet the requirements of the pigging programme?
Do the traps have the necessary characteristics for launching and receiving?
Are the traps suitably equipped for automated pigging programmes?

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

Page 33

Section 1

Design & Application Manual

HYDROSTATIC TESTERS

CONTENTS - SECTION 2.0

2.1

Introduction

2.2

Description and Purpose

2.3

Function

2.4

Construction

2.5

Selection

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

Page 1

Section 2

Design & Application Manual

HYDROSTATIC TESTERS
INTRODUCTION
1.0

INTRODUCTION

Testing the integrity of joints in pipeline


systems can be a time consuming
business. In many instances, testing a
joint just a few millimetres wide around the
circumference of a pipe involves long
hours fitting blind flanges and flooding the
entire pipe section with a pressurising
medium (usually water). This liquid - and it
can be a substantial volume - has then to
be disposed of safely when the test has
been completed.

Fig 1.

Pipeline Engineering have simplified this process. They have developed specialised
equipment which can be used to test most pipeline joints, in a fraction of the time
and at much less cost when compared to the previous method. Moreover, the tools
can be used time and time again, and - in some instances - are suitable for a range
of internal pipeline diameters.

1.1

DESCRIPTION AND PURPOSE

Two types of tester have been developed: The Flange Weld Tester (FWT) and the
Internal Joint Tester (IJT). Each type can be offered as standard or special,
depending upon the requirements of the application, and both types can be
mechanically or hydraulically energised. The chart below shows the basic
relationship between each type of tester (fig. 2).
Fig. 2
Testers

Flange Weld Tester (FWT)

Internal Joint Tester (IJT)

Special

Standard

Standard

Mechanically
Energised

to 6 NS

Hydraulically
energised
8 to 36 NS
and above

Mechanically
energised
2 to 6 NS

Special

Hydraulically
energised
8 to 36 NS
and above

NS Nominal Size (Pipe Diameter)

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

Page 2

Section 2

Design & Application Manual

HYDROSTATIC TESTERS
Flange Weld Testers (fig. 3) are designed to
test the weld securing a flange onto the end of a
pipe spool. They can be used for all types of
flanges, including weld neck types, and can be
extended for special applications.

Fig 3

Internal Joint Testers provide solutions for a more diverse range of applications.
Primarily, they allow welds tying two lengths of pipe together to be tested (fig. 4a).
However, they can also be used to test pipeline fittings such as valves without
having to remove them from the pipeline system (fig. 4b). They can even be used to
isolate individual branches of a pipeline system for hydro-testing (fig. 4c).

Fig 4a

Fig 4b

Fig 4c

FWTs and IJTs are predominantly made from carbon steel although both can be
supplied in stainless steel if necessary.
Testers supplied as standard are limited by:

The nominal diameter of the pipeline


The test pressure - or class rating - required
The energising method (mechanical or hydraulic)

Hydraulic fittings and connections (including quick-disconnect couplings) can be


supplied to suit the users existing equipment. All PE testers are hydrotested at the
factory and are supplied with a certificate of conformity.
Special Products can be designed where the requirements of the application are
outside the scope of standard equipment. Such designs are always based on
proven engineering principles, backed up by years of experience developing
pressure testing equipment.

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

Page 3

Section 2

Design & Application Manual

HYDROSTATIC TESTERS
1.2

FUNCTION

All testers work by pressurising a contained volume of test medium (usually water)
between two sealing faces and the pipe wall, thus producing a low volume test
cavity. FWTs contain the medium between an expandable elastomeric seal, the
face of the tester flange and the pipe wall (fig. 5a). IJTs contain the medium
between two expandable elastomeric seals and the pipe
wall (fig. 5b).

Fig 5a

Fig 5a

Fig 5b

The test medium is introduced through a special fill port, irrespective of the type of
tester. This port is also used to pressurise the medium and complete the test. To do
this reliably a separate vent port is provided in order to expel any air within the test
cavity.
When an efficient seal has been created in which to contain the test medium, we
say the tester has been energised. How this is done is depends upon the nominal
diameter of the pipeline in which the tester is to operate, typically:

testers from to 6 are energised mechanically


testers from 8 to 36 and above, are energised hydraulically

The result of energising is the same for all tools: the elastomeric seals are
compressed between two steel components moving towards each other. This
extrudes the seal and forces it outwards against the pipe wall where it creates a
static seal capable of retaining the eventual hydrostatic test pressure.
In mechanical testers the seal is compressed
by tightening a hexagonal nut which pulls the
seal pusher towards the (static) seal
expander, squeezing the seal(s) as a result
(fig. 6a). A similar action takes place in
hydraulic testers, with the exception that the
seal pusher is static and the seal expander is
forced against it under hydraulic pressure
applied by a hand pump coupled to the tester
(fig. 6b). The hydraulic system allows large
testers to be energised easily.

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

Fig 6a.

Page 4

Section 2

Design & Application Manual

HYDROSTATIC TESTERS
Flange Weld Testers are, by design, quite specific for their intended purpose and
any variations are normally confined to extended body lengths, flange specifications
and installation/handling requirements depending upon the installation orientation of
the tester (vertical up/down; horizontal).
Internal Joint Testers have much more scope for variation and as specials can be and have been - articulated, extended and wheeled. Special installation tools can be
produced to allow them to operate further into the pipeline, beyond the scope of
standard testers.

1.3

CONSTRUCTION

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

Page 5

Section 2

Design & Application Manual

HYDROSTATIC TESTERS
All standard Flange Weld Testers (fig. 7) feature:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

A suitably rated flange connection (typically ANSI)


Polyurethane (PU), low hysteresis seal
Body section (to set the distance between the flange and the seal)
Expander and pusher components (to deform the seal)
Filling and venting ports (threaded to customer specifications)
An energising system (mechanical or hydraulic)
Suitable fittings for coupling to pumps etc. (to customer specifications)
Orings and antiextrusion rings (to prevent pressure losses between
adjacent components)

Fig 7.

Flange Weld Tester


hydraulically energised

Flange Weld Tester mechanically


energised (items 1,2,4,5 and 7 are common
to both types of tester)

Most standard Internal Joint Testers (fig. 8a & 8b) feature:

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

Page 6

Section 2

Design & Application Manual

HYDROSTATIC TESTERS
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

Polyurethane (PU), low hysteresis seal (x 2)


Body or body/spacer (to set the distance between the seals)
Expander and pusher components (to deform the seal)
A venting chimney
Filling and venting ports (threaded to customer specifications)
An energising system (mechanical or hydraulic)
Suitable fittings for coupling to pumps etc. (to customer specifications)
Orings and antiextrusion rings (to prevent pressure losses between
adjacent components)

Fig. 8a

Internal Joint Tester


mechanically energised

Fig. 8b

Internal Joint Tester


hydraulically energised

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

Page 7

Section 2

Design & Application Manual

HYDROSTATIC TESTERS
Special Products are those testers outside the scope of standard testers, although
they may only vary from the standard pattern because, for example, a large
diameter tester may be required to perform tests at pressures up to ANSI Class
2500.
Pipeline Engineering recommend that only PE-supplied nitrile Orings and PTFE
antiextrusion rings be carried as spares and replaced in accordance with the
instructions which accompany all PE testers.
Typical ancillary fittings comprise:

Hydraulic hand pump for energising hydraulic testers


Hydraulic hand pump for carrying out hydrotest (all testers)
Lifting shackles for vertical applications
Spanners for energising mechanical testers
Hosing necessary for connecting pumps to tester
Installation/insertion tools (for special applications)

2.0

SELECTION

To provide the user with the most suitable equipment for their application, PE would
appreciate the following information:

Nominal pipeline diameter


Pipe wall thickness (ANSI pipe schedule) or minimum internal pipe diameter
Required test pressure (bar.g)
Pipe constructional material (steel; stainless steel)
Thread preferences for fittings (NPT is supplied as standard)
Ancillary fittings required (pumps etc.)
Presence of any ovality or restrictions in the pipeline (min. internal pipe i.d.)
Presence of any projections into the pipe bore (weld beads etc.)
Condition of the pipe wall at the test site
Any special documentation/testing requirements

For FWTs:

Flange type (Attachment and Facing e.g. Weld neck/Raised Face)


ANSI rating (class)
Distance to joint from flange face (mm)

For IJTs:

Distance to the test site joint from the point of insertion (metres)

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

Page 8

Section 2

Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE STOPPER SYSTEMS

CONTENTS - SECTION 3.0

3.1

Introduction

3.2

High Pressure Stoppers


3.2.1

3.3

Medium Pressure Stoppers


3.3.1

3.4

3.5

Grip Lock Pipe Plugs

Compression Pipe Plugs

Low Pressure Stoppers


3.4.1

Gas Seal Stoppers

3.4.2

Drain Plugs

3.4.3

Drain Plugs

3.4.4

High Differential Stopper Pig

3.4.5

Piggable Hyperbaric Sphere

Selection

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

Page 1

Section 3

Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE STOPPER SYSTEMS


INTRODUCTION
1.

INTRODUCTION

Within the life of any pipeline there comes a time when, for one reason or another,
work must be done which requires that a normally closed pipeline system has to be
temporarily interrupted. e.g. when removing in-line fittings or sections of pipeline.
Using conventional techniques, the pipeline would have to be shut down and possibly
drained before such work could proceed.
This can be a time-consuming, expensive and logistically complex business.
However, by using a system of temporary stoppers, massive reductions in time and
expense can be achieved.
Pipeline Engineering manufacture a range of temporary stoppers collectively known
as Pipe Stopper Systems or simply Stoppers. Superbly engineered, they share
several important characteristics. All can be inserted into the pipeline to form a
reliable and re-usable temporary seal capable of safely retaining a specified pressure
for long periods. Most require no special facilities, are simple and quick to operate
with smaller diameter stoppers capable of being transported and energised by hand.
The following chart indicates the general range of stoppers available from Pipeline
Engineering.
From the chart on page 2 we can see that there are 3 basic types of stopper:
1.
2.
3.

High Pressure
Medium Pressure
Low Pressure

The terms are in quotation marks to indicate that they


often have to be loosely applied because the effects of
pressure on the diameter and construction of the stopper
can vary enormously. The pressure to be retained is
known as the differential pressure (d.p.) and acts across
the stopper. It represents the difference between the
maximum pressure acting on the stopper (the internal
pressure or P1) and the pressure on the control side of
the stopper acting in the opposite direction (the external
pressure or P2 usually atmospheric pressure, although
there are many situations when it can be greater than
atmospheric pressure. e.g. hyperbaric installation).
We can find the differential pressure, or Delta P, acting
across the stopper, by subtracting P2 from P1 as
shown in figure 1.

Fig 1. Differential Pressure

When designing or specifying stoppers, the most critical relationship exists between
the d.p. and the outside diameter (OD) of the stopper. The load acting on the stopper
increases as a ratio of the sealing AREA of the stopper not its diameter. Therefore,
for a small increase in diameter, the load attempting to push the stopper out of the
pipe increases disproportionately. This can have spectacular effects.

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

Page 2

Section 3

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

Hydraulic

Mechanical

Inflatable: Liquid

Page 3

Non-Expandable
High Friction Fit

n < 8 NS

n 8 NS

Grip Lock
Pipe Plugs

High
Pressure

n < 8 NS

n 8 NS

Compression
Pipe Plugs

Medium
Pressure

Drain Plugs

Low Presure

Single
Tyre

Non-Piggable

Twin
Tyre

Gas Seal
Stoppers

Triple
Tyre

Inflatable
Air Bags

Hi-differential
Stopper Pigs
SLHD-10

Piggable
Hyperbaric
Spheres

Piggable

NOTES:
NS Nominal Size (Refers to the nominal diameter of the pipeline).
Hydraulic and Inflatable: Liquid systems are energised using a pump
Systems which are mechanically energised require a spanner or can be supplied with wingnuts for energising by hand
Non-expandable high friction fit refers to the use of multiple, extra thick sealing discs which produce a pig with a high interference fit in the Pipeline.
Gas Seal Stoppers come in multiple tyre versions as shown with one or more tyres being gritted for increased grip.

Inflatable: Gas

Means of
Deployment

PIPE STOPPER SYSTEMS

Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE STOPPER SYSTEMS

Section 3

Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE STOPPER SYSTEMS


Low pressure stoppers can bend like plastic if they are used beyond their strict
specifications and, when used for retaining gases, any stopper can easily take on the
killing properties of a bullet but again, only if used beyond its specification.
An efficient stopper must posses 2 essential, and quite different, characteristics. It
must have:
1.
2.

The ability to create SEAL, retaining the d.p. acting across it


The ability to HOLD its longitudinal position with the pipe whilst under
pressure.

Figure 2 illustrates the common factors which determine the holding, or gripping,
ability of all stoppers under load. These are:
A.
B.
C.

D.

The differential load to which the stopper is being


subjected
The maximum force with which the stopper can gripe
the pipe wall
The coefficient of friction, or the frictional resistance,
between the surfaces in contact (the type of material
and its condition are major factors rusty pipe walls
provide a much better gripping surface than smooth
pipe walls).
The total area of contact of the stopper with the pipe
wall (The area to which the gripping force can be
applied).

Fig 2. Factors influencing


Stopper efficiency

Additional factors will also improve a stoppers ability to grip:


E.
F.

Utilisation of a specifically designed anchoring system (e.g. vice-jaws).


Bracing within the stopper, or any design which allows the maximum possible
gripping force to be applied directly to the pipe wall.

At low and medium pressures, the force that an expanding elastomeric seal creates
on the internal wall of the pipe also serves to hold the stopper in position, the grip
provided being sufficient to overcome the d.p. acting on the stopper. This grip can be
improved on medium pressure stoppers by adding an extra inflatable tyre that has
been gritted. The particles of grit bonded onto the tyre bite into the pipe walls
improving the ability of the stopper to resist up to a limit an increase in d.p.
However, Hi-differential Stopper Pigs do not possess
Expandable seals (figure 3). Instead, they use two
carefully specified packs of sealing discs as each end
of the pig. Each pack comprises several extra thick
polyurethane discs of different hardness. No spacers
are used and each disc touches its neighbour to form
a tightly packed sandwich of discs. The OD of the
Fig 3. High Differential Stopper Pig
discs is calculated to create a very high interference fit
in the pipe which means that the pig will only move after a certain pressure is applied
(Up to 7 bar g, depending upon the diameter of the pig) and will seal and hold against
lower pressures. Once the pig begins to move, lower pressures can be used to keep
it moving.
Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

Page 4

Section 3

Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE STOPPER SYSTEMS


At high pressures, the friction grip of the elastomeric sealing elements on the pipe
wall is insufficient to hold the stopper against the d.p. that would eventually force the
stopper out of the pipe. Such stoppers must incorporate a means of anchoring
themselves within the pipe.
Figure 4 shows how Pipeline Engineerings Grip
Lock Pipe Plugs achieve this by incorporating
segmented, toothed vice-rings which, when the
stopper is energised, expand radially and bite into
the pipe wall.
These vice-ring segments are
mounted circumferentially around the body of the
stopper on a taper so that, as the d.p. attempts to
force the stopper out of the pipe, the effect of the
taper translates any backwards motion to the vice- Fig 4. Vice-ring anchoring mechanism
rings that then bite deeper into the pipe wall,
increasing the security of the stopper in proportion
with the load being applied to the stopper. Such stoppers are described as being
self-energising.
Further means of differentiating stoppers can be found in characteristics that effect
their deployment:
1.

Energising Systems

Energising systems are those used to create the sealing and holding forces between
the stopper and the pipe wall. There are 4 such systems used throughout the range
of products:
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.

Hydraulic
Mechanical
Direct inflation using a liquid or gas
Non-expandable high friction fit

As can be seen from the chart on page 2, high pressure and medium pressure
stoppers can be hydraulically or mechanically energised. The methods specified is
dependent upon the diameter of the stopper and not upon the pressure which the
stopper is required to retain.
Most low pressure inflatable stoppers are inflated either hydraulically or pneumatically
using a hand pump. Inflatable air bags, however, are not required to retain significant
pressures and are therefore usually filled with an inert gas producing a simple, low
pressure stopper the purpose of which is to retain residual gases in a single section
of pipe. e.g. When being used to exclude combustible gases from a weld site.
As we have seen previously, Hi-differential Stopper Pigs rely on a non-expandable
high friction fit which means that unlike all the other stoppers we have discussed,
they cannot be easily inserted into the pipe and require specific launching facilities.

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

Page 5

Section 3

Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE STOPPER SYSTEMS


2.

Methods of Deployment Within the Pipeline

Stoppers can be defined as being either piggable or nonpiggable. Standard stoppers designed to be piggable
include Piggable Hyperbaric Spheres and Hi-differential
Stopper Pigs, both of which require facilities to launch
and/or receive them. (Refer to section 4.5 to see how
Hyperbaric Spheres are used). Non-piggable stoppers are
usually manipulated manually, either directly by hand or by
using Extendable rods which are used to push the stopper Fig 5. Gas Seal Stopper
into position at the work site. Wheels are often added to the (With wheels)
stopper to make this task easier, as shown in figure 5. For
special applications, however, many conventional non-piggable stoppers can be
designed to be piggable (within certain design limits). It is in situations like these
where the advice of an experienced manufacturer, like Pipeline Engineering, is
indispensable.
3.

Environmental Suitability

All stoppers, with the exception of Inflatable Air Bags, utilise an elastomeric seal
usually polyurethane. Although it has many excellent physical characteristics and is
universally popular for such applications, polyurethane is susceptible to many
chemicals as well as to high temperatures. For these reasons, alternative elastomers
may need to be specified where necessary or periods of deployment carefully
controlled and even avoided where aggressive chemicals or high temperatures are
involved.
4.

Weight and Dimensions

Weight effects the handling characteristics of the stopper both in and out of the pipe.
Whilst manoeuvrability inside the pipe can be improved, again by adding wheels to
many of the non-piggable types of stopper, handling equipment, such as cranes, may
be needed to insert some stoppers into the pipe.
Dimensional characteristics mainly limit those stoppers which must be pigged or may
have to be internally manoeuvred around bends within the pipeline. In certain
situations this may require a special stopper, the length of which must not exceed a
specific ratio based on its diameter.

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

Page 6

Section 3

Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE STOPPER SYSTEMS


HIGH PRESSURE STOPPERS
2.1

GRIP LOCK PIPE PLUGS

2.1.1

DESCRIPTION

The Grip Lock Pipe Plug is offered by Pipeline Engineering as a temporary pipeline
stopper system for high pressure applications. It has a number of features that
make it particularly suitable for repeated use at high pressure.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Self-energising, heavy duty gripping mechanism


Major components either forged or machined from solid steel bar
Rugged, square section, low hysteresis elastomeric sealing element
Easily maintained with spares available for critical parts
Heavy duty construction

Grip Lock Pipe Plugs are supplied with one of two energising systems, depending
upon the diameter of the pipe in which the plug is to be used:
1.
2.

Mechanical energising is typically offered on stoppers for use in pipelines up


to and including 6 ns.
Hydraulic energising is typically offered on stoppers for use in pipelines 8 ns
and over.

Plugs are offered as standard up to 16 and are capable of withstanding pressures up


to 207 bar, depending upon diameter. For use in applications over 16 it is always
best to seek the expert advice of the manufacturer.
Typical applications include:
1.

2.
3.

Situations in which a large differential pressure may exist. e,g, where pipes
retain a large column of liquid, and which require a secure form of temporary
stopper.
Hydrotesting sections of pipe, when it is impractical to use joint testers
Use as a temporary stopper to allow pigging in the absence of a pig trap

All Grip Lock Pipe Plugs incorporate a bypass port which can be used for filling,
pressurising, venting, monitoring or pigging the pipeline and all are hydraulically
tested and certified prior to mobilisation.
Grip Lock Pipe Plugs are manufactured using carbon steel for the body parts. The
forged vice-wings are hardened and the seal is cast from touch, low hysteresis
polyurethane.
2.1.2

FUNCTION

The Grip Lock Pipe Plug has been designed for simple operation. Both types
mechanical and hydraulic operate on a self-energising principle. This means that,
once the stopper has been fixed in position, any axial pressure on the face of the plug
will be translated radially, by means of a taper, to the vice-rings which secure the
stopper against the pipe wall. As the internal pressure in the pipe increases, so does
the force of the vice-rings on the pipe wall.

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

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Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE STOPPER SYSTEMS


Below a certain diameter (typically 8 ns) Grip Lock Pipe Plugs incorporate a
mechanical energising system. The reason for this is that stoppers above this
diameter are consequently heavier and are energised more efficiently using
hydraulics. Mechanical stoppers are energised either by turning a hexagonal nut in
which a spanner or turning a wing nut by hand. Hydraulic stoppers are connected to
a hand pump via fittings that can be specified by the client.
Installation is simple: Taking care not to damage the elastomeric seal, the deenergised plug is inserted into the pipe (which should have been cleared of debris,
mill scale or rust). Hydraulic plugs can be connected to the hand pump at this point
or prior to insertion. The plug is then pressurised either by turning the nut clockwise
to expand both the seal and the vice ring, or by operating the hand pump until the
required inflation pressure is reached. If the seal is not fully effective and the internal
pressure is leaking, then the inflation pressure can be increased. However, it is
important to note that it is possible to swage the pipe when applying excessive
pressure. At this point the plug is fully energised and any filling and/or monitoring can
be done through the central port provided on al Grip Lock Pipe Plugs. On
completion, the stopper can be removed simply by venting the internal pipeline
pressure and de-energising the seal.
2.1.3

CONSTRUCTION

Fig 6a. Grip Lock Pipe Plug


(Hydraulically Energised)

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

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Section 3

Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE STOPPER SYSTEMS


2.1.3

Fig 6b.

CONSTRUCTION (Continued)

Grip Lock Pipe Plug


(Mechanically Energised)

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

Page 9

Section 3

Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE STOPPER SYSTEMS


MEDIUM PRESSURE STOPPERS
3.0

COMPRESSION PIPE PLUGS

3.1.1

DESCRIPTION

The Compression Pipe Plug is offered by Pipeline Engineering as a temporary


stopper system for medium pressure applications. It has a number of features that
make it particularly suitable for its intended use:
1.

2.
3.
4.

Durable elastomeric sealing elements provide large circumferential contact


area with Pipeline Engineering One or more sealing elements can be gritted
to increase gripping power
Major components cut or machined from solid steal
Easily maintained with spares available for critical parts
Heavy duty construction

Compression Pipe Plugs are supplied with one of two energising systems, depending
upon the diameter of the pipe in which the plug is to be used.
1.
2.

Mechanical energising is typically offered on stoppers for use in pi0pelines up


to and including 6 ns
Hydraulic energising is typically offered on stoppers for us in pipelines 8 ns
and over

Plugs are offered as standard up to 16 and are capable of withstanding pressures up


to 30 bar, depending upon diameter. For use in applications over 16 it is always
best to seek the expert advice of the manufacturer.
Typical applications include any situation within the pressure ranges states above
which do not merit the security and cost of using a Grip Lock Pipe Plug
All compression Pipe Plugs incorporate a bypass port that can be used for filling,
pressurising, monitoring and venting and all are hydrostatically tested and certified
prior to mobilisation
Compression Pipe Plugs are manufactured using carbon steel bar and plate for the
body parts whilst the seal is cast from tough, low hysteresis polyurethane.
3.1.2

FUNCTION

Below a certain diameter, typically 8 ns, Compression Pipe Plugs incorporate a


mechanical energising system. The reason for this is that stoppers above this
diameter are consequently heavier and are energised more efficiently using
hydraulics. Mechanical stoppers are energised either by turning a hexagonal nut with
a spanner or turning a wing nut by hand. Hydraulic stoppers are connected to a hand
pump via fittings that can be specified by the client.

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

Page 10

Section 3

Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE STOPPER SYSTEMS


Installation is simple. Taking care not to damage the elastomeric seals, the deenergised plug is inserted into the pipe (which should have been cleared of debris,
mill scale or rust). Hydraulic plugs can be connected to the hand pump now or prior
to insertion. The plug is then pressurised either by turning the nut clockwise to
expand the seal or by operating the hand pump until the required inflation pressure is
reached. If the seal is not fully effective and the internal pressure is leaking, then the
inflation pressure can be increased. At this point, the plug is fully energised and any
filling and/or monitoring can be done through the central port provided on all
Compression Pipe Plugs. On completion, the stopper can be removed by simply
venting the internal pipeline pressure and de-energising the seal.
3.1.3

Fig 7a

CONSTRUCTION

Compression Pipe Plug (Hydraulically Energised)

Fig 7b. Compression Pipe Plug (Mechanically Energised)

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

Page 11

Section 3

Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE STOPPER SYSTEMS


LOW PRESSURE STOPPERS
4.1

GAS SEAL STOPPERS

4.1.1

DESCRIPTION

The Gas Seal Stopper is offered by Pipeline Engineering as a temporary pipeline


stopper system for low pressure applications. It has a number of features which
make it particularly suitable for its intended use:
1.

2.
3.
4.

Inflatable rubber sealing elements provide large circumferential contact with


Pipeline Engineering Sealing elements will accommodate ovality, irregularity
and diameter variations in pipelines/drains/sewers
Available in large diameters
Easily maintained with spares available for critical parts
Heavy duty construction

Gas Seal Stoppers are available in one, two and three seal (or tyre) versions, all of
which can be inflated pneumatically or hydraulically using a hand or foot pump. They
are available in a range of diameters from 4 to 60 and are capable of withstanding
pressures up to 10 bar, depending upon diameter. Such a stopper must have three
seals and be adequately strutted.
Typical applications include:
1.
2.
3.

Emergency isolation for inspection/repair


Gas exclusion at a welding site
Drain plugging under waterflow conditions

All Gas Seal Stoppers are manufactured from carbon steel or aluminium plate with
carbon steel components receiving two coats of anti-corrosion, chemical resistant
paint. The inflatable sealing elements are made from natural rubber. Bypass ports
are provided for filling, pressurising, monitoring and venting and all stoppers can be
fitted with wheels, if required, to improve mobility. Stoppers over 18 diameter can be
supplied as a split construction to enable them to pass through a standard manhole.
When completed, all stoppers are hydrostatically tested and certified prior to
mobilisation.

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

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Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE STOPPER SYSTEMS


4.1.2

FUNCTION

All Gas Seal Stoppers are inflated either hydraulically or pneumatically using a hand
or foot pump. Sealing elements are braced by steel or aluminium rings supporting 3
sides so that expansion is directed against the pipe wall.
Installation is simple. Taking care not to damage the sealing elements, the deflated
stopper is inserted in the pipe (which should have been cleared of debris, mill scale
or rust).
The plug is then pressurised by operating the pump until the required inflation
pressure is reached. Most seals with respect to this type of equipment are gained at
less than 9 bar g.
If the seal is not fully effective and the internal pressure is
leaking, then the inflation pressure can be increased. Caution: The inflation pressure
should never exceed 20 bar g. At this point the plug is fully energised and any filling
and/or monitoring can be done through the central port provided on all Gas Seal
Stoppers. On completion the stopper can be removed simply by venting the internal
pipeline pressure and deflating the seal.
4.1.3

Fig 8.

CONSTRUCTION

Gas Seal Stopper (Single/Twin/Triple)

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

Page 13

Section 3

Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE STOPPER SYSTEMS


LOW PRESSURE STOPPERS
4.2

INFLATABLE AIR BAGS

4.2.1

DESCRIPTION

Inflatable Air Bags are offered by Pipeline Engineering as a temporary pipeline


stopper system for low pressure applications. They have a number of features
which make them particularly suitable for their intended use:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Large diameters available up to 96


Inflatable bladder with accommodate ovality, irregularity and diameter
variations in pipelines/drains/sewers
Bags can be compressed to pass through small holes in pipes
Robust and easy to use

Inflatable air bags are available in a range of diameters from 2 to 96, although larger
diamteres are available as specials and are capable, when used with suitable
mechanical bracing in the pipe, of withstanding pressures up to 8 bar, depending
upon diameter. The primary use of Inflatable Air Bags however, is for low pressure
testing at a few pounds per square inch. A 4 diameter nylon covered bar would
typically be capable of withstanding 2.5 psi unsupported in a cast iron pipe. The
ability of the bag to hold against higher internal pipeline pressures can be improved
by using double length bags with restraining loops for attachment of restraining wires.
Properly anchored, these bags will hold against internal pipeline pressures of up to
75% of their safe working pressure (inflation pressure).
Typical applications include:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Low pressure air, water or smoke testing of pipes, drains and sewers
Low pressure plugging of pipes, drains and sewers
Gas exclusions at a welding site
Monitoring of internal pipeline pressure
Venting and draining of pipes, drains and sewers

Inflatable Air Bags consist of a cylindrical, natural rubber bladder covered with either
proofed canvas or nylon. They are inflated with air or inert gas via a Schraeder-type
valve and are supplied with 1m of hose. Bags can be specified with a through tube
for monitoring, venting and draining purposes.
4.2.2

FUNCTION

Inflatable Air Bags are placed in the pipe and inflated pneumatically using a
mechanical pump or supply of compressed air or inert gas (Typically nitrogen). If the
bag is required to hold against an internal pipeline pressure which exceeds the value
advised for the bag, then a mechanical bracing mechanism must be used or a double
length bag must be specified (providing that it is capable of holding back and sealing
against the internal pipeline pressure). On completion, the bag can be removed
simply by venting the internal pipeline pressure and deflating the seal.

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

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Section 3

Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE STOPPER SYSTEMS


4.2.3

CONSTRUCTION

Fig 9a. Inflatable Gas Bag (Spherical)

Fig 9b. Inflatable Gas Bag (Cylindrical with Through-Tube)

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

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Section 3

Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE STOPPER SYSTEMS


LOW PRESSURE STOPPERS
4.3

DRAIN PLUGS

4.3.1

DESCRIPTION

Drain Plugs are offered by Pipeline Engineering as a temporary pipeline stopper


system for low pressure applications. They have a number of features which make
them particularly suitable for their intended use:
1.
2.
3.

Large diameters available up to 36


Cost-effective
Robust and easy to use

Drain Plugs are available in a range of diameters from 3 to 36 and are capable of
withstanding pressures up to 1 psi depending upon diameter. The primary use of
Drain Plugs is, however, for low pressure exclusions of liquids or gases at a few
pounds per square inch.
Typical applications include:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Low pressure, air, water or smoke testing of pipes and drains


Low pressure plugging of pipes and drains
Gas exclusion at a welding site
Monitoring of internal pipeline pressure
Venting and draining of pipes and drains

Drain Plugs consist of a moulded rubber ring compressed between two pressed steel
or aluminium plates. These are forced together by a wing nut winding down a central
screw (a steel threaded nipple tube), through which is a large diameter port for
monitoring, venting and draining purposes.
4.3.2

FUNCTION

Drain Plugs are placed in the pipe and the seal expanded by tightening the wing nut
which, in turn, compresses the rubber seal between the two metal plates. Once
energised, the metal Blank Cap can be removed for venting and draining and a hose
connected for pressurising and monitoring purposes. On completion, the Drain Plug
can be removed simply by venting the internal pipeline pressure and unscrewing the
wing nut.

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

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Section 3

Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE STOPPER SYSTEMS


4.3.3

CONSTRUCTION

Fig 10. Drain Plug

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

Page 17

Section 3

Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE STOPPER SYSTEMS


LOW PRESSURE STOPPERS
4.4

HI-DIFFERENTIAL STOPPER PIG (SLHD-10)

4.4.1

DESCRIPTION

Hi-differential Stopper Pigs are offered by Pipeline Engineering to act as a primary


pressure barrier situated deeper in the pipeline when used in conjunction with other
types of stopper situated local to the work-site. They have a number of features
which make them particularly suitable for their intended use:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Large diameters available up to 56


Extremely hard wearing and reliable Omnithane seals
Custom built for intended purpose
Pigging allows access to remote work-sites

Hi-differential Stopper Pigs are available in a range of diameters from 4 to 56 and


are capable of withstanding pressures up to 2 bar d.p. depending on diameter.
Fittings are available for gauging plates and transmitters (for location purposes).
Typical applications include:
1.

Acting as the primary barrier in a pig train]Acting as the initial pressure barrier
when undertaking hyperbaric repairs

4.4.2

FUNCTION

Hi-differential Stopper Pigs are capable of retaining a differential pressure as a result


of the interference fit between their disc packs and the pipe wall. Two carefully
specified disc packs are used on each pig one at each end of the pig with each
pack being fixed to a welded steel flange which, in turn, is fixed to the tubular steel
body of the pig. Thick Omnthane polyurethane discs of identical diameter are
separated by steel spacer flanges to form each disc pack. The cumulative
interference fit between the discs and the pipe walls is such that specialist launching
facilities must be used to move the pig into the pipe.
Pumps incorporated into the pipeline system must be capable of pressurising the
system to a point above that required to initially move the pig or pig train (a single pig
may be capable to withstanding a differential pressure of 2 bar g, depending on its
diameter). Once the pig begins to move, lower pressures can be used to keep it
moving until it reaches the work-site when the pressure can be reduced until the pig
stops. Because the pig is bi-directional, when work has been completed, it can be
retrieved by returning it to the original launching point or pigging it down the pipe in
the original direction.
This means that a train of several pigs of this type can be moved long distances into
the pipe in order to provide a primary barrier capable of withstanding a differential
pressure up to a specified level (whilst allowing a margin for safety). This type of
barrier is typically used to form part of a safe working system for divers undertaking
sub-sea repairs in which they may use hyperbaric spheres to isolate the pipe at the
work-site.

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

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Section 3

Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE STOPPER SYSTEMS


4.4.3

CONSTRUCTION

Fig 11. Hi-diferential Stopper Pig

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

Page 19

Section 3

Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE STOPPER SYSTEMS


LOW PRESSURE STOPPERS
4.5

PIGGABLE HYPERBARIC SPHERES

4.5.1

DESCRIPTION

Piggable Hyperbaric Spheres are offered by Pipeline Engineering for subsea tie-ins
on pipelines. They have a number of features that make them particularly suitable for
their intended use:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Specifically designed for subsea tie-ins


Large diameters available up to 36
Cast from extremely hard wearing and reliable Omnithane
Bi-directionally piggable

Piggable Hyperbaric Spheres are constructed from three layers of polyurethane a


core, an intermediate seamless layer to provide strength and a softer outer layer to
ensure absolute sealing qualities. An internal tie-rod prevents excessive longitudinal
expansion and assists in increasing the pressure between the pipe wall and the
sphere which enables a tight seal in the pipeline. They are available in a range of
diameters from 4 to 36 and are capable of withstanding pressures between 1 bar g
and 3 bar g, depending on diameter. 4 bar g to 6 bar g is required to pig them from
the pipeline.
Specifically, their application is as a diver-installable stopper for hyperbaric use and
which can subsequently be retrieved by pigging.
4.5.2

FUNCTION

Using their removable handles, Piggable


Hyperbaric Spheres are positioned into
the open end of the pipe either by diver
or ROV where they are then inflated to
withstand differential pressures of up to 3
bar g. A welding habitat is sealed around
the tie-in spool with a diving bell locked
onto the habitat. The habitat is then
pressurised with diving gas so that the sea
water is driven out, giving a dry
environment in which welding and NDT
can take place. When these operations
Fig 12a. Hyperbaric Installation
have been completed, The hyperbaric
spheres, which have been sealed inside
the newly welded pipeline can be pigged out. If undamaged, they can then be
tested and used again or returned to the factory for refurbishment. In the harsh North
Sea environment, it is usual for a paid of hyperbaric spheres to be deployed on either
side of each weld whereas, in shallow water and more moderate environments, just
one hyperbaric sphere wither side of each weld may be used.

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

Page 20

Section 3

Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE STOPPER SYSTEMS


4.5.3

CONSTRUCTION

Fig 12b.

Piggable Hyperbaric Sphere

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

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Section 3

Design and Application Manual

PIPELINE STOPPER SYSTEMS


SELECTION
5.0

SELECTION

To provide the user with the most suitable equipment for their application, Pipeline
Engineering would appreciate the following information:

Nominal Pipeline Diameter

Pipe wall thickness (ANSI pipe schedule) or minimum internal pipe diameter

Maximum internal pipeline pressure at the stopper

Pipe construction material (and whether the pipe is lined)

Pipe wall condition at the worksite

Distance to the worksite from the point if insertion

Points of ovality of deformation within the Pipeline Engineering Minimum bend


radius (if the worksite lies beyond a bend)

Duty cycle of the stopper (Expected length of time under load)

Type of fittings and number of ports required

Worksite environment: temperature, chemical nature of products in contact


with the stopper

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co. Ltd

Page 22

Section 3

Design and Application Manual

PIG SIGNALLERS

CONTENTS - SECTION 4.0

4.1

Introduction

4.2

UniSig Boss Pig Signallers

4.3

UniSig Flange Pig Signallers

4.4

UniSig Valve Pig Signallers

4.5

Selection

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Page 1

Section 4

Design and Application Manual

PIG SIGNALLERS
INTRODUCTION
1.0

INTRODUCTION

1.1

DESCRIPTION AND PURPOSE

Once a pig has been inserted into a pipe system its position cannot be visually
confirmed directly. A system is therefore required to indicate a pigs position, either
continuously or intermittently at pre-determined points in the pipeline. Continuous
detection is known as pig tracking whilst intermittent detection is referred to as pig
signalling. Each method involves the use of specialised equipment which, in most
instances, must be incorporated into the pig or piping system before the pig is
launched.
Pig tracking requires an active transmitting source to be attached to the pig, with
various technologies being used to provide that source - electro-magnetic, acoustic
and radioactive. Pig signalling, however, falls into two categories: intrusive and nonintrusive. Non-intrusive signallers are predominantly electro-magnetic and, along
with pig tracking techniques, are covered more fully elsewhere. Pipeline Engineering
have applied their case experience to produce a wide range of intrusive pig signallers
which are represented on the chart on page 2.
Intrusive pig signallers are, by definition, static, mechanically actuated and provide a
momentary indication of a pigs presence at a specific point in the pipeline. Because
the actuating mechanism is a mechanical trigger that intrudes into the pipeline, a
signaller must also incorporate a satisfactory means of retaining the pressure within
the pipeline.
Every signaller must incorporate a mechanism that will provide a positive indication
that a pig has passed. This is normally done in one of two ways:
1.
2.

Mechanical/Visual (a local flagged indicator)


Electrical (magnetically linked proximity switch provides an electrical signal to
a controller)

Pig signallers are robust and designed to be installed for long periods. They are
particularly suitable for inclusion in a pig trap system at points along the pipeline
where the course of the pig must be confirmed (e.g. wyes, diverters, tees) and for
providing a warning of approach at receiver and booster stations.
Pipeline Engineering offer three basic types of signaller, classified according to the
way in which they are mounted onto the pipeline (see fig 1 on page 3):
1.
2.
3.

UniSig Boss welding boss mounted to suit pipe diameters 2 and above
(fig 1a).
UniSig Flange flange mounted signaller to suit pipe diameters 2 and
above (fig 1b)
UniSig Valve ball valve mounted signaller to suit pipe diameters 2 and
above. The ball valve is part of an assembly incorporating a 2 weld neck
flange (fig 1c) or a 1 Nipolet (Fig 1d).

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Page 2

Section 4

Design and Application Manual

PIG SIGNALLERS

PIG SIGNALLERS

Minimum Pipe Size: 2 ns


ANSI Class 1500 (Class 2500 Specials)

UniSig Boss

UniSig Flange
2 Flange Mounted Signaller
Not removable under pressure
Removable under pressure

Standard
Hot-Tappable
Removable under pressure

Ring Type Joint


(RTJ)

Raised Face
(RF)

UniSig Valve
Ball Valve Mounted Signaller
(1 Reduced Bore)

1 Nipolet Mounted 2 Flange Mounted

Extended
Non hot-tappable
Not removable under
pressure

Ring Type Joint


(RTJ)
Raised Face
(RF)

Mechanical/Visual
(MV)

Electrical
(E)

Mechanical/Visual/Electrical
(MVE)

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

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Section 4

Design and Application Manual

PIG SIGNALLERS

Fig 1. Signaller Mounting Methods

UniSig Flange Mounted Signallers are also classified according to the flange face
type:
1. Raised Face (RF)
2. Ring Type Joint (RTJ)
UniSig Valve Mounted Signallers are classified according to the way in which the
signaller/valve assembly is mounted onto the pipe. This is done using one of two
methods:
1. 2 Weld Neck Flange
2. 1 Nipolet
Indicator Mechanisms correspond with the methods previously mentioned (Fig 2):
1. Mechanical/Visual (PE abbreviated this to MV)
2. Electrical (PE abbreviated this to E)
3. Combined Mechanical/Visual and Electrical
(PE abbreviated this to MVE)

Fig 2. Pig Indicator Mechanisms


Irrespective of the type of signaller specified, all are capable of withstanding line
pressures up to those associated with ANSI Class 1500 and can be supplied as
specials to withstand pressures associated with ANSI Class 2500.

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

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Section 4

Design and Application Manual

PIG SIGNALLERS

1.2

FUNCTION

Installation
Signallers can be installed into the line under one or both of the following conditions:
1.
2.

When the pipeline is in-service and under line pressure


When the pipeline is at the construction stage or is out of service (no internal
line pressure)
Installing a pig signaller directly into the pipeline
whilst that pipeline is in-service is known as hottapping and requires a welding boss or weld-oflange to be attached to the pipeline through which
the hot tapping can take place (Fig 3). Pipeline
Engineering have carefully developed their UniSig
Boss Pig Signaller to be fully compatible with the
hot-tapping tools of leading manufacturers, TD
Williamson and IPSCO. Hot-tapping is a detailed
operation with significant hazards and safety issues
reflected in the development of the UniSig which
allows the operational procedures of the tool
manufacturers to be followed without modification.

Fig 3. Basic hot tapping assembly (For removing UniSig when under line pressure)

Alternatively, ball valves can be attached to welding bosses


and flanged signallers so that the signaller internals can
subsequently be removed from a live pipeline. Pipeline
Engineerings range of ball valve mounted signallers have
been designed with this feature as a priority (Fig 4). If,
however, the pipeline is not internally pressurised, then the
installation of a pig signaller is not complicated and requires
no special tools.
Fig 4.

Removal Bracket
For UniSig Valve signallers

Operation
When a pig passes beneath a correctly installed signaller the pig discs push the
protruding bi-directional trigger forward in the direction of the pig travel. The trigger is
hinged at two points which converts the angular motion gained from contact with the
pig into axial motion withdrawing a spring-loaded, permanent magnet holder down
through the cap (fig 5). At rest, the proximity of the magnet at the top of the cap
retains the mechanical, spring-loaded flag and/or the contacts of an externally
mounted proximity switch.

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Design and Application Manual

PIG SIGNALLERS

When the magnet is withdrawn, the


magnetic
flux
influencing
the
components diminishes, the flag
springs into an upright position and/or
the proximity switch contact is broken.
(This can be detected by a linked
controller). Immediately after the pig
has passed, the spring in the cap
returns the magnet and the linked
trigger to their respective resting
positions ready to detect the next pig
from whichever direction it arrives. The Fig 5. Intrusive Pig Signaller - Operating Principles
flag of an MV/MVE must be manually
reset. Proximity switches, however, will be reset at the control panel.
Servicing and Replacement
Breakdown usually occurs as a result of scale, rust, hard waxes or sand
accumulating within the moving parts. For this reason it is essential that a regular
maintenance program is implemented. UniSig Boss Pig Signallers can be removed
using the relevant removal tool whilst UniSig Flange Pig Signallers must be removed
only after ensuring that the pipeline is not under pressure. UniSig Valve Mounted Pig
Signallers, however, are designed to be easily removable under line pressure as the
ball valve can be closed before the pressure seal is broken.

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Page 6

Section 4

Design and Application Manual

PIG SIGNALLERS

UNISIG BOSS PIG SIGNALLERS


2.0

UNISIG BOSS PIG SIGNALLER

2.1

DESCRIPTION AND PURPOSE

The UniSig Boss Pig Signaller is an intrusive, mechanically activated pig signaller
designed to be mounted to the pipeline via a welding boss. Its design allows it to be
installed by hot-tapping and it has been developed to be compatible with the welding
bosses and hot-tapping tools of other leading manufacturers.
The unit is activated by a mechanical, bi-directional trigger that protrudes into the
pipeline. A unique orientation locking system allows the signaller internals to be
quickly fitted within the welding boss and ensures that the trigger mechanism is
always correctly positioned in the direction of pig travel.
Detected pigs are indicated by one of three methods:
1.
2.
3.

Mechanical/Visual (MV) integral, magnetically linked, sprung flag


Electrical (E) removable, magnetically linked, proximity switch
Combined (MVE) MV and E systems incorporated

UniSig Bosss, along with all pig signallers manufactured by Pipeline Engineering, use
nitrile or viton O-rings to withstand internal line pressures up to these associated
with ANSI Class 1500 (Class 2500 for specials) They are available in extended
versions for installation on buried pipelines (extended versions are not removable
under pressure) and are designed to be fitted to a minimum pipe diameter of 2ns.
Standard components are manufactured from the materials shown below:

All wetted parts (internals) Stainless Steel


Welding boss Carbon steel or alternative, client-specified material
Thread protector Polyurethane
Flag Stainless Steel (Painted)

The UniSig Boss has been designed for easy maintenance and a comprehensive set
of spare parts is available.

O Rings
Anti-extrusion rings
Magnet assemblies
Internal springs
Flag springs

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Page 7

Section 4

Design and Application Manual

PIG SIGNALLERS

2.2

FUNCTION

Installation
The UniSig Boss can be installed into the pipeline under the following conditions:
1.
2.

When the pipeline is under pressure (hot tapping)


When the pipeline is not under pressure

Installing the UniSig Boss directly into a pipeline that is in-service is known as hottapping, a detailed operation with significant hazards and safety issues. This is
reflected in the development of the UniSig Boss that allows the operational
procedures of the tool manufacturers to be followed without modification. If, however,
the pipeline is not normally pressurised, then the installation of a pig signaller
requires standard fabrication techniques and no special tools.
Operation
When a pig passes beneath a correctly installed signaller, the pig discs push the
protruding bi-directional trigger forward in the direction of the pig travel. The trigger is
hinged at two points that converts the angular motion gained from contact with the pig
into axial motion, withdrawing a spring loaded, permanent magnet holder down
through the cap. At rest the proximity of the magnet at the top of the cap retains a
mechanical, spring loaded flag and/or the contacts of an externally mounted
proximity switch. When the magnet is withdrawn, the magnetic flux influencing the
components diminishes, the flag springs into an upright position, and/or the proximity
switch contact is broken. This can be detected by a linked controller or may simply
be used to activate an indicator lamp, siren, etc). Immediately after the pig has
passed the spring in the cap returns the magnet and the linked trigger to their
respective resting positions ready to detect the next pig, from whatever direction is
arrives. The flag of an MV/MVE must be manually reset.
Proximity switches,
however, will be reset at the control panel.
Servicing and Replacement
Breakdown usually occurs as a result of scale, rust, hard waxes or sand
accumulating within the moving parts. For this reason, it is essential that a regular
maintenance program is implemented. Standard UniSig Bosss (not the extended
type) can be removed for servicing whilst the pipeline is under pressure, using the
special removal tool.

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Page 8

Section 4

Design and Application Manual

PIG SIGNALLERS

2.3

CONSTRUCTION

Fig 6. UniSig Boss (Standard)


Proximity Switch Not Shown

Fig 7. UniSig Boss (Extended)


Proximity switch not shown

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Page 9

Section 4

Design and Application Manual

PIG SIGNALLERS

UNISIG FLANGE PIG SIGNALLERS


3.0

UNISIG FLANGE PIG SIGNALLER

3.1

DESCRIPTION AND PURPOSE

The UniSig Flange Pig Signaller is an intrusive, mechanically activated pig signaller
designed to be mounted via a 2 socket weld flange (Raised Face or Ring Type Joint)
attached to the signaller welding boss. Its design allows it to be bolted to a mating
flange attached to the pipeline.
The unit is activated by a mechanical bi-directional trigger that protrudes into the
pipeline. (A trigger mounting extension gives the penetration necessary to access
the pipeline through the mating flange). A unique orientation locking system allows
the signaller internals to be quickly fitted and ensures that the trigger mechanism is
always correctly positioned in the direction of pig travel.
UniSig Flange signallers, along with all pig signallers manufactured by Pipeline
Engineering, use nitrile or viton O rings to withstand internal line pressures up to
those associated with ANSI Class 1500 (Class 2500 for specials). They are
available in Raised Face (RF) and Ring Type Joint (RTJ) versions and are designed
to be fitted to a minimum pipe diameter of 2ns.
Detected pigs are indicated by one of three methods:
1.
2.
3.

Mechanical/Visual (MV) integral, magnetically linked, sprung flag


Electrical (E) removable, magnetically linked, proximity switch
Combined (MVE) MV & E systems incorporated

Standard components are manufactured from the materials shown below:

All wetted parts (internals) Stainless Steel


Welding Boss Carbon steel or alternative, client-specified materials
Thread protector Polyurethane
Flag stainless steel (painted)
Flange ASTM A105

The UniSig Flange Pig Signaller has been designed for easy maintenance and a
comprehensive set of spare parts is available:

O-rings
Anti-extrusion rings
Magnet assemblies
Internal springs
Flag springs

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Page 10

Section 4

Design and Application Manual

PIG SIGNALLERS

3.2

CONSTRUCTION

Installation
The UniSig Flange Pig Signaller is installed in the line at the construction stage or
when there is no internal line pressure. Installation requires only standard fabrication
techniques and no special tools
Operation
When a pig passes beneath a correctly installed signaller, the pig discs push the
protruding bi-directional trigger forward in the direction of the pig travel. The trigger is
hinged at two points which converts the angular motion gained from contact with the
pig into axial motion withdrawing a spring-loaded, permanent magnet holder down
through the cap. At rest, the proximity of the magnet at the top of the cap retains a
mechanical, spring-loaded flag and/or the contacts of an externally mounted
proximity switch. When the magnet is withdrawn, the magnetic flux influencing the
components diminishes, the flag springs into an upright position and/or the proximity
switch contact is broken. (This can be detected by a linked controller or may simply
be used to activate an indicator lamp, siren, etc.) Immediately after the pig has
passed, the spring in the cap returns the magnet and the linked trigger to their
respective resting positions ready to detect the next pig from whichever direction it
arrives. The flag of an MV/MVE must be manually reset proximity switches,
however, will be reset at the control panel.
Servicing and Replacement
Breakdown usually occurs as a result of scale, rust, hard waxes or sand
accumulating within the moving parts. For this reason it is essential that a regular
maintenance program is implemented. UniSig Flange Pig Signallers, however,
cannot be removed for servicing whilst the pipeline is under pressure.

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Page 11

Section 4

Design and Application Manual

PIG SIGNALLERS

3.3

CONSTRUCTION

Fig 8. UniSig Flange Signaller


Proximity switch not shown

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Page 12

Section 4

Design and Application Manual

PIG SIGNALLERS

UNISIG VALVE PIG SIGNALLERS


4.0

UNISIG VALVE PIG SIGNALLERS

4.1

DESCRIPTION AND PURPOSE

The UniSig Valve Pig Signaller is an intrusive, mechanically activated pig signaller,
designed to be attached to the pipeline via one of the following methods:
1.
2.

Weld neck flange


Nipolet

The signaller/clamp assembly is welded to a 1 reduced bore valve which is, in turn,
either welded to a 2 weld-neck flange for mating to the pipeline-mounted flange or a
1 Nipolet for direct attachment to the pipeline.
The unit is activated by a mechanical, bi-directional trigger which protrudes into the
pipeline. A unique orientation locking system allows the signaller internals to be
quickly fitted and ensures that the trigger mechanism is always correctly positioned in
the direction of pig travel.
UniSig Valve signallers, along with all pig signallers manufactured by Pipeline
Engineering, use nitrile or viton O rings to withstand internal line pressures up to
those associated with ANSI Class 1500 (Class 2500 for specials). Flanged UniSig
Valve Pig Signallers are available in Raised Face (RF) and Ring Type Joint (RTJ)
versions and are designed to be fitted to a minimum pipe diameter of 2 ns.
Detected pigs are indicated by one of three methods:
1.
2.
3.

Mechanical/Visual (MV) integral, magnetically linked, sprung flag


Electrical (E) removable, magnetically linked, proximity switch
Combined (MVE) MV and E systems incorporated

Standard components are manufactured from the materials shown below:

All wetted parts (internals) - Stainless Steel


Welding boss Carbon steel or alternative, Client specified material
Thread protector (polyurethane)
Flag - stainless steel (painted)
Flange (ASTM A105
Ball valve Carbon steel/Stainless steel

The UniSig Valve Pig Signaller has been designed for easy maintenance and a
comprehensive set of spare parts is available:

O-rings
Anti-Extrusion rings
Magnet assemblies
Internal springs
Flag springs

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Page 13

Section 4

Design and Application Manual

PIG SIGNALLERS

4.2

FUNCTION

Installation
The UniSig Valve Pig Signaller is installed in the line at the construction stage or
when there is no internal line pressure. Installation requires only standard fabrication
techniques and no special tools
Operation
When a pig passes beneath a correctly installed signaller, the pig discs push the
protruding bi-directional trigger forward in the direction of the pig travel. The trigger is
hinged at two points which converts the angular motion gained from contact with the
pig into axial motion withdrawing a spring-loaded, permanent magnet holder down
through the cap. At rest, the proximity of the magnet at the top of the cap retains a
mechanical, spring-loaded flag and/or contacts and externally mounted proximity
switch. When the magnet is withdrawn, the magnetic flux influencing the components
diminishes, the flag springs into an upright position and/or the proximity switch
contact is broken. (This can be detected by a linked controller or may simply be used
to activate an indicator lamp, siren, etc.) Immediately after the pig has passed, the
spring in the cap returns the magnet and the linked trigger to their respective resting
positions ready to detect the next pig from whichever direction it arrives. The flag of
an MV/MVE must be manually reset. Proximity switches, however, will be reset at
the control panel.
Servicing and Replacement
Breakdown usually occurs as a result of scale, rust, hard waxes or sand
accumulating within the moving parts. For this reason it is essential that a regular
maintenance program is implemented. UniSig Valve Pig Signallers are designed to
be removed whilst the pipeline is under pressure. The clamp is removed and the
signaller internals are withdrawn past the valve using the specially designed Removal
Bracket. The valve is then closed and the internals withdrawn from the assembly.

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Page 14

Section 4

Design and Application Manual

PIG SIGNALLERS

4.3

CONSTRUCTION
Fig 9. UniSig Valve Signaller
(Assembly mounted on 1 Nipolet)

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Page 15

Section 4

Design and Application Manual

PIG SIGNALLERS
Fig 10. UniSig Valve Signaller
(Assembly mounted on 2 weld neck flange)

5.0

SELECTION

To provide the user with the most suitable equipment for their application, Pipeline
Engineering would appreciate the following information:

Pipeline contents
Pipeline construction (or mating) materials
Output type (MV, MVE, E)
Installation and mounting requirements (Hot-tapping, Welding Boss, Flange)
Servicing requirements (Valves, In-line serviceable UniSig Boss)
Location/elevation of pipeline relative to access areas (i.e. extended version
required?)
Internal pipeline pressure. (If greater than pressures associated with ANSI Class
1500)
Spares requirements
Electrical requirements (only applies to E or MVE types)
Any special requirements

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Page 16

Section 4

Design and Application Manual

QUICK RELEASE CLOSURES

CONTENTS - SECTION 5.0

5.1

Introduction

5.2

Clamicseal

5.3

Clamp Ring

5.4

Selection

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Page 1

Section 5

Design and Application Manual

QUICK RELEASE CLOSURES


INTRODUCTION
1.0

INTRODUCTION

Closures are pressure retaining structures typically designed to provide quick, easy
access to pig traps, strainers, filter units, meter prover end chambers, etc., whilst
maintaining the ability to seal against the working pressure within the pipeline.
The most basic form of closure is a blind
flange bolted onto a flange-terminated pipeline
a simple and inexpensive method for small
diameter pipelines requiring infrequent
access. However, larger flanges capable of
retaining high pressures are heavy and all
require many bolts to be removed and refitted
every time access is required. Therefore, in
situations where pipelines must be accessed
regularly, e.g. to implement any form of
pigging activity, a much more efficient, but
equally safe, means of access is necessary.
Fig 1.

Quick Release Closures provide the solution. Whilst there are many designs in
existence, certain key features are common and offer several advantages over the
use of blind flanges:

A mechanism for opening and closing the door quickly


Safety features to ensure the door cannot be opened before the pipeline has
been completely and safely depressurised
A hinge mechanism to allow doors of all diameters to be opened and closed with
minimum effort
A seal, energised by the internal pipeline pressure, typically an O-ring type

In order to be able to offer clients keenly priced, quality products which are designed
to suit their individual requirements, Pipeline Engineering have developed two types
of closure, each of which can incorporate all of the features listed above. These are:
1.

The CLAMICSEAL Closure

2.

The CLAMP RING Closure

The following chart shows the general scope of each type of closure:
Quick Release Closures
Clamic Seal
Up to 12 ns
Up to ANSI Class 600
Meets the intent of the BS5500 Design Code
or ASME Viii Div 1

Clamp Ring
6 48 ns
Up to ANSI Class 2500
Meets the intent of the ASME VIII Div 1 Design Code
or BS5500

Horizontald

Horizontal

Vertical

Dependent upon trap orientation

Fig 2.

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Page 2

Section 5

Design and Application Manual

QUICK RELEASE CLOSURES


CLAMICSEAL
2.1

DESCRIPTION AND PURPOSE

The Clamicseal Quick Release Closure is a quick, safe and cost-effective means of
gaining access to pig launching and receiving traps when installed in pipeline
systems.
Clamicseal closures are an excellent choice when:

Pipeline diameters are not greater than 12


Pressure ratings are not greater than ANSI Class 600
Meets the intent of the BS5500 design code or ASME VIII Div 1

Clamicseal Standard closures cover the range 3 to 12 ANSI Class 600 and offer a
lower cost alternative to Clamp Ring Closures.
All Clamicseal Closures will meet a wide range of operating temperatures as
standard (-40C to 75C) and can be manufactured to meet the requirements of
NACE or to clients own material requirements.
Closures are typically supplied with ends prepared for butt welding to the existing
pipeline barrel, in accordance with the instructions that accompany all closures.
2.2

FUNCTION

The Clamicseal Quick Opening Closure is supplied as a modular unit which must be
butt welded onto the end of the pipe (or trap barrel) on which it is to operate.
The main features of the closure are:

The Hub.
Welded to the pipe or barrel it houses the O-ring seal and
incorporates the fixed half of the Clamp Ring
The Door. Attached to the free swinging half of the Clamp Ring
The Clamp Bracket mechanism. Opens/closes the door and incorporates the
safety interlock

The O-Ring seal maintains the pressure seal between


the hub and the door and is available in various materials
specified to meet the demands of the application.
The closure is based on a split clamp ring design. One
half of the clamp ring is fixed to the hub whilst the other is
hinged and free swinging. This free swinging half is
permanently attached to the closure door (Fig 3).
Fig 3.

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Page 3

Section 5

Design and Application Manual

QUICK RELEASE CLOSURES


When the door is closed and locked, the clamping
mechanism is secured by the vent plug (Fig 4) which must
be undone before it is possible to open the door. The vent
plug is designed to give early indication of any residual
pressure within the trap by allowing it (the pressure) to
escape at a controlled and audible rate. This interlock
system prevents the closure door being opened until the
operator is satisfied that the trap has been fully vented.
Fig 4.

With the vent plug removed, the clamp bracket handle


can be swung outwards away from the closure. The
clamp bracket itself is linked directly to the closure door
handle so that any movement ultimately breaks the seal
between the closure door and the hub. The clamping
mechanism is unhooked and, using the handle, the door
can be slid across the face of the hub until it is clear of the
barrel and rests against its hinge (Fig 5). The procedure
is reversed to close.
Fig 5.

2.3

CONSTRUCTION

Clamicseal Quick Release Closures (Fig 6) feature:

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.

Clamp Ring half-hinged


Clamp Ring half-fixed
Clamp Bracket Handle
Clamp Bracket Catch
Door
Door Handle
Vent Plug
Hinge
O-Ring Seal (Not visible)
Hub
Clamp Bracket

Fig 6.

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Page 4

Section 5

Design and Application Manual

QUICK RELEASE CLOSURES


CLAMP RING
3.1

DESCRIPTION AND PURPOSE

The Clamp Ring Quick Release Closure gives a single operator a quick, safe means
of gaining access to pig launching and receiving traps, strainers, filter units and meter
prover end chambers.
Closures for both horizontal and vertical mounting are supplied ready for immediate
welding to the trap barrel and are suitable for use in a wide range of operating
temperatures, process fluids and gases.
Clamp Ring Closures are manufactured to suit nominal pipe diameters from 6 to 48
and should always be specified when:

Pressure ratings are in excess of ANSI Class 600 and up to Class 2500
Meets the intent of the ASME VIII Div. 1 design code or BS5500

Several options are available, including:

Key interlock
Electrical position switches (door open/door closed)
Protective neoprene bellows for operating screws
Double bolt actuating mechanism
Third party design reviews (Lloyds, DNV, ABS).

All standard Clamp Ring Closures are designed to meet the intent of ASME VIII Div
1, BS5500 and B31.3/4/8 (supplemented where required by the clients own
contract/project specification).
Standard closure forgings (Clamp Rings and Hub) are manufactured from material to
ASTM A694 F52 and all pressure retaining components are manufactured from
certified materials which meet the recognised standards: DIN, BS, NACE.
3.2

FUNCTION

Although there are two types of clamp ring closure horizontally and vertically
mounted the only difference between them is that vertically mounted types
incorporate torsion springs to assist the operator when opening and closing the door
of the unit. The function and operating methods of both types are identical. Main
features are common to both types of closure:

Hub - welded to the pipe barrel it houses the O-ring seal and provides
attachment for the door and clamp ring hinged and the fixed part of the operating
screw assembly.
Door hinged, it incorporates the vent plug port and latching plate
Clamp Rings provide 360 clamping across door/seal/hub. Split into two
halves, each half shares a common hinge and is opened/closed using the
operating screw.
Operating Screw Mechanism provides the force required to create and break
door seal and move clamping rings in order to operate door
Vent Plug safety mechanism designed to alert operator to internal trap pressure
before the door can be opened
Latching Plate safety interlock designed to prevent clamp rings being released
before the vent plug is unscrewed.

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Page 5

Section 5

Design and Application Manual

QUICK RELEASE CLOSURES


Additionally, vertically mounted clamp ring closures incorporate:

Torsion Springs assist door opening/closing


Latch retains open door
Sealing relies on the effect of the forged clamp rings
compressing together three components the hub
flange, the O-ring seal and the door with sufficient
force to resist the internal pressure attempting to force
the door open (fig 7a).

To do this, the split clamp


rings are hinged and
attached to the hub on one side of the closure. On the
other side, they are held and controlled by the
operating screw mechanism which, by turning
clockwise or anti-clockwise, moves the clamp rings and
respectively releases or clamps the pressure seal
between the door and the hub flange (Fig 7b)
Fig 7a.

Fig 7b.

Clamp Ring Closures incorporate two significant safety features:


1.
In order to provide a physical means of warning an operator that residual
pressure may exist within the trap, a threaded vent plug in the door holds down a
latching plate, the function of which is to prevent the
clamp rings being moved apart and the door
subsequently opened. It does this by locating onto
two steel dowels one in each clamp ring half. The
latching plate can then only be raised to release the
clamp rings by unscrewing the vent plug (fig 8.) In
turn, the vent plug is designed so that as soon as its
seal with the door is broken, any residual pressure
is released in restricted quantities, audibly and
Fig 8.
under control. Having been alerted, the operator
can then respond appropriately.
2.
Once the latching plate has been removed, the first few turns of the operating
screw will break the main door seal while the door and hub flange are still retained by
the clamping rings.

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Page 6

Section 5

Design and Application Manual

QUICK RELEASE CLOSURES


3.3

CONSTRUCTION

Horizontally Mounted Clamp Ring Quick Release Closures (fig 9) feature:


1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

Clamp Ring half


Clamp Ring half
Hub
O-ring Seal (Not Visible)
Door
Operating Screw Assembly
Hinge Assembly
Latching Plate
Vent Plug

Fig 9.

Vertically Mounted Clamp Ring Quick Release Closure (Fig 10 feature:


1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

Clamp Ring half


Clamp Ring half
Hub
O-Ring Seal (Not visible)
Door
Operating Screw Assembly
Hinge Assembly
Latching Plate
Vent Plug
Torsion Springs

Fig 10.

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Page 7

Section 5

Design and Application Manual

QUICK RELEASE CLOSURES


4.0

SELECTION

To provide the user with the most suitable equipment for their application, PE would
appreciate the following information:

Details of application (To what will it be attached?


horizontal/vertical)

Nominal pipeline diameter

Pipe wall thickness (ANSI pipe schedule) or minimum internal pipe diameter

Design Pressure

Design temperature range

Finish coating system

Manufacturing design code

Third party inspection requirement

Handling points (lifting eyes, etc).

Materials requirement (relevant standards: BS/DIN/NACE)

Projected operating pipeline pressure

Projected operating temperatures (max/min)

Projected pipeline product (what will the pipeline be carrying?

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Purpose, orientation

Page 8

Section 5

Design and Application Manual

PIG TRAPS

CONTENTS - SECTION 6.0

6.1

Introduction

6.2

Design Parameters

6.3

Operating Method

6.4

Selection

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Page 1

Section 6

Design and Application Manual

PIG TRAPS
INTRODUCTION
6.1

INTRODUCTION

As part of a complete pigging system, pig traps allow pigs to be inserted into and
removed from a pipeline which is to undergo a pigging program and which is likely to
be under pressure.

Key
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.
g.
h.
i.

Fig 1.

Pressure Gauge
Vent
Pressure Relief
Drain
Pig Signaller
Kicker Valve (Launcher) Bypass Valve (Receiver)
Mainline Bypass Valve
Mainline Trap Valve
Quick Release Closure

Typical Trap Configuration (Horizontal Launcher/Receiver)

Pig traps can be, and frequently are, referred to by


different names some of which may be no more
than alternatives and some which more accurately
describe the traps function. Popular alternatives
are: Launchers, Receivers, Scraper Traps, Scraper
Barrels, Universal Traps, Bi-Directional Traps,
Sphere Traps. The name may also describe the
orientation of the trap, giving a clue to its intended
purpose: Vertical, Horizontal, Inclined, Declined,
Temporary.
If a pipeline is to be pigged, launching and
receiving facilities (pig traps) must be provided.
For large diameter pipelines this results in pig traps
up to 56 (nominal pipeline diameter) weighing
many tonnes and represent a significant capital
investment. Any company that manufactures this
Fig 2. Trap Types & Orientation
type of equipment requires the scope and
experience to do so and must possess excellent engineering resources, both in its
equipment and its staff Entrusting the design of these systems to non-specialists
armed with a few proprietary catalogues is a short-sighted and all too frequent shortlived economy.
Pipeline Engineerings technical engineers have many years of experience in pig trap
design and are fully conversant with all the major design codes and make full use of
state-of-the-art CAD facilities. All welders are fully qualified to both American and
British welding codes while the Inspection and Quality Assurance systems ensure
control at every stage of the manufacturing process from order to delivery.

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Page 2

Section 6

Design and Application Manual

PIG TRAPS
6.1.1

DESCRIPTION AND PURPOSE

a)

What is a Pig Trap? A simple definition is a piece of pipeline equipment


that allows easy loading or unloading of a pig into, or out of, the pipeline.

b)

What is its purpose? To provide in a safe manner and without flow


interruption the means to either insert and launch a pig into the pipeline or
receive and retrieve a pig from a pipeline.

Although the definitions are simple, in reality it is quite different because a Pig Trap is
a vessel that:

Gives access to or from a pipeline.


Provides a means by which this access can be closed between the surroundings
and full pressure capability of the pipeline.
Provides for the access to be opened or closed with speed, convenience and
safety.
Provides and internal holding or storage position in which pigs may rest until the
desired travel movement is achieved or after travel is terminated.
Provides a means of converting the pig from its free expanded state into its
compressed travelling state.
Includes, or is associated with, a means of controlling flow, pressure and/or
mechanical movement to give the pigs a positive driving force into or out of the
pipeline.
Has properly engineered safe and practical provisions for connecting to the
pipeline.
Is properly supported in a way which will neither impose excessive strains on the
pipeline nor will accept more force than it is safe, or desirable, from the pipeline
and its associated systems.

What does a Pig Trap comprise of simplistically:


I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
VI.

A quick opening closure or blanked flanged end.


A major diameter section, referred to as the Barrel.
A reducer normally eccentric on a launcher, concentric on receiver.
A minor diameter section corresponding to the line pipe size and referred to
as the Neck Pipe.
Various nozzles such as vent, drain, pressure indicator, kicker, or bypass,
release, equalising and pig signaller
Lifting lugs, supports and earthing lugs

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Page 3

Section 6

Design and Application Manual

PIG TRAPS
6.1.2

FUNCTION AND CONSTRUCTION

Figures 3a and 3b show typical components found in most types of trap and which
include:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

A short minor diameter pipe section, often referred to as the NECK PIPE
A REDUCER. This may be eccentric or concentric
A longer major diameter pipe section, often referred to as the BARREL
NOZZLES, SUPPORTS and LIFTING LUGS
An END CLOSURE or a blanked, removable flange

Fig 3a. Horizontal Pig Launcher

Fig 3b. Horizontal Pig Receiver

Copyright 1999
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Section 6

Design and Application Manual

PIG TRAPS
DESIGN PARAMETERS
6.2

DESIGN PARAMETERS

We have already said that pig traps are pressure vessels and, as such, pressure
vessel design parameters must apply. However, unlike pressure vessels that contain
only fluids, pig traps must be capable of retaining line pressure whilst allowing pigs to
be launched and received. It is the type of pigs to be used which determine the
overall trap dimensions.
Metal bodied intelligent pigs are both heavy and long and must be considered along
with the internal pressure requirements when designing supports, lifting lugs and
assessing foundation loadings.
Trap design must also satisfy applicable codes. These may be piping codes, in
which case the trap is treated as part of the pipeline or there may be a specification
break between the pipeline and trap, resulting in a trap design which must meet
pressure vessel codes such as ASME VIII or BS 5500.
Whichever approach is used, the designer must ensure all appropriate loadings and
conditions are addressed to produce a safe working design.
Pig traps are designed and manufactured within the limits set by the Design
Parameters. These are:
1.
2.

Basic design parameters


Functional design parameters

There are instances where the requirements of the basic and functional design
parameters are not compatible and a compromise must be reached. One frequent
example is that of a trap having a design code of BS 5500 with a requirement for a
full line size kicker connection. As the code states that the nozzle should not exceed
one third of the run size some form of compromise is required. In this case a full or
reducing tee designed to one of the major pipeline codes is often acceptable.
Basic Design Parameters cover the following aspects of pig trap design:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

Design Code, Pressure and Temperature


Materials and Certification requirements
External loadings from pipework or external pressure (e.g. sub-sea)
Cyclic requirements and nozzle reinforcements
Support and lifting lug design
Wind, Blast and Seismic loadings
Ice and Snow loadings
Inspection and Welding requirements
Transportation loads

Design Codes can be any of the National or International standards, such as: BS
5500, BS 8010, BS 4515, ASME VIII, ANSI B31.3/4 or 8, Stoomwezen (Dutch), AD
Merkblatte or DIN Standards (Germany).
Pressures can be client specific or based upon the ASME/ANSI
Pressure/Temperature ratings. However, the design pressure of the trap should
never be less than that of the pipeline.

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Design and Application Manual

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Temperature is also client specific but it should be remembered that the maximum
design temperature should not be less than the maximum temperature which the pig
trap system could attain, or to which it could be exposed during operation, start-up or
shut-down.
Materials are often specified by the client. However, it is better to allow the
manufacturers of the pig trap to select the trap materials. This approach ensures that
the most suitable, cost effective and readily available materials are always selected.
To aid the selection process, the line product must always be specified and whether it
is sour, toxic or corrosive. This will influence the selection of not only the metallic
elements, but of the elastomeric materials which, typically, constitute the sealing
elements.
All components in sour service should be resistant to HIC (Hydrogen Induced
Cracking) and conform to NACE specifications.
Finally, all materials should be compatible with its mating material, particularly with
regard to its weldability, wall thickness and material grade.
Certification can apply to just materials or extend as far as the manufacturing and
design appraisal.

For materials only this is usually limited to a certificate showing the chemical
and mechanical properties of the materials being used and issued by the
suppliers.
In the case of material traceability, certificates verified by an independent third
party inspection authority may be required, in which case they are issued in
accordance with BS EN 10204.3.1.C.
Where certification is to cover manufacture and design appraisal, this is carried
out by an independent third party inspection authority, usually appointed by the
end client, with the scope of inspection being against an agreed quality
control/inspection plan.

Welding should conform to procedures in accordance with the design code used for
the trap whilst all welders, including operators of automatic welding equipment,
should be qualified in the procedures used. All completed welds should be examined
by a qualified weld inspector.
NDE/NDT (Non-Destructive Examination, also known as Non-Destructive Testing)
requires that all circumferential and longitudinal butt weld, where practical, should be
examined by radiographic methods. Welds that cannot easily be radiographed
should be examined ultrasonically or by magnetic particle inspection.
Pressure Testing:

Hydrostatic upon completion, each vessel should be subject to a hydrostatic


test pressure at least equal to 1.25 times the design pressure.
Generally there is no upper limit for the hydrostatic test pressure, however, any
pressure above 1.5 times the maximum working pressure should not be allowed
to exceed wither intentionally or accidentally to the degree that the vessel is
subjected to visible, permanent distortion.

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Design and Application Manual

PIG TRAPS

Pneumatic Test Some codes allow for the vessels to be pneumatically tested in
lieu of hydrostatic testing. However, it should be noted that AIR or GAS is highly
hazardous when used as a testing medium. It is strongly recommended that
special precautions be taken when air or gas is used for test purposes.

Data Dossiers: Copies of all certificates, examinations and inspection reports,


together with weld procedures, other client specified documents and as built
drawings, should form a data dossier for presentation to the client with the completed
vessel.
Functional Design Parameters can be explained most effectively by describing, in
detail, each of the trap components.
The barrel comprises the major diameter section of the trap, designed to be oversize
so that the pigs can be easily loaded and unloaded. It is usually equipped with a
quick opening end closure or, for temporary traps, a blind flange.
For conventional pigs, the diameter of the barrel is generally 2 larger than the
diameter of the line pipe whilst, for intelligent pigs, it is recommended that the
diameter of the barrel is at least 4 larger than that of the line pipe.
Barrel length is dependent on operating procedures, service, pig type, available
space, etc. However, for launchers deploying conventional pigs, the recommended
length of the barrel should be 1.5 x pig length, measured from the kicker connection
to the reducer weld. For receivers, the recommended barrel length is, again, 1.5 x
pig length. However, this dimension is measured from the kicker connection to the
closure weld.
When deploying intelligent pigs, barrel length should be decided only after
consultation with the pig manufacturer.
For multiple sphere launchers or receivers,
inclined or declined trap barrels should be
considered, along with a mechanism for
releasing the spheres (e.g. fingers, flaps or
valves). Historically, trap barrels have been
inclined at angles anywhere between10 and
45.
However, Pipeline
Engineering
recommend that barrels be inclined between
2 and 5.

2-5

Fig 4. Recommended angles for


Inclined/declined traps

The barrel is also equipped with a reducer that is


either concentric or eccentric, depending upon the
clients preference. However, an eccentric reducer
allows pigs to be loaded more easily and is
recommended for horizontal traps whilst a concentric
reducer is preferred for vertical traps or when an
internal tray, or basket, is fitted to horizontal traps.
Fig 5. Types of Reducer

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Section 6

Design and Application Manual

PIG TRAPS
Neck Pipe is the minor diameter section of the pig trap and is usually only between
500 and 1000mm in length (with the exception of intelligent pig receivers where it
may be as long as 4 meters) and is positioned between the reducer and the pig trap
valve. On launchers, the neck pipe provides head space for the pig and, during
pressurisation, prevents contact between the steel nose of the pig and the trap valve,
which may be damaged if struck by a pig under sufficient pressure.
For traps up to and including 24 line size, the neck pipe is usually attached to the
pipeline system by a flanged connection. For traps above 24, connections to the
pipeline system are usually welded.
For receiving traps, the neck pipe usually incorporates a pig signaller.
Nozzles is the collective term for the connections from the trap to its associated
piping system.
On simple traps there are normally only 3 nozzles:

Kicker
Drain
Vent

On more complex traps, additional nozzles are incorporated for:

Blowdown
Balance lines
Pressurising lines
Thermal relief valves

The kicker nozzle is usually the largest nozzle on a trap and is often referred to as
the bypass or bridle. Pipeline Engineering defines the kicker nozzle as the off-take
on the trap barrel which connects the barrel to the bypass line pipe. The bypass is
the off-take after the trap valve on the main pipeline.
For launchers, kicker connections are attached to the barrel near the closure end
whilst for receivers, the connection is made near the reducer end.
Universal and Bi-directional traps incorporate a single connection located midway
along the barrel, or twin connections with one connection in the launch position and
the other in the receive position. Ideally, the diameter of the kicker nozzle should not
exceed 25% of the main line pipe diameter.
Kicker connections should not be positioned at the 6 oclock position, historically this
position causes most damage to pigs.
Drain connections should be provided near the end closure for horizontal launchers
and near the pig trap valve for vertical launchers. For receivers on liquid or gas lines
where liquids could be present, a drain point should be provided near the trap valve.
For receivers that are sloped for the use of spheres, two drain points may be located
together near the end closure but should be separated by half a sphere diameter.
This prevents the drains being blocked by the spheres.
For traps up to and including 14ns (nominal diameter of the pipeline), the diameter of
the drain nozzle should be 2. For traps above 14 ns the diameter should be 4.
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Design and Application Manual

PIG TRAPS
Vent connections should be provided near the closure end or highest point. A further
connection may be considered near the trap neck end flange to ensure
depressurisation behind the pig in the event of it becoming stuck in the neck pipe.
Size of vent connections should not be less that ns.
Blowdown. On high pressure gas systems, consideration should be given to the
provision of a blowdown line incorporating a globe valve or restriction orifice for
controlled depressurisation.
Size should not exceed 2 ns.
Balance Lines can be provided on launchers to enable the barrel to be filled and
pressurised on both sides of the pig at the same time. This prevents a pig moving
forward from the launch position hitting, and possibly damaging, the trap valve or
moving backwards and losing the seal in the reducer. For receivers, balance lines
will prevent any possible pressure differential across the pig and should always be
considered for inclusion. Balance line connections are approximately 2 in diameter.
Pressurising Lines may be required around kicker valves for several reasons:

Speed of operation
Control of barrel pressurisation
To avoid damage to the kicker valve seats or other internals

Pressurising lines around bypass valves should also be considered to equalise


possible high pressure differentials. Pressurising line connections are usually smaller
than balancing line diameters.
Thermal Relief Valve connections can be provided at locations where the
anticipated shut-in pressure of trapped fluid could exceed the design pressure.
Pressure Indicator (Pressure Gauge) should be fitted towards the closure end and
visible to the operator. May be incorporated with the vent connection. Size should
be in the region of to 1. Gauge dial to be 4 or 6 size.
Other items that may be fitted to the Pig Traps:
Supports, as the name suggests, should permanently support and restrain the Pig
Trap. They should be designed to carry the weight of the pig trap system filled with
water (or other fluid if their density is greater), together with the weight of the
associated heaviest pig.
Supports under the barrel should normally be of the sliding type to compensate for
expansion of the unrestrained part of the pipeline. Other supports may be fixed if the
design calculations indicate that sufficient flexibility is incorporated in the pipework to
compensate for any axial and transverse movements. Where cathodic protection
isolation joints are used, the supports should allow sufficient movement to avoid
stressing of the joint above its design limits. Where isolation joints are not used the
supports may need to be electrically isolated.
Lifting Lugs are designed to facilitate the lifting of the complete trap during
installation stage. Unless specifically requested, they are not proof tested.

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Section 6

Design and Application Manual

PIG TRAPS
Earthing Lugs are designed to help prevent the build-up of static electricity. Static is
a seriously under-estimated yet ever present hazard. Being invisible to the naked
eye, it tends to be ignored. Yet an undischarged build-up of electrostatic can take
hours, even days, to relax back into equilibrium, resulting in a potentially lethal
workplace. If the accumulated static is suddenly discharged within a hazardous
atmosphere, the resulting spark may easily act as the ignition source for an
explosion.
End Closures are fittings, including removable parts and assemblies, which provide
quick and easy access to the barrel when open and which seal the barrel when
closed. All closures should be fitted with a vent/safety bleed device that forms part of
the door locking mechanism and which, along with a system of interlocks sequencing
the operation of the various valves and end closures, is designed to ensure the safety
of personnel operating the trap.
Pig Signallers (also known as Pig/Scraper Detectors) are devices set on or into
the pipeline which indicate the momentary presence of a pig at a precise location.
Signallers should be installed on both sides of the trap valve. For launchers, the
signaller should be sited on the main pipeline and separated from the pig trap valve
by a distance that is at least the length of the longest pig. For receivers, the signaller
should be positioned on the neck pipe and separated from the pig trap valve by a
distance that is equal to the length of the longest pig.
Sphere Release Mechanisms may involve any of the following:

Mechanical fingers
Flaps
Valves

Mechanical Fingers are the most popular but


are not really practical for use with traps in
which the spheres exceed 20ns. Above this
diameter it is more practical to use flaps
which are designed to absorb the high loads
that a large sphere, weighing up to 500 kilos,
can impose.
Fig 6. Sphere Release Fingers

It is normal to fit two fingers or flaps to launchers so that multiple spheres can be
loaded into the barrel after which single spheres can then be launched, at a predetermined rate, by sequencing the operation of the fingers or flaps.
For declined receivers, it is common to fit a single finger to prevent the sphere from
rolling onto the operator as the closure door is opened.
Fingers and flaps can also be used in traps intended for conventional and intelligent
pigs.
Sphere Valves are basically ball valves where the hole in the ball does not go all the
way through. A sphere enters the valve and on rotation through 180 degrees the
sphere drops out to roll and engage with an inclined tee for pick up by the product
flow. On rotation back through 180 degrees the valve is reloaded.

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Design and Application Manual

PIG TRAPS
If pigging facilities are required then consideration had to be given to providing
vertical launcher for the pigs with the sphere valve and its storage magazine forming
an angled branch into this. Naturally this method is both costly and bulky.
Other factors also influence pig trap design. These are related to:

Layout
Ancillary Facilities

Layout involves the siting of pig trap systems and the possible adverse
environmental effects that could result during construction and operation.
Pig traps should also be sited so that the end closures are pointing away from
personnel areas and critical items of equipment. This will minimise any damage
resulting from the unlikely event of a pig being ejected from the trap whilst under
pressure.
Ancillary Facilities generally refer to pig handling equipment and systems. Nothing
does more to improve efficiency, safety and cleanliness of pigging operations than a
purpose designed system. With the correct equipment, heavy pigs and spheres can
be moved efficiently between traps, benches and vehicles, free of the danger and
dirty conditions usually associated with manual operations and the largest pigs and
spheres can be correctly and safely handled into, and out of, their traps.
Handling equipment should always be designed as an integral part of trap
installations. Typical arrangements are as follows:

Davit and Bench


Cassettes
Cradles

Davit and Bench refers to a manually operated system consisting of a cradle bench
with a winch and a free-standing swing jib crane. The cradle bench can be either
trolley mounted or suitable for fixing to the floor next to the end closure door.
For positive launching, the pig is inserted into the reducer by a winch-operated
pusher mechanism on the cradle bench. At the receiving trap the pig is attached by
cable to the winch and withdrawn onto the cradle bench. The free-standing jib crane
is used for hoisting and positioning of pigs.
On multiple trap installations, all traps can be served by a single mobile handling
system.
Cassettes, also known as magazines, offer a solution to the problem of limited space
on offshore platforms. They enable pig or spheres to be pre-loaded in multiples at
the onshore terminal and then transported to the platform as a single unit. The
cassette is loaded into the launching trap from where the pig or spheres can then be
launched at a pre-determined rate. At the receiving trap the loaded cassette is
removed and the complete unit can again be transferred, after inspection, to the
launcher for re-loading.

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Design and Application Manual

PIG TRAPS
Cradles, also known as half baskets or trays, can handle pigs or spheres of any type.
When used with launching traps, the cradle is loaded externally and then moves the
pig or sphere into its launch position inside the trap. For receivers, the incoming pig
comes to rest on the cradle that can then be withdrawn from the trap. Any debris
collected in the trap as a result of pigging will also be removed. A free-standing jib
crane can be sited next to the trap to handle and position the pigs.
The systems described are designed to provide a cost-effective means of handling
pigs and spheres throughout the operational lifetime of the pipeline. It is important
that all pig handling systems are manufactured as an integrated part of the trap in
order to preserve its integrity as a pressure vessel.
There are several types of trap which do not confirm to the conventional horizontal
layout and which are known as Special traps. The following are examples:

Vertical traps
Temporary traps
Bi-directional traps
Sphere Launcher and Receiver

Vertical Traps are usually used where


space is at a premium (e.g. offshore
platforms).
Their
design
and
configuration shows very little difference
to that of horizontal traps. In fact, the
only major differences occur in the
design of the supports and of the end
closure hinging. End closures swing to
the side on horizontal traps but, for
vertical traps they have to be either
sprung, fitted with a counterweight or
jacked out on a davit and screwed rod).

Fig 7. Vertical Trap with Stepped Basket


(and pig)

Vertical receivers are usually fitted with an internal stepped basket into which the pig
arrives. As the pig cups expand, the step prevents the pig dropping back into the
reducer. The basket also allows the pigs to be removed easily.
Temporary Pig Traps should never be used as an excuse to avoid the design
parameters previously discussed as most of them still apply with equal force.
Because of the circumstances which prevail on
construction sites (where there is often an absence
of trained routine) greater attention must be given to
safety. Remember pressure can kill. However,
where there is less incentive towards the time and
labour saving properties of modern quick opening
closures, temporary traps can be designed and made Fig 8. Temporary Launcher
to less stringent codes than those required for long
(With Pig)
term capital equipment although quality assurance
must never be neglected.

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PIG TRAPS
Bi-Directional Traps, with sleeves, were originally designed for shuttling spheres
back and forth but are equally suitable
for use with bi-directional pigs. These
units comprise a sliding sleeve inside
the major barrel that can be
positioned so that a single pig or
sphere can be pre-loaded and held in
the trap until it is ready for launch.
Initially, the flow inside the trap
bypasses the pig until the sleeve is
moved into the launch position at
which point the flow is directed behind
the pig launching it into the pipeline.
At the receiving end, the sleeve is
positioned so that flow passes through
it (the sleeve) until the pig arrives.
The incoming pig is then captured by
the sleeve and moves along the trap
until the flow can bypass the pig.
Fig 9. Bi-Directional Trap

Sphere Launchers and Receivers (Automated Pig Traps)


Automatic pig launching and, to a lesser extent, receiving may be considered for
unmanned installations where there is a requirement for frequent pigging of lines.
The types of pigs used are either sphere or batching pigs. The general principle for
the handling of each is the same. However, advantage is taken of the spheres ability
to roll.
Pig launching is usually achieved from a vertical launcher whilst for sphere launching
vertical or inclined can be utilised.
The rolling feature of the spheres makes them readily adaptable to unmanned
faciliti4es in that the operator can load a trap with several spheres and the launching
can be activated either manually or automatically. Various launching mechanisms
are available, as already described, and the selection is largely a matter of client
preference, bearing in mind the design constraints of each.
In the case of sphere receivers, the barrel is declined and it is best to have a
horizontal pup pipe near the closure with a sphere stop fitted so that incoming
spheres do not impact against the closure door and also to prevent spillage onto the
operator when he opens the closure door for unloading.

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Section 6

Design and Application Manual

PIG TRAPS
Safety and Interlock Systems
Safety issues are always at the heart of pig trap design. Whilst pigging is a common
procedure, typically carried out when a pipeline needs purging, cleaning or surveying,
it can involve a high risk of human error, high enough to warrant pig traps being
described as primary grade sources of hazard.
Probably the greatest associated danger is when a trap is opened accidentally whilst
still under pressure usually to insert or remove a pig. To overcome this danger it is
vital that a system is incorporated which ensures that the trap is fully vented before
the door can be opened. Venting depressurises the trap and removes the force
necessary to propel the pig.
Pig trap systems also involve other more complex, procedures. Even in a basic
system, safe operation of the closure require it to be correctly sequenced with certain
valves which are incorporated into the trap these being the pig trap valves, drain
and kicker valves. The pig trap line valve governs the piping connection between the
pig trap and the main pipeline whilst the kicker valve is on a secondary piping
connection used to move the pig into and out of the trap. Both valves must be
closed, isolating the trap from the main pipeline, before the trap is drained.

By establishing safety guidelines, a certain level of control over pig trap operations
can be imposed but these usually rely on the voluntary compliance of personnel
operating the plant, pig traps and handling equipment. IF these guidelines are
contravened due to human error, or malicious malpractice, serious accidents will
occur. Accordingly, the need for a safety system that positively controls the entire
process, without dependence on human judgement, is clear. The many separate
operations involved when launching and receiving pigs must be made to follow a
safe, predetermined path and the most widely accepted and reliable method for
achieving this is by Key Transfer Interlocking.
Mechanical key transfer interlocking has developed from the principle that actions
performed in the correct sequence are safe but potentially lethal if performed out of
sequence. Therefore, the use of trapped key interlocks in pig trap operations will limit
the sequence of valve and end closure operations to a single, unchanging path. By
fitting interlocks to all relevant valves, as well as to the end closures, it becomes
impossible to load or retrieve a pig without first depressurising the pig trap.
In summary, key transfer interlocking provides a logical method or controlling pig
launching and receiving procedures, no matter how complex. It ensures that
procedures can only be performed in the correct sequence and eliminates the
possibility of human error.

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Section 6

Design and Application Manual

PIG TRAPS
OPERATING METHOD
6.3

OPERATING METHOD

The following section describes typical operating sequences for launching and
receiving pigs in liquid service pipelines. The sequences are general in nature and
are intended solely as a means of explaining the working principles of some of the
many types of trap in existence. They (the sequences) are not definitive and should
not be used for training pig trap operators, nor should they form any part of the
operating procedures for specific launching and receiving installations.
1.

Launching

Key
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.
g.
h.

i.

Pressure Gauge
Vent
Pressure Relief
Drain
Pig Signaller
Kicker Valve
Mainline Bypass Valve
Mainline Trap Valve
Quick Release Closure

Assumptions prior to launching:

Trap is full (of pipeline product) and is under pressure


Valves (f), (g), (h) are open
Valves (d) and (b) are closed

Launching Procedure:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

10.

Close valves (f) and (h)


Open valve (d) followed by valve (b). Air will displace the liquid and the trap will
drain.
When the trap has been fully drained (0 psig), open the closure door and push
the pig into the trap until the first cup (or seal) forms a tight fit in the reducer
Close and secure the closure door, following the manufacturers operating
procedure, and close valve (d)
Open valve (f) slowly. The trap will begin to fill and any residual air will be
forced out through valve (b).
Slowly continue to fill the trap. When the trap is full, close valve (b) and allow
the pressure to equalise.
Close valve (f)
Open valve (h) and then open valve (f). The pig is now ready for launching
Partially close valve (g). The liquid flow through valve (f) behind the pig will
increase. Continue to close valve (g) until the pig signaller (e) indicates that the
pig has moved out of the trap into the mainline stream.
When the pig signaller (e) has indicated that the pig has left the trap, fully open
valve (g)

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Section 6

Design and Application Manual

PIG TRAPS
3.

Receiving
Key
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.
f.
g.
h.
i.

Pressure Gauge
Vent
Pressure Relief
Drain

Pig Signaller
Bypass Valve
Mainline Bypass Valve
Mainline Trap Valve
Quick Release Closure

Assumptions Prior to Receiving:

Trap is empty of all product and is at atmospheric pressure


Valves (b), (d) and (g) are open
Valve (f) and (h) are closed
Closure door is closed in accordance with the manufacturers operating
procedures

Receiving Procedure:
1.

6.

Close valve (d) and slowly open valve (f). Th trap will begin to fill and any
residual air will be vented through valve (b)
Close valve (b) and allow trap pressure to equalise through valve (f)
Open valve (h). Trap is now ready to receive pig
On its arrival, if the pig stops at the point marked X, partially close valve (g).
Increased flow through valve (f) will force the pig into the trap
When the pig signaller (e) indicated that the pig has entered the trap, fully
open valve (g) and close valve (f) and (h)
Open valves (d) and (b). The trap will drain

6.4

SELECTION

2.
3.
4.
5.

To provide the user with the most suitable equipment for their application, Pipeline
Engineering would appreciate the following information:

Pipeline diameter and wall thickness


Pipeline pressure, temperature and product
Design requirements: code, pressure and temperature
Inspection/certification requirements

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Section 6

Design and Application Manual

APPENDICES

CONTENTS:

Troubleshooting
Glossary

Pig Selection

Pipe Schedules

ANSI Pressure Ratings

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Appendices

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Leaking pressure

Will not hold pressure

Stopper

Polyurethane hardened & cracked

Polyurethane degraded to a soft,


gummy consistency

Heavily pitted surface

Ruptured Wall

Excessively/Irregularly worn
discs/cups

Torn Discs/Cups

Pig Stuck in Pipeline

Problem

Closure

Pigs
&
Spheres

Spheres

Discs

Pigs

Product

Open bypass ports

Pigs running nose down

Review storage procedures


Check/replace seals
Check/replace door
Check/replace sealing face
Check/replace seal
Clean pipe prior to insertion
Correct/remove ovality
Grind down bead

Damaged seals
Warped door
Damaged seal face
Damaged seal
Badly corroded pipe wall
Excessive ovality of pipe
Longitudinal weld bead

Revise storage procedures

High humidity
Effect f ultra-violet radiation (Sunlight)

Check chemical suitability with manufacturer

Use high temperature Omnithane polyurethane

Increase trap decompression time

Reduce system pressure

Check system for intrusion

Chemical attack

Excessive temperature

Explosive decompression

Intrusion of sharp object into pipeline

Fit/check pressure cap and seal to Schraeder valve

Replace cups / discs

Degraded discs / cups

Ingress of pressure during operation

Introduce a pig with a steel disc on its front to remove weld icicles

Intrusion into pipe eg: weld icicles or badly fitted tee bar

Replace discs/cups

For bi-directional pigs: reverse the flow

Lack of driving pressure

Degraded discs/cups

Introduce a soft foam cylinder behind the pig

Worn discs / cups

Fit high grade Omnithane cups/discs

Boost/Increase pressure

Blockage / Intrusion into Pipeline

Highly abrasive environment

Possible Solution

Possible Cause

The following are some common problems and possible causes and solutions which may be experienced in pigging and pipeline isolation:

Design and Application Manual

APPENDICES

TROUBLESHOOTING

Appendices

Design and Application Manual

APPENDICES
GLOSSARY
Articulated Pig. A pig which incorporated two independent modules linked together
to form a single pig. Often necessary to overcome tight bends or perform more
complex tasks.
Ball Valve. Valve type favoured in many pigging applications and combined with a
pig signaller to form the Ball Valve Mounted Pig Signaller. Full Bore valves allow
tools to move through without any compromise in the internal diameter of the pipe
and without the possibility of any obstructions being encountered.
Ball Valve Mounted Pig Signaller. This configuration allows Pipeline Engineerings
signaller to be removed from service whilst the pipeline is under pressure.
Barrel. The major diameter section of a pig trap into which the pig is loaded and to
which the closure is fitted.
Batching Pig. A utility pig that forms a moving seal in a pipeline to separate liquid
from gas media, or to separate two different products being transported in a pipeline.
The most common configuration of batching pigs is cup pigs and spheres.
Bi-Directional. Term describing pigs that are capable of moving both forwards and
backwards.
Brushes. Commonly fitted to Cleaning Pigs. Brushes are either circular or spring
mounted and made from steel, stainless steel or nylon (Necessary for lined pipe).
Bypass. The controlled flow of pressure (and pipeline product) past the sealing
faces of the pig. This reduces the differential pressure acting on the pig and is done
to control pig speed and cleaning efficiency.
Cassette (Magazine). Frequently found offshore and in automated pigging stations.
Pigs (usually spheres) can be pre-loaded in multiples and then launched and
received at a pre-determined rate.
Clamic Seal Closure. Quick Release Closure (QRC) design providing a quick, safe
and cost effective means of gaining access to pig traps when there is no requirement
to meet the intent of the ASME VIII design code.
Clamp Ring Closure. Quick Release Closure (QRC) design that provides a single
operator with a quick, safe means of gaining access to pig traps. These closures are
designed to meet the intent of the ASME VIII design code and are suitable for use at
pressures up to those associated with ANSI Class 2500. Clamp Ring Closures are
available in both horizontal and vertical opening versions.
Cleaning Pig. A utility pig that uses discs, brushes, scrapers or ploughs to remove
dirt, rust, scale, wax or other foreign matter from the pipeline. Cleaning pigs re run to
increase the operating efficiency of a pipeline or in preparation for its inspection.
Compression Pipe Plug. Temporary pipeline stopper system for medium pressure
applications. It incorporates multiple elastomeric sealing elements, some of which
have grit bonded to them to increase the gripping force of the stopper.

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Appendices

Design and Application Manual

APPENDICES
Cradle (Half-Basket or Tray). Used for loading pigs into traps. Pre-installed in
receivers, the incoming pig comes to rest on the cradle that can then be withdrawn
when the closure is opened. Often used in conjunction with free standing jib cranes.
Cup Pig. A utility pig that is supported and driven by cups made of a resilient
material such as rubber of polyurethane. At least one of the cups forms a piston-like
seal inside the pipe.
Cups. Elastomeric fittings (usually polyurethane) allow a pig to form a seal in the
pipeline. There are two types: standard and conical. Pigs fitted with cups are unidirectional only, irrespective of the type of cup fitted.
David and Bench. Method of loading a pig into, or retrieving it from, a trap.
Consists of a cradle bench with a winch to retrieve the pig and a free standing jib
crane.
Differential Pressure (d.p.). The pressure difference across the sealing elements of
any tool operating a seal in a pipeline. In order to deploy pigs, the d.p. must be high
enough to overcome the frictional resistance of the pig seals on the pipe wall.
Discs. Elastomeric fittings (usually polyurethane) allow the pig to form a seal in the
pipeline. They also provide a scraping action and are fitted to any pig that is required
to be bi-directional.
Drain Plugs. Temporary pipeline stopper system for low pressure applications. A
moulded rubber ring is expanded against the pipe wall and a large central drain port
allows the plug to be used for low pressure testing, plugging and draining of pipes
and drains.
Dual Diameter Pigs. Pigs capable of passing through two or more nominal pipe
diameters in the same piping system (eg. 12 to 10, 10 to 8, etc.).
Energise. Term describing the activation of a tool. There are generally 3 methods:
Manual (spanner, etc.) Pneumatic and Hydraulic (using pumps). Some stoppers
(Grip Lock Pipe Plugs) are self-energising. That is, due to features incorporated in
their design, an increase in differential pressure across the stopper is directly
translated into a radial pressure which increases the drip of the vice jaws against the
pipe wall.
Fittings. Items (not seals) which can be fitted to and removed from pigs. Such items
include brushes, scrapers, ploughs, transmitters and housings, magnets and gauging
plates.
Foam Pigs. Pigs made entirely from open cell polyurethane foam. Various coatings
can be applied and the pigs are available in three densities.
Flange. Mechanical method of connecting pipelines and fittings. Generally specified
according to their method of attachment to the pipeline.
(e.g.
Weld
neck/Threaded/Slip-on) and flange face profile (e.g. Raised Face/Ring Type Joint
(RTJ)). A blind flange is a solid cap which is used to blank off a pipe section which
has been terminated using any of the previously mentioned flange types.
Flange Mounted Pig Signaller. Allows Pipeline Engineerings signaller to be
attached to the pipeline via a 2 flange.
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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Appendices

Design and Application Manual

APPENDICES
Flange Weld Tester. Tool designed to test welds securing a flange into the end of a
pipe spool.
Gas Seal Stopper.
Temporary pipeline stopper system for low pressure
applications. The design incorporates inflatable rubber tyres in single, twin and triple
tyre versions.
Gauging Pig. A utility pig that is fitted with a gauging plate that is permanently
deformable by obstructions in the pipeline and this, upon retrieval from the line,
provides evidence of the worst case obstruction in a given pipeline segment.
Gauging Plate. Steel or aluminium circular plates normally fitted to metal bodied
pigs. They are usually machined to 95% of the internal pipeline diameter and are
designed to deform on contact with any deviation in pipeline diameter, whether this is
an object or a deformation in the pipeline).
Gel Pig. A utility pig that is composed of a highly viscous gelled liquid. These pigs
are often used for pipeline cleaning.
Grip Lock Pipe Plug. Temporary pipeline stopper system for high pressure
applications. It incorporates a seal and a gripping element (vice jaws) and is
described as self-energising.
Grit. Bonded to the polyurethane tyres/seals of a stopper in order to improve its grip
against the internal pipe wall. Gritting allows the stopper to hold against higher
differential pressures.
HIC (Hydrogen Induced Cracking). The prolonged effect of sour products on
steels, particularly on those steels under pressure). Untreated, HIC will lead to
catastrophic failure of the affected region.
Hi-Differential Pigs. Often referred to as High Friction pigs. Designed to withstand
pressures up to a predetermined value. When the pressure behind the pig reaches
this value it will overcome the frictional resistance between the discs and the pipe
wall and the pig will begin to move.
Hot-Tapping. The process whereby a signaller can be installed into a pipeline whilst
that pipeline is under full line pressure.
Hydrotest. Method of pressure testing pipelines (using water as a test medium) prior
to commissioning.
Inflatable Air Bag.
Temporary pipeline stopper system for low pressure
applications. Nylon/canvas covered rubber bladders are filled with air or an inert gas.
Conventionally used for air/water/smoke testing in drains/pipes/sewers.
In-Line Inspection Tool (ILI). Also known as an intelligent or smart pig. It uses
non-destructive testing techniques to inspect the pipe wall.
Intelligent Pig. See In-Line Inspection Tool.
Internal Joint Tester. Tool designed to test welds that tie lengths of pipe together.
These versatile tools can often be used to solve more diverse testing problems.
Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Appendices

Design and Application Manual

APPENDICES
Key Transfer Interlocking. Method of controlling pig trap operations in a safe and
pre-determined manner.
Kicker. Valved connection that allows line product to pressurise the space behind
the pig as it lies in the trap. This increase in pressure is responsible for launching the
pig. Also known as the bypass or bridle.
Launcher. See Pig Trap.
Magazine. A means of storing spheres for subsequent automatic launching in
pipeline system. Spheres are individually fed from the magazine into the launching
trap.
Magnets. Used mainly for picking up ferrous debris after brushing, these are usually
fitted to metal bodied and special pigs. They can also be fitted to foam pigs and
caste into spheres and solid cast pigs. In such instances they are used mainly to
provide a transmission source for pig tracking and location equipment.
Manufacturing Design Code. There are several codes covering the design of
pressure vessels: BS 5500, ASME VIII, ANSI B31.3/4/8, BS8010, BS4515,
Stoomwezen, AD Merkblatte, DIN.
Metal Bodied Pigs. A standard pig, the body of which is made predominantly from
metal (seals and fittings can all be replaced). Also known as a Mandrel pig.
Meter Prover Loop. A special pipeline system used for calibrating flow meters.
Inflatable spheres are commonly used in meter prover loops.
Minimum Bend Radius. The smallest longitudinal radius to be encountered in any
section of pipeline. The MBR limits the length of any tool to be deployed and is
specified relative to the diameter of the pipeline. E.g. ID (Where D is the nominal
pipeline diameter), 1D, 3D, etc.
MV/E/MVE. Pipeline Engineering abbreviations for the trhee signaller output options:
Mechanical/Visual (MV, Electrical (E) and Combined (MVE).
NDT/NDE. Non-Destructive Testing / Non-Destructive Examination.
Neckpipe. The minor diameter section of a pig trap.
Nipolet. Weldable fitting used as a small diameter offtake and to which piping and
other fittings can be attached.
Nozzles. Piped offtakes from the pig trap barrel and neck pipe. These include:
Kicker, Drain, Vent, Blowdown, Balance Lines, Pressurising Lines and Thermal Relief
Valves.
Ovality. Deformation found in pipeline sections as a result of manufacturing
processes, particularly prevalent at bends.
Pig. A generic term signifying any independent, self-contained devise or vehicle that
moves through the interior of a pipeline for the purposes of inspecting, dimensioning
and cleaning that pipeline or for transporting (batching) pipeline product.

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Appendices

Design and Application Manual

APPENDICES
Piggable Hyperbaric Sphere. Specifically developed to act as a local stopper
during subsea tie-ins. They are inserted into the pipeline to act as a plug and the
pipeline is then welded together sealing the spheres inside. They are retrieved by
increasing the pipeline pressure which pigs the spheres past the weld site and down
the pipeline to the receiving station.
Pigging Function. Describes the task which a pig is designed to perform. Such
tasks include debris removal, cleaning, gauging, filling, de-watering, drying,
separation (batching), condensate removal, meter proving, product displacement,
product conversion, gel pigging and coating application.
Pig Signalling. A means of indicating the progress of a pig along a pipeline. Pig
signalling falls into two categories: intrusive and non-intrusive. Intrusive signallers
incorporate a trigger mechanism that protrudes into the pipeline whilst non-intrusive
signallers usually require an active transmitting source to be built into the pig.
Pig Tracking. A means of continuously indicating the progress of a pig along a
pipeline. Pig tracking requires an active transmitting source to be built into the pig the
signals of which are interpreted by an external receiver. Various technologies are
used to provide the source: electromagnetic, acoustic and radioactive.
Pig Trap. Allows pigs and other in-line tools to be inserted into and removed from a
pipeline that is to be subsequently pressurised. Pig traps are alternatively known as:
Launchers, Receivers, Scrap Traps, Barrels, Universal, Bi-Directional, Sphere,
Inclined, Declined, Vertical and Temporary Traps.
Ploughs. Polyurethane fittings, often used as an alternative to brushes and
scrapers. Particularly suitable for removing and breaking up soft waxes.
Polyurethane. An elastomeric material that can be formulated to suit specific
operating conditions. Cast to form discs, cups, scrapers and ploughs, it has excellent
physical strength but is often limited by thermal and chemical compatabilities with the
pipeline product.
Ports. Pre-machined openings found in most equipment types and provided for the
purposes of filling (a pipe section with a fluid medium); venting excess fluid/pressure;
allowing partial pressure transfer bypass; monitoring internal pressure; draining test
medium/pipeline contents.
Pressure. All tools manufactured by Pipeline Engineering are designed to resist
against an applied (differential) pressure in some way. Tools, in particular, stoppers,
must resist pressure in two ways, by sealing and holding. Sealing can be affected
against very high pressures relatively easily. However, it is more difficult to maintain
the tool in position against the same pressure. A means, therefore, is required to
expand the tool against the pipe wall with sufficient pressure to overcome the
differential pressure acting across the tool.
Quick Release Closure. Pressure retaining structures, typically designed to provide
a quick, easy access to pig traps, strainers, filter units, meter prover end chambers,
etc. whilst maintaining the ability to seal against the working pressure within the
pipeline.
Receiver. See Pig Trap.

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Appendices

Design and Application Manual

APPENDICES
Reducer. A point of transition built into a pig trap that compresses the pig seals from
the freely loadable into the travelling state which corresponds to the bore of the
pipeline. The pig is pushed through the reducer under hydraulic line pressure.
Reducers are either concentric or eccentric depending upon whether they are
installed in receivers or launchers respectively.
ROV. Remotely Operated Vehicle (pilotless submersible) used for subsea operations
and controlled from a remote station aboard a surface vessel.
Rubber. A common material for the manufacture of discs and spheres. Lacks the
physical strength of polyurethane but has good chemical and thermal properties.
There are several popular formulations: neoprene, nitrile, silicon, viton.
Scrapers. Polyurethane or metal fittings - often used as an alternative to brushes
and ploughs. Scrapers re particularly suitable for removing hard waxes.
Seal. Elastomeric element used to create a pressure differential within the pipeline.
Elastomer type depends on application: polyurethane is physically superior whereas
viton/nitrile may have better resistance in many chemical environments. Seals are
usually employed as static discs or rings (pigs, closures, signallers) or expandable
rings (stoppers and testers).
Solid Cast Pig. Pig made as a single casting entirely from polyurethane.
Sour Service. Refers to the presence of hydrogen sulphide (H2S) in the line product.
This makes the product and any condensate very acidic, corroding carbon steel
pipelines and components and degrading polyurethanes which have not been
formulated specifically to withstand sour service conditions.
Special Pigs. Pigs that have been extensively modified from standard in order to
perform a special task.
Sphere. A spherical utility pig made of rubber or polyurethane. The sphere may be
solid or hollow, filled with air or liquid. Spheres are often used for batching in
unmanned, automated pigging programmed as several can be loaded at once into
launcher magazines. Inflatable spheres are almost always specified for use in meter
prover loops because their diameter can be adjusted to compensate for wear.
Sphere Release Mechanisms. Mechanisms incorporated into unmanned automatic
sphere launching and receiving stations. These include steel fingers and flaps that
protrude into the pipeline and specially designed automated valves.
Spool. An independent section of pipe not yet tied into the main pipeline.
Stopper. A tool that can be inserted into a pipeline to form a reliable and reusable
temporary seal capable of safely retaining a specified pressure for long periods.
Stoppers are energised either mechanically, hydraulically or pneumatically and can
be removed from the pipeline after use. There are three basic types of stopper
classified as high, medium and low pressure, according to the differential pressure
they are required to retain.
Supports. Permanently support and restrain a pig trap. Sliding supports are often
fitted under the trap barrel where expansion may be excessive.

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Appendices

Design and Application Manual

APPENDICES
Trap. See Pig Trap.
Transmitter. Electronic method of identifying the location of a pig in a pipeline. The
transmitter is either constantly active or remotely activated when required. Its signals
can then be interpreted by a receiver either fixed to the pipeline or sited locally.
Tyres. Alternative term for the seals found in Gas Seal Stoppers. More specifically,
tyres are expended by introducing a pressurised fluid (liquid or gas) through the valve
into the tyre. Typically used for large diameter, low pressure applications.
Uni-Directional.
pipeline.

Term for pigs that can move only in one direction within the

Uni-Sig. Pipeline Engineerings In-line serviceable (hot tappable) signaller.


Utility Pig. A pig that performs relatively simple mechanical pigging functions. The
range includes metal bodies pigs, solid cast pigs, foam pigs, spheres and special
pigs.
Vice Jaws. Forged and hardened steel gripping elements that are expanded against
and bite into the pipe wall. The jaws are segmented and held by an elastomeric ring
around a taper which moves and expands the jaws as the pressure on the face of the
tool increases, This type of tool is described as self-energising.
Welding boss. Weldable fitting that can subsequently be threaded to accept various
components and piping configurations.
Welding Habitat. Temporary subsea working environment, dry, pressurised and
built around the pipeline worksite. Water is forced out through the floor and access is
via a diving bell that can be locked onto the habitat.
Weld-o-Flange. Weldable flanged fitted onto which similarly sized flanges can be
connected.

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Appendices

Design and Application Manual

APPENDICES
PIG SELECTION QUESTIONNAIRE
To assist in offering the optimum pig system for your requirements, please complete this form as thoroughly as
possible and return to the address overleaf.
A) CLIENT DETAILS
Company

________________________________________________________________________

Address

________________________________________________________________________

Contact

_____________________________ Tel.________________ Fax.__________________

Date Quotation Required

Date Equipment Required

Project Name

___________________________________________

Client Ref. __________________

B) PIPELINE DATA
1.

Length _________________________________

2. Material __________________________________

3.

Outside Dia _____________________________

4. Internal Dia__________ (max) ___________(min)

5.

Details of Restrictions ___________________________________________________________________

6.

Line Elevation ___________________________ 7. No. of Bends _______________________________

8.

Minimum Bend Radius 1.5D [

9.

Specify Minimum Distance Between Bends.


__________________________________________________

10.

Tee Types: Sphere [

Barred [

3D [

Unbarred [

5D [

Other [

State max branch dia [

11. Other Fittings: Wyes, Hydrocouples _______________________________________________________


12.

Are scraper traps fitted?

Yes [

No [

C) VALVE TYPES
1.

Ball

Through Bore_____________________________________________________________

2.

Gate

Seat Ring Length _______________________Min Bore __________________________

3.

Conduit [

Bore at Gate _______________________ Bore at Ends _________________________

4.

Check [

Bore at End ________________________ Bowl Length _________________________

5.

Detail other valves or details of above ______________________________________________________

D) INTERNAL CONDITION
1.

Specify condition (e.g. mill scale, epoxy lined, heavy wax) ____________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________

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Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Appendices

Design and Application Manual

APPENDICES
2.

Last pigged (pig type(s), date of last run, etc.) ______________________________________________


___________________________________________________________________________________

E) PRODUCT / PRESSURES/ FLOWS


1.

Line Contents (e.g. heavy crude, water, etc.) _______________________________________________

2.

Propellant (e.g. crude at 70C) __________________________________________________________

3.

Flow Rate

Min _________________________________ Max ____________________________

4.

Pressure

Min _________________________________ Max ____________________________

F) PIG SELECTION
1.

Purpose of pig operation (e.g. dust, water, wax removal, batching)


____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________

2.

Specific requirements (e.g. back loading, bi-directional) _______________________________________


____________________________________________________________________________________

3.

Options (Just some are listed)


Transmitter Housing (State model/type)

Bumper Nose (polyurethane)

Jetting Head

Magnets

Gauging plate
Brushes

Steel [
Stainless Steel [

Aluminium

] Other (please specify)

4.

Estimated Quantities ___________________________________________________________________

5.

Any further information to help in selection __________________________________________________


____________________________________________________________________________________

Date Completed ________________ Name ________________________ Signed _______________________


Thank you for completing the questionnaire. Please send to:
Sales Office, Pipeline Engineering
Gatherley Road, Catterick Bridge, Richmond, North Yorkshire, England, DL10 7JG
Tel No: +44 (0) 1748 818341 Fax No: +44 (0) 1748 812955
E-mail: enquiries@pipelineengineering.co.uk
Literature Required [
Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Appendices

Design and Application Manual

APPENDICES
PIPE SCHEDULES
ASA PIPE SCHEDULES
Wall: Wall Thickness in Millimeters
ID: Internal Diameter
Nominal
Pipe
Size
Inches
0.125
0.25
0.375
0.5
0.75
1
1.25
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
5
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
22
24
26
28
30
32
34
36

O.D
mm

10.3
13.7
17.1
21.3
26.7
33.4
42.2
48.3
60.3
73.0
88.9
101.6
114.3
141.3
168.3
219.1
273.0
323.9
355.6
406.4
457.2
508.0
558.8
609.6
660.4
711.2
762.0
812.8
863.6
914.4

Schedule
10
Wall
ID

6.4
6.4
6.4
6.4
6.4
6.4
7.9
7.9
7.9
7.9
7.9
7.9

342.8
393.6
444.4
495.2
546.0
596.8
644.6
695.4
746.2
797.0
847.8
898.6

Schedule
20
Wall
ID

6.4
6.4
6.4
7.9
7.9
7.9
9.5
9.5
9.5
12.7
12.7
12.7
12.7
12.7
12.7

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

206.3
260.2
311.1
339.8
390.6
441.4
489.0
539.8
590.6
635.0
685.8
736.6
787.4
838.2
889.0

Schedule
30
Wall
ID

7.0
7.8
8.4
9.5
9.5
11.1
12.7
12.7
14.3

205.1
257.4
307.1
336.6
387.4
435.0
482.6
533.4
581.0

15.9
15.9
15.9
15.9
15.9

679.4
730.2
781.0
831.8
882.6

Standard
Wall

1.7
2.2
2.3
2.8
2.9
3.4
3.6
3.7
3.9
5.2
5.5
5.7
6.0
6.6
7.1
8.2
9.3
9.5
9.5
9.5
9.5
9.5
9.5
9.5
9.5
9.5
9.5
9.5
9.5
9.5

ID

6.9
9.3
12.5
15.7
20.9
26.6
35.0
40.9
52.5
62.6
77.9
90.2
102.3
128.1
154.1
202.7
254.4
304.9
336.6
387.4
438.2
489.0
539.8
590.6
641.4
692.2
743.0
793.8
844.6
895.4

Schedule
40
Wall
ID

1.7
2.2
2.3
2.8
2.9
3.4
3.6
3.7
3.9
5.2
5.5
5.7
6.0
6.6
7.1
8.2
9.3
10.3
11.1
12.7
14.3
15.1

6.9
9.3
12.5
15.7
20.9
26.6
35.0
40.9
52.5
62.6
77.9
90.2
102.3
128.1
154.1
202.7
254.4
303.3
333.4
381.0
428.6
477.8

17.4

574.8

Schedule
60
Wall
ID

10.3
12.7
14.3
15.1
16.7
19.0
20.8
22.2
24.6

199.0
247.6
295.3
325.4
373.0
419.2
466.4
514.4
560.4

Extra
Strong
Wall
ID

2.4
3.0
3.2
3.7
3.9
4.5
4.9
5.1
5.5
7.0
7.6
8.1
8.6
9.5
11.0
12.5
12.5
12.7
12.7
12.7
12.7
12.7
12.7
12.7
12.7
12.7
12.7
12.7
12.7
12.7

Appendices

5.5
7.7
10.7
13.9
18.9
24.4
32.4
38.1
49.3
59.0
73.7
85.4
97.1
122.3
146.3
194.1
248.0
298.5
330.2
381.0
431.8
482.6
533.4
584.2
635.0
685.8
736.6
787.4
838.2
889.0

Schedule
80
Wall
ID

2.4
3.0
3.2
3.7
3.9
4.5
4.9
5.1
5.5
7.0
7.6
8.1
8.6
9.5
11.0
12.7
15.1
17.4
19.0
21.4
23.8
26.2
28.6
30.9

5.5
7.7
10.7
13.9
18.9
24.4
32.4
38.1
49.3
59.0
73.7
85.4
97.1
122.3
146.3
193.7
242.8
289.1
317.6
363.6
409.6
455.6
501.6
547.8

Schedule
100
Wall
ID

15.1
18.3
21.4
23.8
26.2
29.4
32.5
34.9
38.9

188.9
236.4
281.1
308.0
354.0
398.4
443.0
489.0
531.8

Schedule
120
Wall
ID

11.1
12.7
14.3
18.3
21.4
25.4
27.8
30.9
34.9
38.1
41.3
46.0

92.1
115.9
139.7
182.5
230.2
273.1
300.0
344.6
387.4
431.8
476.2
517.6

Schedule
140
Wall
ID

20.6
25.4
28.6
31.8
36.5
39.7
44.4
47.8
52.4

177.9
222.2
266.7
292.0
333.4
377.8
419.2
463.2
504.8

Schedule
160
Wall
ID

4.8
5.6
6.4
6.4
7.1
8.7
9.5
11.1

11.7
15.5
20.6
29.4
34.1
42.9
54.0
66.7

13.5
15.9
18.3
23.0
28.6
33.3
35.7
40.5
45.2
50.0
54.0
59.5

87.3
109.5
131.7
173.1
215.8
257.3
284.2
325.4
366.8
408.0
450.8
490.6

Double
Extra Strong
Wall
ID

7.5
7.8
9.1
9.7
10.2
11.1
14.0
15.2
16.2
17.1
19.0
21.9
22.2
25.4
25.4

6.3
11.1
15.2
22.8
27.9
38.1
45.0
58.5
69.2
80.1
103.3
124.5
174.7
222.2
273.1

Design and Application Manual

APPENDICES

A.N.S.I. PRESSURE RATINGS


150

300

400

600

900

1500

2500

1 bs/sq/ in.

275

720

960

1440

2160

3600

6000

BAR
GAUGE

18.96

49.64

66.19

99.28

148.93

248.21

413.69

1 bs/sq. in

425

1100

1450

2175

3250

5400

9000

BAR
GAUGE

29.30

75.84

9.97

149.96

224.08

372.32

620.53

CLASS
WORKING
PRESSURE

TEST
PRESSURE

Copyright 1999
Pipeline Engineering & Supply Co Ltd

Appendices