Pipe freezing has many applications in a variety of industries, including nuclear and fossil power generation, offshore oil and gas production, refineries and petrochemical plants.
Single or multiple freeze isolations can be applied on-line in pipes up to 48″ in diameter, to allow:
- Valve repair/replacement
- Pipe modifications/maintenance
- Miscellaneous intervention procedures
Typical pipe freezing applications include:
- Cooling Water
- Fire Protection Systems
- Process Systems
- Fuel Oil Lines
- Sludge Lines
- Hydraulic Control Lines
- Domestic/Utility Water Systems
- Hydrocarbon Risers
- Water Injection Lines
- Drill Pipe Sea Water Ballast
- Heat Exchanger Lines
- Boiler Feed and Condensate Systems
- Lube Oil/Governor Oil
- Pressure Vessel Cooling Systems
- Chilled Water Systems
An important aspect of our pipe freezing procedure is the use of the latest Heat Flux Monitoring techniques. The use of Furmanite Heat Flux instrumentation systems offers considerable operational and safety advantages:
- Growth of the plug is monitored, alerting operators to any problems which may arise due to excessive temperature or flow.
- Final plug formation is positively confirmed, prior to intervention.
- The thermal stability of the plug can be constantly checked, providing early warning of any change in conditions that might threaten the integrity of the isolation.
Quality and Safety
Furmanite’s standard pipe freezing procedures specify the use of personal oxygen monitors for all pipe freezing personnel, to guard against the risk of oxygen deficiency due to vented nitrogen gas. The pipe freezing process is fully controlled by formal written procedures which form part of Furmanitefs ISO9001 quality control system. All cryogenic equipment is regularly inspected, maintained and certified, to statutory requirements (and beyond where necessary).
PIPE FREEZE PLUG SERVICE BENEFITS
Pipe freezing is widely acknowledged as a safe, reliable and highly cost-effective method of temporary pipe isolation and as a result offers a number of major benefits:
- No need to drain down systems, thus avoiding costly and time-consuming venting procedures.
- No need to arrange for the bulk transfer or storage of possibly toxic or corrosive fluids.
- Cuts losses of expensive liquids, such as treated water and systems inhibitors.
- Overcomes the problems of handling hazardous materials and enhances safety when working on lines containing contaminated or volatile liquids.
- In many cases pipe freezing allows maintenance work to be carried out without interruption to continuous process systems.
Furmanite’s controlled pipe freeze isolation technique uses gaseous nitrogen and ensures that the equipment is not taken outside its design limits, reducing the risk of embrittlement. The freezing jacket provides an annulus around the pipe into which gaseous nitrogen is introduced, with no direct contact between the gaseous nitrogen and the pipe.