In general, the larger the set of flanges, the more difficult they are to spread. As an example, 24” 1500 Series flanges are 8” thick. Factor in the wall thickness of the piping, along with a short pipe run into a header, and you have some serious rigidity to deal with. When it comes to spreading flanges in this scenario, you have a limited amount of choices.
In the past, maintenance crews might drive wedges in between the flanges to change out the gasket or insert an isolation blind. Wedges that are not tethered to the flange, can come out at speeds that Superman can’t outrun. Flying wedges have injured and maimed workers for years; for this reason, untethered wedges are banned in many facilities. There is an overall lack of faith that wedges can be used safely, tethered or untethered.
SMP has been in business for over two decades and has been confronted with flange spreading challenges of every description. Large and thick flanges can be spread just as safely and effectively as any size and series of flanges; it just takes using the right tool for the job. The Equalizer Swi2025TE Maxi-Kit is the right tool for the job for spreading most rigid flanges. The Swi2025TE Maxi-Kit provides up to 50,000 pounds of spreading force applied equally on both sides of the flanges, 180 degrees apart. No spreader on the market can provide more spreading power. Each spreading head can be tethered to keep from falling. Step blocks come with the kit to assist you in creating the exact spread you need. The SWi2025TE Maxi-Kit might be the only tool that can spread the flanges in the above mentioned scenario.
SMP is grateful for our relationship with Equalizer and their line of spreaders and flange alignment tools. To learn more about Equalizer and all of our safer and more efficient pipe and flange maintenance tools, call the authority, call SMP (713) 667-4402! Find us at www.smptools.com. Today is the day to work safer and smarter!