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Title:
Pipe Fitting
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2015/104542
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A pipe fitting for the connection of an end of a first pipeline section to an end of a further pipeline section, a pipeline component or a side pipe fitting is provided. The pipe fitting includes a first connector part located with the end of the first pipeline section and a second connector part located with the end of the second pipeline section or the pipeline component. The first and second connector parts are provided with respective sets of engagement means, which are moved into an engaged position to form the pipe fitting by relative rotation between the first and second connector parts.

Inventors:
PATRIARCA, Sergio (Via Cesare Pavese 6, Pianezza, 10044, IT)
Application Number:
GB2015/050017
Publication Date:
July 16, 2015
Filing Date:
January 07, 2015
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
CONNEXT LIMITED (Unit 6, Metcalf Drive,,Altham Industrial Estate, Accrington Lancashire BB5 5TU, GB)
International Classes:
F16L37/113
Foreign References:
US20050123346A12005-06-09
EP2075497A12009-07-01
GB1567079A1980-05-08
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BAILEY WALSH & CO LLP (1 York Place, Leeds West Yorkshire LS1 2DR, Leeds West Yorkshire LS1 2DR, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A pipe fitting for the connection of an end of a first pipeline section to an end of a further pipeline section, a pipeline component or a side pipe fitting, including: a first connector part located with the end of the first pipeline section and a second connector part located with the end of the second pipeline section or the pipeline component, wherein said first and second connector parts are provided with respective sets of engagement means which are moved into an engaged position to form the pipe fitting by relative rotation between the first and second connector parts .

2. A pipe fitting according to claim 1 , wherein the first and/or second connector parts are located on the respective end of the pipeline section or pipeline component by a lip portion formed on the pipeline or pipeline component.

3. A pipe fitting according to claim 2, wherein the lip portion has an outer periphery which is greater in dimension than an aperture formed in the respective connector part, preventing the connector part from being removable from that end of the pipeline section.

4. A pipe fitting according to claim 1 , wherein at least one o f the connector parts is free to rotate with respect to the pipeline section or pipeline component allowing relative engagement rotation to be performed without rotation of the pipeline section or pipeline component.

5. A pipe fitting according to claim 1 , wherein at least one locking means is used to prevent further rotation of the connector parts.

6. A pipe fitting according to claim 1 , wherein at least one sealing component is located intermediate the first and second connector parts.

7. A pipe fitting according to claim 1 , wherein the relative rotation of the said first and second connector parts causes the first and second connector parts to be drawn towards each other, compres sing at least one sealing layer between said first and second connection parts .

8. A pipe fitting according to claim 7, wherein the at least one sealing layer is a gasket.

9. A pipe fitting according to claim 1 , wherein each of the connector parts includes engagement means which comprise a number of engagement formations located at spaced intervals around an annular path which lies outwith an internal bore of the pipeline.

10. A pipe fitting according to claim 9, wherein each of the engagement formations is substantially L or hook shaped.

1 1. A pipe fitting according to claim 9, wherein the engagement means on the first connector part are provided with a first orientation and the engagement means on the second connector part are provided in a reverse orientation.

12. A pipe fitting according to claim 9, wherein at least one of the engagement means has a contact face which is inclined such that when the same contacts with a contact face of the other engagement means, via relative rotation, the first and second connector parts are drawn together.

13. A pipe fitting according to claim 1 , wherein the relative rotation between the first and second connector parts, is achieved via manual movement or, alternatively, by powered movement.

14. A pipeline, said pipeline including at least two pipeline sections which are joined end to end using a pipe fitting as herein described.

15. A pipeline, said pipeline having an end portion and to which a component is attached using a pipe fitting as herein described.

16. A tool to allow relative rotation to be achieved between first and second connector parts of a pipeline fitting and cause engagement of the same, said tool comprising: a first arm and a second arm which are pivotally moveable about a pivot axis, the free ends of said first and second arms being provided with means to allow engagement with the first and second connector parts which are to be relatively moved by use of the tool.

17. A tool according to clam 1 6, wherein the pivotal movement is achieved by the provision of a threaded member which is in threaded engagement with the first and second arms and, the rotation of which, causes the movement of the arms towards or away from each other.

18. A method for the connection of an end of a section of pipeline to an end of a further section of pipeline or a pipeline component, said method comprising steps of: locating a first connector part to an end of the first pipeline section, locating a second connector part to an end of the second section of pipeline or the pipeline component, said first and second connector parts including respective sets of engagement means formed thereon, bringing the first and second connecting parts towards each other in a first position and wherein the said first and second connecting parts are then relatively rotated to allow engagement of the sets of engagement means and hence connect the connector parts together.

19. A method according to claim 18, wherein the relative rotation causes the first and second connector parts and hence pipeline sections or pipeline section and pipeline component, to be drawn together.

20. A method according to claim 18, wherein the method includes the step of placing at least one sealing layer intermediate the first and second connector parts and then engaging the same.

21. A method according to claim 18, wherein the first and second connector parts are initially brought together such that the engagement means of the first connector part lie in spaces provided between the engagement means of the second connector part, such that subsequent relative rotation of the first and second parts causes respective engagement means of the first and second connector parts to locate with each other.

Description:
Pipe Fitting

The invention to which this application relates is a pipe fitting which allows the sealtight and inline connection of sections of pipeline in order to form the pipeline to the required length.

The fitting of sections of pipeline together, end to end, is well known and, conventionally, is typically achieved using flanges, with a first flange being connected to an end of the first pipeline and a second flange being connected to an end of the second pipeline. The flanges can then be brought together directly in contact or, more typically there is provided one or more intermediate sealing layers therebetween which act as a gasket to provide the required sealing effect to prevent leakage of fluid from the interior of the pipeline. The flanges are provided with matching spaced apart apertures and, when the apertures in the respective flanges are aligned, securing bolts can be pas sed therethrough and a nut tightened on each to bring the contact faces and the intermediate layers together into a mechanically tightened position and so form the connection with the ends of the pipeline sections together.

The same proces s can be used to j oin the end of a first pipeline section to a pipeline component rather than another pipeline section and the pipeline component can be any conventional component such as, for example, a valve as sembly.

While the provision of this type of flange connection for sections of pipeline or for a section of pipeline to a pipeline component, is used success fully on a wide basis, the fitting procedure can be time consuming in, firstly, ensuring that all of the apertures of the respective flanges are aligned correctly and secondly there is a need to introduce and then tighten the bolt and nut for each of the apertures around the flanges to the required tightnes s level. This means that, in addition to the time which is required to be taken to ensure that all of the bolts and nuts can be tightened, there is also the increased risk of failure due, for example, to one of the bolt and nut assemblies being incorrectly fastened.

The aim of the present invention is therefore to provide a means by which adj acent pipeline sections can be j oined together efficiently and effectively and/or to allow a pipeline section end to be connected to a component for the pipeline.

In a first aspect o f the invention, there is provided a pipe fitting to allow the connection of an end of a first pipeline section to an end of a further pipeline section or a pipeline component, side pipe fitting including a first connector part located with the end of the first pipeline section and a second connector part located with the end of the second pipeline section or the pipeline component, wherein said first and second connector parts are provided with respective sets of engagement means which are moved into an engaged position to form the pipe fitting by relative rotation between the first and second connector parts.

In one embodiment the first and/or second connector parts are located on the respective end of the pipeline section or pipeline component by a lip portion formed on the pipeline or pipeline component. Typically the lip portion has an outer periphery which is greater in dimension than the aperture formed in the respective connector part so as to prevent the connector part from being removable from that end of the pipeline section.

In one embodiment at least one of the connector parts, but typically both, are free to rotate with respect to the pipeline section or pipeline component so as to allow the relative engagement rotation to be performed without the need for the pipeline section or pipeline component to be rotated.

In one embodiment, once the pipe fitting has been formed and the engagement means engaged, at least one locking means is used to prevent further rotation of the connector parts .

In one embodiment at least one sealing component is located intermediate the first and second connector parts .

In one embodiment, the relative rotation between the said first and second connecting parts, acts to locate the said first pipeline section with the second pipeline section or pipeline component with respect to movement in a direction along the longitudinal axis of the said pipeline.

In one embodiment, in addition, the relative rotation of the said first and second connector parts causes the first and second connector parts to be drawn towards each other to thereby compres s the at least one sealing layer between said first and second connection parts.

In one embodiment the at least one sealing layer is a gasket.

In one embodiment, each of the connector parts includes a set of engagement means which comprise a number of engagement formations located at spaced intervals around an annular path which lies outwith the internal bore of the pipeline.

Typically, the spacing of the engagement parts is the same on each of the connector parts.

In one embodiment, each of the engagement parts is substantially L or hook shaped. Typically, the engagement means on the first connector part are provided with a first orientation and the engagement means on the second connector part are provided in a reverse orientation.

Typically the first and second connector parts are initially brought together such that the engagement means of the first connector part lie in the spaces between the engagement means of the second connector part such that subsequent relative rotation of the first and second parts causes respective engagement means of the first and second connector parts to locate with each other.

In one embodiment, one of the engagement means which engage has a contact face which is inclined such that when the same contacts with the contact face of the other engagement means, via relative rotation, the first and second connector parts are drawn together. This may be provided in one, or repeated for some or all of the engagement means.

In one embodiment, the relative rotation between the first and second connector parts, is achieved via manual movement or, alternatively, by powered movement.

In either case, the relative rotation can be achieved by use of a tool which provides a mechanical advantage to allow the relative rotation between the first and second connector parts to be achieved.

In a further aspect of the invention, there is provided a pipeline, said pipeline including at least two pipeline sections which are j oined end to end using the pipe fitting as herein described. In a further aspect of the invention, there is provided a pipeline, said pipeline having an end portion and to which a component is attached using the pipe fitting as herein described.

In a further aspect of the invention, there is provided a tool to allow relative rotation to be achieved between first and second connector parts and cause engagement of the same, said tool comprising a first arm and a second arm which are pivotally moveable about a pivot axis, the free ends of said first and second arms being provided with means to allow engagement with the first and second connector parts which are to be relatively moved by use of the tool.

In one embodiment the pivotal movement is achieved by the provision of a threaded member which is in threaded engagement with the first and second arms and, the rotation of which, causes the movement of the arms towards or away from each other.

In a further aspect of the invention there is provided a method for the connection of an end of a section of pipeline to an end of a further section of pipeline or a pipeline component, said method comprising steps of locating a first connector part to an end of the first pipeline section, locating a second connector part to an end of the second section of pipeline or the pipeline component, said first and second connector parts including respective sets of engagement means formed thereon, bringing the first and second connecting parts towards each other in a first position and wherein the said first and second connecting parts are then relatively rotated to allow engagement of the sets of engagement means and hence connect the connector parts together. In one embodiment the relative rotation causes the first and second connector parts and hence pipeline sections or pipeline section and pipeline component, to be drawn together.

In one embodiment, the method includes the step of placing at least one sealing layer intermediate the first and second connector parts and then engaging the same.

Typically the pipe fitting can be removed by the repeating the method steps in reverse.

Specific embodiments of the invention are now described with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein: -

Figure l a illustrates part of a pipeline formed in accordance with the invention and

Figure l b illustrates a pipeline section connected to a pipeline component in accordance with a further embodiment of the invention.

Figure 2a illustrates the pipe fitting in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;

Figure 2b illustrates in detail engagement means of the pipe fitting in connection;

Figure 3 illustrates the components of the pipe fitting in accordance with one embodiment of the invention and

Figure 4 illustrates a tool for use in the engagement of the pipe fitting in accordance with one embodiment of the invention; and Figure 5 illustrates an example of the tool in use with the pipe fitting in accordance with one embodiment of the invention.

Referring firstly to Figure l a, there is illustrated part of a pipeline (2) which is formed of, in this case, first and second pipeline sections (4, 6) . The pipeline sections are joined end to end and have a common longitudinal axis (8), with the end (10) of pipeline (4) connected to the end (12) of pipeline (6) via pipe fitting (14) in accordance with the invention.

Figure l b illustrates another pos sible use of the pipe fitting 14 in accordance with the invention in which the pipe fitting is used to connect an end (1 8) of a pipeline section (16) to a pipeline component (20) in the form of a valve.

The use and forming of the pipe fitting in accordance with the invention is now described with reference to the following drawings.

Figures 2 and 3 illustrate a pipe fitting 14 in accordance with one embodiment of the invention for use in j oining together two sections of pipeline. It will be seen that the pipe fitting comprises first and second connector parts (22, 24) which are provided with sets of engagement means (30, 30') which are provided at spaced intervals on respective faces (32, 34) of the first and second connecting parts. The engagement means 30 of the first connector part are provided in the opposite orientation to the engagement means (30') of the second connector part.

The first connector part is provided to locate on a lip (26) on the pipeline end (10) and the second connector part locates on a lip 28 on the pipeline end 12 with which the same are to be used. In addition, in the embodiment shown, an intermediate sealing layer (36) in the form of a sealing gasket is provided so as to lie between the pipeline ends 10,12 and typically, the pipeline ends will have an appropriate face or groove to accommodate or contain the sealing gasket.

When the first and second connector parts 22, 24 are brought together, and hence also the pipeline sections to which the same are attached, the engagement means 30 on the first connector part 22 are offset to the engagement means 30' of the second connector part 24 and therefore lie in the spaces between the other of the engagement means set, so that the respective sets of engagement means lie in substantially the same plane. Relative rotation, as indicated by arrows (38, 40) of the first and second connector parts 22,24 and the pipeline sections connected thereto, cause the free ends 42,44 of the respective engagement means to be moved together and overlap each other as shown in Figure 2a and enlarged in Figure 2b to provide the required location between the first and second connector parts 22,24.

This location therefore prevents movement of the first and second connector parts 22,24 and hence the pipeline sections connected thereto, in all directions. In addition, the contact faces (50, 52) of the respective engagement means, are inclined such that, for example, the distance X between the contact face 52 and the face 30' of the connector part 24, decreases from the free end 54 of the engagement means to the distance X' and this is repeated for the distances Y and Y' of the engagement means in the other set of engagement means 30 of the connector part 22 such that when the relative engagement occurs, the first and second connector parts 22,24 are drawn together along the longitudinal axis 8 so as to compress the sealing gasket 36 between the pipeline section ends.

In one embodiment, a tool (50) can be used of a type shown in Figure 4 and this comprises first and second arms (52, 54) which are j oined together about a pivotal axis (56) to allow pivotal movement in the direction of arrows (58, 60) . At each of the free ends of the arms, there are provided location means 62,64, with the location means 62 being provided to locate with the first connector part 22 and the location means 64 being provided to locate with the second connector part 24.

The tool also includes a threaded member 66 which engages with each of the arms in a threaded manner at locations (68, 70) as shown, such that rotation of the threaded member in a first direction, causes the arms to be pivotally moved towards each other and rotation in the opposite direction causes the arms to be moved apart. In this arrangement, a head portion 72 is provided on the threaded member so as to allow engagement with, for example a spanner to allow the rotational action to be achieved.

Figure 5 shows the tool in position with respect to the first and second parts of the pipe fitting and illustrates how the movement of the support arms together, will achieve the relative rotation of the first and second parts and thereby allow the engagement means to be moved into the engaging position as shown in Figure 5 and so form the pipe fitting. The action of the tool can be selected with a speed and a torque by the use o f an appropriate threaded member and to thereby reflect the force which is required with regard to the particular pipe fitting in order to allow the relative rotation between the connector parts. Locking means can also be provided to be used to retain the first and second connector parts in the engagement position once the tool 50 has been used and therefore maintain the sealed pipe fitting. The locking means will typically be in the form of one or more pins 74 which are passed through respective apertures 76, 76' in the first connector part 22 and apertures 78, 78' in second connector part 24 as illustrated in Figures 2b and 3 and thereby prevent rotation of the connector parts 22, 24 and the tool 50 can then be removed.

It should also be noted that the decoupling of the pipe fitting is also much quicker and more efficient than using conventional pipe fittings. In accordance with the invention the steps required to decouple the pipe fitting are to remove the locking means, engage the tool with the first and second connector parts, cause the movement of the arms of the tool in a direction to disengage the respective engagement means sets 30,30' and so the decoupling process takes a matter of minutes rather than the hours required with conventional pipe fitting and which is also the case in terms of time savings when forming the pipe fitting.

The present invention therefore provides an effective manner of allowing a pipeline connection to be achieved while, at the same time, reducing the time, components and work that is required to be performed to form the pipe fitting.