Flange spreading tools are another useful additional maintenance tool for engineers who are working on the site. This kind of industrial tools can be found in various configurations, and can be used for separating pipe flange joints.
In any typical project work, there are pipeline constructions, commissioning works, routine maintenance or often pumps or valves have to be replaced where such flange spreader can prove to be a very useful tool.
Types of flange spreaders
There are 3 common types of flange spreaders available:
- Expanding wedge
- Expanding collets
- Mini-gap flange spreader
Expanding wedge type spreaders are either with hydraulic cylinder, or use mechanically operated mechanism. However, both expanding collet and the mini-gap types will use only mechanically operated mechanisms.
How flange spreader works
- By using expanding wedge type
- Decide proper positioning of tools around joint.
- To decide the type of your flange spreader measure flange access gap.
- Now place spreader tool into access gap, with full width of chosen step fully inserted.
- Spread flanges apart with the tool.
- Safety Blocks will be inserted into flange joint.
- By using expanding collet type
- To decide collet size measure bolt holes. Using an under-size collet may risk collet holder pulling via the hole.
- Insert right collet into tools.
- Like wedge type spreader, tools must be used in right pairs and 2 bolts fixed loosely.
- Now 2 halves of tool, will be inserted into bolt holes. Take care to make sure that your collets are engaged just with one flange. Tighten if correctly engaged.
- Then the actuator and cantilever are swung and then locked into position.
- Using torque wrench actuator is tensioned.
- After flanges are separated safety blocks are inserted.
- By using mini-gap flange spreader
- Select the right configuration for class and size of flange joint.
- It is recommended that both tools used on flange joint must be positioned 180ᵒ
- This spreading bar is designed to fit only correct flange specification.
- Place your tool over flange joint and then align with desired stud hole.
- Now engage spreading bar via leg of tool and flange stud hole.
- Make sure that spreading bar is properly fitted through second leg of tool. Check wedge is properly positioned in gap between flange faces.
- Now turn each of the opposing tool half turn at one time until the desired gap will be achieved. Enough care is needed to be taken to make sure that the force applied should be evenly.