When polypropylene pipe is installed in a new building, workers have to fuse pipe in every spot of the new structure no matter how high, how low or tight the space. They could be socket fusing from scaffolding near the ceiling or strapped and straddled to an overhead pipe beam. They might be positioning fusion carriages vertically so they can fuse in the walls or fabricating long assemblies and T-joints on bench top machines.
Aquatherm PP-R, which comes with an amazing 10-year warranty, was selected recently for multiple plumbing systems in a new casino and hotel underway that will include hot and chilled water, sewer and condensate drains.
Nathan Geyer of Ferguson, a distributor of McElroy fusion equipment, said that the contractor wanted fusion machines that would be easy to operate within each unique space of the new building. They would have to be capable of fusing multiple pipe sizes from ½” to 16” and meet the needs called for in each specific fusion application.
“If you have the wrong machine for the application, it’s difficult to fuse at all,” Geyer said. “That’s why we have to have all the different machines on the job.”
Since McElroy launched its growing polypropylene line of fusion equipment in 2013, they have been working with users to develop tools that will meet these kinds of indoor challenges. The Spider™ 125 has become a mainstay in the industry for easy and accurate socket fusion and is being used heavily throughout the casino project. With its light weight and compact design, the Spiders are easy to lift and operate in tight spots whether workers are fusing overhead or vertically. Only one operator is required to align, heat, fuse and cool the pipe. Its jaw clamping system maintains the roundness of the pipe and ensures even force distribution.“If you have the wrong machine for the application, it’s difficult to fuse at all. That’s why we have to have all the different machines on the job.”
“If you have the wrong machine for the application, it’s difficult to fuse at all. That’s why we have to have all the different machines on the job.” — Nathan Geyer, Ferguson
For butt welds, the project took advantage of McElroy’s growing Acrobat™ line. With each machine launch, the Acrobat has increased its pipe size capability to respond to the growing needs in the industry. Currently, the Acrobat 160, 250 and 315 covers pipe size ranges from 63mm up to 315mm (2” to 12”). Lightweight and compact, the Acrobats 160 and 250 can easily butt fuse pipe overhead and will reduce in size by converting from a 4- to a 3-jaw carriage. This is especially helpful when fusing pipe overhead since they often have to work around so many other adjacent lines including fire suppression and cable.
The Acrobat 250 and 315 feature a guide rod latching system so users don’t have to hold it in place during overhead fusions. An Acrobat for pipe up to 630mm will launch this summer 2018 in response to the growing need for large-diameter machines in plumbing and mechanical applications.
In some places in the building, it was possible to hang long assemblies of socket fused pipe, as opposed to having to fuse each segment of pipe in place. The SmartFab™ 125 is McElroy’s solution for these kinds of prefabrication and long assemblies, and it functions in the field or the shop. In this case, Geyer said the contractor was able to set up on the jobsite just like a fab shop using four of these bench top machines which made it very fast and efficient. With a pivoting heater, they could set up pipe and fittings on any side of the machine desired. The jaws clamp individually for a greater combination of pipe and fittings that were needed on the project.