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ASME Pressures Vessels & Piping Conference

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada


At this year’s ASME Pressure Vessels & Piping Conference, in Vancouver British Columbia, Canada, Valley Forge’s Rusty Flocken presented results from testing performed in collaboration between Valley Forge and Shell Oil Company.  FEA/FFS Specialist Dr. Gong Jung with Shell directed test efforts and offered for Mr. Flocken to co-publish and present the results as part of the annual conference.

The project goal was to significantly reduce man-hours required to complete bolt-up of a flanged piping connection while at the same time, maintaining or improving the joint’s capacity for sealing.  This was accomplished by selecting a tightening pattern with the fewest moves, a torque tool capable of faster, continuous tightening, along with the use of Valley Forge’s patented SPC4™ load indicating fasteners for control and monitoring of bolt load scatter.

When tightening a flanged piping connection, it is common practice to use the Legacy tightening pattern along with a cassette-type hydraulic torque wrench.  This combination is one of the longest used and most widely used methods available, and therefore was used as a bench mark against which to measure improvement.  To provide the greatest improvements in time-savings and bolt load scatter, a tightening system was selected using a modification of the Legacy pattern known as the Alternative #3, along with a pneumatic torque multiplier.

Results from testing show a 15% reduction in scatter, however the time taken to perform the task was reduced by approximately 63%.  In addition to the direct benefits shown, if fastener load can be monitored directly and reliably on in-service joints, using load indicating fasteners or similar tension measurement method; studies similar to this one could be conducted using option 1 presented in ASME PCC-1 for developing new alternative procedures.  This would allow practical, meaningful data to be collected while reducing the risk inherent with testing new assembly procedures in the field.

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Important Announcement

In response to recent public health concerns and multiple requests regarding our ability to fulfill customer orders, Valley Forge does not currently foresee any negative impact from the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

All parts manufactured at Valley Forge are made with U.S. domestic steel and our raw material supply for this and other materials / components has not been affected. We will be maintaining continuous communication with our suppliers and will maintain an ongoing dialogue to ensure there are no disruptions in our supply chain.

 

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