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Pigging the Pipes

Seems like an odd name for a blog post, doesn’t it?  While it may sound funny, pigging is actually a very essential process when it comes to pipeline maintenance.  However, in order to perform this procedure, high amounts of air pressure are needed, and that’s where Air Equipment Rental comes in.

There are numerous kinds of pigging, whether it’s for cleaning out pipes or repairing them, but our involvement revolves around the testing of a pipeline’s reliability under great stress.  Here is a picture of our machines at a pigging site:

pigging

Pictured here are two of our Doosan 1170 Tier 4 Final IQ air compressors hooked up to an Atlas Copco Hurricane Booster.  The two Doosan 1170s in this picture are sending high pressured air at about 350 PSI to the Atlas Copco Hurricane Booster, which ends up boosting this air to about 1000 PSI.  This is a much higher air pressure than any normal air compressor that we work with can achieve by itself, so the pipelines being tested can really be stretched to their limits thanks to the Hurricane Booster.

After this air leaves the Hurricane Booster, it travels through a hose into a device with inflatable “balloons” attached to it that expand within the pipeline.  These balloons then press on the sides of the pipeline at whatever pressure is desired in order to test how much stress the structure can take.  Here is what a pig would like inside of a pipe:

pig.jpg

Pigging is a very important part of pipeline maintenance, and this process cannot be performed without the extremely high pressured air that Air Equipment Rental Corp. can provide through our machines.  We hope that you enjoyed this quick insight into some of the jobs that our units can used for, and we encourage you to stay tuned to our blog to learn even more about Air Equipment Rental Corp. and the kind of business that we are involved in!

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