In piping systems, stresses result from expansion and contraction. In order to compensate for misalignment and lateral, torsional and angular movements, flexible connector are used. The flexible connectors absorb the continuing movements in piping systems and at the same time reduce the noise and vibrations produced.
Polyethylene piping which is made from high density materials has numerous applications in the marine and agriculture industries as well as municipal, mining and landfill sectors. High density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes are widely used to transport potable waters, chemicals, wastewater, slurries, compressed gases and hazardous wastes.
The oil and gas industry makes use of HDPE pipes because of their extreme durability, corrosion resistance, high flow characteristics, flexibility and light weight. HDPE is also the preferred solution in many other end-use industries because of its advantages over other materials like PVC, cement, steel and other plastics.
The most common methods of joining HDPE pipes is through heat fusion where two pipe ends and subjected to heat and pressed together to create a permanent joint that will transform individual sections of the pipe into a single continuous pipe line. However, although heat fusion creates strong and reliable joints, the process has its share of challenges.
There are other techniques of joining HDPE pipes that are expected to gain traction over the coming years. Mechanical joining methods like electro fusion, flanged joints, flexible connectors, butt welding and mechanical compression coupling will become more prominent in the future.
The conventional technique of using heat to join HDPE pipes is slowly losing traction. While heat fusion is still popular, the new alternatives of plain end couplings and grooved mechanical couplings are becoming more popular because they are less challenging. Aside from reducing the challenges associated with heat-based joining, new coupling technologies manage to increase the life of the joint. Mechanical couplings are also easier to install on the HDPE joints.
The use of flexible connector ensures weather resistance and robust performance of the piping system. Flexible connectors can absorb the continuing movements that are usually experienced in piping systems because of varying ambient temperatures as well the differences in the temperature of the materials that are being handled.