Talking About Industrial Machinery

Examples And Uses Of Hydraulic Flange Spreaders: From The Common To The Uncommon

Flanges are typically any type of pipe connection that flattens out into a lip-style edge. Ergo, flange spreaders are tools used to open flanges that are tightly sealed together and are difficult to open. However, hydraulic flange spreaders are used in instances where it would be virtually impossible to pry open the flanges or two other flat surfaces any other way. The use of hydraulics applies additional pressure and force, which is needed in these particular instances. Additionally, there are some very special flange spreaders that do very special jobs. Here are some examples and uses of flange spreaders, from the common to the uncommon.

Opening City Boiler Pipes to Drain Them

Massive underground boiler systems in New York City channel heat and steam into many of the city's tenement buildings. During regular maintenance, the city sewer workers have to open the pipes and drain the colder water from them before closing the pipes and releasing steam back into the pipes. If they miss this step, it creates a catastrophic chain reaction similar to a hydrogen bomb. To manage this particular, and regular, task, the workers use flange spreaders to open and drain these pipes.

Forcing Open Industrial Pipes to Retrieve Bodies

Industrial pipes, large as they are, are never meant to send human bodies hurtling through them. In the event that there is an accident in the plant and someone's body becomes trapped inside a stretch of large pipe, flange spreaders can force open the flange connection of the pipe close to where the body has become stuck. Then the body can be pulled from the pipe and industrial flow continues while the person's remains are handled according to local laws and customs.

The Jaws of Life

Most people, having never seen this life-saving tool, do not know or even realize that the "jaws of life" is actually a large flange spreader. The spreaders are placed between areas of metal in the smashed vehicle and then slowly forced open so that firefighters and rescue workers can remove accident victims who are trapped inside. Without this unique flange spreader, hundreds of people in horrible car accidents may have died every year because they could not be removed from their pulverized vehicles. This is the most uncommon use of a flange spreaders, seeing that it is only used in extreme emergencies, but it is definitely one use humans cannot live without.