(19)
(11)EP 3 575 663 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
04.12.2019 Bulletin 2019/49

(21)Application number: 19176684.9

(22)Date of filing:  27.05.2019
(51)Int. Cl.: 
F16L 47/30  (2006.01)
F16L 47/03  (2006.01)
F16L 47/32  (2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(30)Priority: 28.05.2018 IT 201800005775

(71)Applicant: NUPI INDUSTRIE ITALIANE S.p.A.
21052 Busto Arsizio (VA) (IT)

(72)Inventors:
  • GENONI, Marco
    20020 Arese (MI) (IT)
  • PETRUCCELLI, Arturo
    21052 Busto Arsizio (VA) (IT)

(74)Representative: Branca, Emanuela et al
Barzanò & Zanardo Milano S.p.A. Via Borgonuovo, 10
20121 Milano
20121 Milano (IT)

  


(54)ELECTROWELDABLE BRANCH FITTING FOR HIGH DIAMETER PIPES AND RELATIVE WELDING METHOD


(57) An electroweldable branch fitting for high diameter pipes comprises at least a first collar (20, 20') provided with a predetermined radius of curvature (R), wherein the collar (20, 20') identifies on opposite sides a concave surface (21) and a convex surface (22), further comprising at least one first electrical wire winding (23) associated with the concave surface (21) of the collar (20, 20') and carrying one first pair of electrical terminals (24), arranged on the convex surface (22) of the collar (20, 20') for applying an electric current adapted to cause the electrofusion of the collar (20, 20'), wherein the concave surface (21) of the collar (20, 20') is continuous, i.e. not perforated, and wherein the first electrical wire winding (23) is uniformly distributed on the concave surface (21) at least in the central part thereof, the collar (20, 20') being provided with a branch sleeve (30), centrally on the convex surface (22), for the connection to a branch pipe, the branch sleeve identifying a blind hole (32) having a bottom wall (32) consisting of the wall of the collar (20, 20').




Description


[0001] The present invention relates to an electroweldable branch fitting for high diameter pipes and a relative welding method.

[0002] For making branches from pipes it is known to use electroweldable saddle fittings, which are provided with a branch sleeve extending from a curved annular wall adapted to be coupled to the wall of the main pipe. The annular wall is provided with an electrical wire winding arranged annularly around the branch hole on one of the concave or convex surfaces of the curved wall. The application of an electric current to such wire through a pair of electrical terminals causes the welding by electrofusion of the fitting to the pipe in the annular portion around the branch sleeve.

[0003] The main drawback of known fittings comes from the impossibility to apply them with sufficient reliability to high diameter pipes. In fact, the so-called "cold zones", i.e. the curved wall portions not affected by electrofusion welding cause weak points that could collapse under the pressure inside the pipes.

[0004] A further drawback of electroweldable saddle fittings of the known type is their application only for branches with a reduction in diameter between the main pipe and the branch pipe. In fact, T-branches, i.e. between pipes of the same diameter, are now generally performed by head welding T-shaped fittings. This method necessarily requires an interruption to the continuity of the main pipe and the application of a reduction in the maximum pressure allowed inside the pipes exactly due to the effect of the head welding of the T-shaped fitting.

[0005] The object of the present invention is that of realizing an electroweldable branch fitting for high diameter pipes and a relative welding method that overcomes the drawbacks of known electroweldable branch fittings and in particular that makes it possible to have high diameter branches in proportion to the diameter of the main pipe.

[0006] Another object of the present invention is that of realizing an electroweldable branch fitting for high diameter pipes and a relative welding method that allows a T-branch to be realized between pipes of the same diameter.

[0007] Another object of the present invention is that of realizing an electroweldable branch fitting for high diameter pipes and a relative welding method that is particularly simple and functional, with contained costs.

[0008] These objects according to the present invention are achieved by realizing an electroweldable branch fitting for high diameter pipes and a relative welding method as disclosed in the independent claims.

[0009] Further characteristics are envisaged in the dependent claims.

[0010] The features and advantages of an electroweldable branch fitting for high diameter pipes and a relative welding method according to the present invention will be more apparent from the following description, which is to be understood as exemplifying and not limiting, with reference to the schematic attached drawings, wherein:

Figure 1 is a perspective view of an electroweldable branch fitting for high diameter pipes according to a first embodiment of the present invention;

Figures 2 and 3 are a plan view and a side elevational, partially sectioned, view, respectively, of the fitting of Figure 1;

Figure 4 is a perspective view of an electroweldable branch fitting for high diameter pipes according to a further embodiment of the present invention applied to a main pipe;

Figures 5 and 6 are a plan view and a side elevational, partially sectioned, view, respectively, of the fitting of Figure 4;

Figure 7 is a section of the fitting of Figure 4 realized according to a plane of trace VII-VII;

Figure 8 is a perspective view of the first collar of the fitting of Figure 4.



[0011] With reference to the figures, an electroweldable branch fitting for high diameter pipes is shown indicated overall with number 10 according to the first embodiment shown in figures 1-3 and indicated overall with number 10' according to the further embodiment shown in figures 4-7 applied to a branch pipe 11.

[0012] Branch fittings can be applied to pipes which will be called the "main pipe" below, for creating the connection with a branch pipe, bifurcated from the main pipe, with a diameter that is less than or equal to the main pipe, which in the examples is shown with an orthogonal axis with respect to the main pipe, but which can have any incidence therewith.

[0013] In the following description, parts common to both embodiments of the branch fitting 10, 10' are distinguished by the same numerical reference.

[0014] The electroweldable branch fitting 10, according to the first embodiment, comprises a collar 20 provided with a predetermined radius of curvature R equal to the radius of curvature of a main pipe to which the collar 20 must be applied.

[0015] The collar 20 identifies on opposite sides a concave surface 21 and a convex surface 22.

[0016] The fitting 10 further comprises at least one first electrical wire winding 23 associated with the concave surface 21 of the collar 20 and carrying one first pair of electrical terminals 24, arranged on the convex surface 22 of the collar for applying an electric current suitable for causing the electrofusion of the collar 20 on the main pipe, not shown in figures 1-3.

[0017] The collar 20 has a continuous concave surface 21, i.e. not perforated, on which the first electrical wire winding 23 is uniformly distributed. The electrical wire winding 23 is arranged at least in the central part of the concave surface 21, preferably on as large a surface area as possible. In particular, it extends substantially to the entire concave surface 21, where "substantially to the entire concave surface" means that at the most only perimeter edge portions of the concave surface, having a negligible surface area with respect to such surface, are not occupied by the first electrical wire winding 23.

[0018] The collar 20 is a cylindrical covering sector of radius α, with α less than or equal to 180°, preferably equal to at least 150°. Figures 1-3 show a collar consisting in a cylindrical covering sector of radius α, with α equal to 170°, and having the first electrical wire winding 23 extending on a cylindrical surface of radius β, with β equal to 150°.

[0019] The collar 20 is provided centrally on the convex surface 22 of a branch sleeve 30, for the connection to a branch pipe, not shown, according to any known way.

[0020] The branch sleeve 30 identifies with the collar 20 a blind hole 31 having a bottom wall 32 consisting of the wall of the collar 20.

[0021] The bottom wall 32, i.e. the wall of the collar 20 internal to the branch sleeve 30, is perimetrally provided with a plurality of blind entrance pre-holes 33.

[0022] Furthermore, the collar 20 comprises, on the convex surface 22, a plurality of seats 25 for engaging fixing belts to the main pipe.

[0023] According to a preferred embodiment the collar 20 could have a diameter equal to 630mm with branches of diameter comprised between 250mm and 400mm, i.e. branch diameter about half the diameter of the collar, and in particular about 40-60%.

[0024] The application of the branch fitting 10 according to the invention to a main pipe takes place by positioning the first collar 20 provided with the branch sleeve 30 at the main pipe. Preferably the fitting is kept locked in position on the main pipe by means of a pair of belts (not shown) positioned in the relevant seats 25 and wrapped around the main pipe.

[0025] An electric current is applied to the first pair of electrical terminals 24 by connecting the two plugs of the welder for welding the collar 20 to the main pipe by electrofusion.

[0026] After welding the branch fitting 10 to the main pipe, the bottom wall 32 of the branch sleeve 30 is removed, consisting of the wall of the collar 20 welded by electrofusion to the wall of the main pipe for creating a branch hole.

[0027] Preferably, the bottom wall 32 is perforated along the entrance pre-holes 33 before proceeding to completely remove the insert with the aid of a keyhole saw.

[0028] The branch fitting 10' according to a further embodiment of the invention, shown in figures 4-8, comprises a first collar 20' consisting of a cylindrical covering sector of radius α, with α equal to 180°. In addition to what has been described for the first embodiment, the branch fitting 10' comprises a second collar 40 also shaped as a cylindrical covering sector of radius α, with α equal to 180°.

[0029] The second collar 40 is also provided with a further electrical wire winding 43, associated with a concave surface 41 thereof and carries a further first pair of electrical terminals 44, arranged on a convex surface 42 thereof for applying an electric current suitable for causing the electrofusion welding of the second collar 40 to the main pipe.

[0030] Also the concave surface 41 of the second collar 40 is continuous, i.e. not perforated.

[0031] Both collars 20', 40 are each provided with two opposite longitudinal flanges 26, 46, which form two pairs of flanges for mutual connection between the collars 20' and 40.

[0032] Each of the pair of flanges, consisting of a flange 26 of the first collar 20' coupled with the flange 46 of the second collar 40, carries a second electrical wire winding 27 and a second pair of electrical terminals 28 for applying an electric current suitable for causing the electrofusion welding of the relative pair of flanges 26, 46. In the example shown, the second electrical wire winding 27 with the relative pair of electrical terminals 28 are realized on the first collar 20' for both pairs of coupled flanges 26, 46. Alternatively, both could be arranged on the second collar 40, or on opposite collars.

[0033] In the second embodiment of the branch fitting 10' according to the invention, the branch sleeve 30 can reach a substantially equal diameter to the diameter of the collar 40, e.g. equal to 630 mm. This allows branches to be created with branch pipes having an inner diameter equal to the inner diameter of the main pipe, so-called T-branches.

[0034] The branch sleeves 30 shown in the figures only represent non-limiting embodiments and could have different lengths and conformations.

[0035] The application of the branch fitting 10' according to the invention to a main pipe takes place by positioning the first collar 20' provided with the branch sleeve 30 and the second collar 40 around the main pipe, coupling the opposite longitudinal flanges 26, 46 of both collars 20', 40.

[0036] An electric current is applied both to the first two pairs of electrical terminals 24, 44 for welding the collars 20', 40 by electrofusion to the main pipe and to the further pairs of electrical terminals 28, 48 for welding the pairs of flanges 26, 46 by electrofusion.

[0037] Preferably, the sequence of welding operations envisages in sequence the application of the electric current first to the terminals of the flanges, then to the terminals of the collars and then again to the terminals of the flanges.

[0038] The electroweldable branch fitting for high diameter pipes and the relative welding method according to the present invention have the advantage of realizing weldings to the branch pipe that completely eliminate the so called cold zones, i.e. surfaces on which welding does not take place by electrofusion, and therefore providing the largest welding surface possible. This is very important, especially in branches with the same diameter as the main pipe, in which the welding zone would otherwise be insufficient.

[0039] The increase in welded surface area by electrofusion implies an increase in the pressure sealing surface area which advantageously allows higher pressures to be tolerated inside the pipes.

[0040] Furthermore, the branch fitting according to the invention advantageously allows branches to be realized with larger diameter pipes.

[0041] Advantageously, T-branches can be performed, i.e. with branch pipes having the same diameter as the main pipe without reducing the maximum pressure allowed inside the pipes.

[0042] Advantageously, in performing the T-branches through the branch fitting according to the present invention, it is not necessary to interrupt the main pipe.

[0043] The electroweldable branch fitting for high diameter pipes and relative welding method as conceived herein is susceptible to many modifications and variations, all falling within the invention; furthermore, all the details are replaceable by technically equivalent elements. In practice, the materials used, as well as their dimensions, can be of any type according to the technical requirements.


Claims

1. Electroweldable branch fitting for high diameter pipes comprising at least a first collar (20, 20') provided with a predetermined radius of curvature (R), wherein the collar (20, 20') identifies on opposite sides a concave surface (21) and a convex surface (22), the branch fitting (10, 10') also comprising at least one first electrical wire winding (23) associated with the concave surface (21) of the collar (20, 20') and carrying one first pair of electrical terminals (24), arranged on the convex surface (22) of the collar (20, 20') for applying an electric current adapted to cause the electrofusion of the collar (20, 20'), characterized in that the concave surface (21) of the collar (20, 20') is continuous, i.e. not perforated, and in that said first electrical wire winding (23) is uniformly distributed on the concave surface (21) at least in the central part thereof, said collar (20, 20') being provided with a branch sleeve (30), centrally on the convex surface (22), for the connection to a branch pipe, the branch sleeve (30) identifying a blind hole (31) having a bottom wall (32) consisting of the wall of the collar (20, 20').
 
2. Branch fitting according to claim 1, characterized in that the bottom wall (32) is perimetrally provided with a plurality of blind entrance pre-holes (33).
 
3. Branch fitting according to claim 1 or 2, characterized in that said first electrical wire winding (23) substantially occupies the entire concave surface (21).
 
4. Branch fitting according to any one of the previous claims, characterized in that said collar (20, 20') is a cylindrical covering sector of radius (α) with (α) being less than or equal to 180°, preferably at least 150°.
 
5. Branch fitting according to any one of the previous claims, characterized in that said collar (20, 20') comprises a plurality of seats (25) for fixing belts on the convex surface (22).
 
6. Branch fitting according to any one of the previous claims, characterized in that said first collar (20') embraces a cylindrical covering sector of radius (α) with (α) equal to 180°, and in that it comprises a second collar (40) also shaped as cylindrical covering sector of radius (α), with (α) equal to 180°, and also provided with a further first electrical wire winding (43), associated with a concave surface (41) of the second collar (40) and carrying a further first pair of electrical terminals (44), arranged on a convex surface (42) of the second collar (40) for applying an electric current adapted to cause the electrofusion of the second collar (40), the concave surface (41) of the second collar (40) also being continuous, i.e. not perforated.
 
7. Branch fitting according to claim 6, characterized in that both collars (20', 40) are provided with two opposite longitudinal flanges (26, 46), which form two pairs of flanges (26, 46) for mutual connection, each of said pair of flanges (26, 46) carrying a second electrical wire winding (27) and a second pair of electrical terminals (28) for applying an electric current suitable for causing the electrofusion welding of the relative pair of flanges (26, 46) .
 
8. Branch fitting according to claim 6 or 7, characterized in that said branch sleeve (30) has a diameter substantially equal to the diameter of the collar (20').
 
9. Method for welding a branch fitting (10, 10') according to any one of the previous claims, characterized in that it comprises at least the following steps:

(a) positioning at least the first collar (20, 20') provided with a branch sleeve (30) at a main pipe;

(b) applying an electric current to the first pair of electrical terminals (24) for welding by electrofusion the first collar (20, 20') to the main pipe;

(c) creating a branch hole inside the branch sleeve (30) by removing the assembly consisting of the wall of the first collar (20, 20') welded by electrofusion to the wall of the main pipe.


 
10. Method according to claim 9, characterized in that before the step b) it comprises the step of positioning a second collar (40) at a main pipe, coupling opposite longitudinal flanges (26, 46) provided on both collars (20', 40), and characterized in that it comprises the steps of applying an electric current to second pairs of electrical terminals (28) each arranged on a pair of flanges (26, 46) and each connected to a relative second electrical wire winding (27) arranged on one of the coupled flanges (26, 46).
 




Drawing