Piping Test

May 26, 2010
Grooved piping systems have been used for more than 85 years

What do the world’s tallest building (the Burj Khalifa in Dubai), the Hoover Dam, and the new Cowboys Stadium have in common? Besides being notable structures, they all make use of grooved piping instead of welded piping.

Grooved piping systems have been used for more than 85 years, and their list of benefits continues to impress. If you’re not aware of the savings that grooved piping can bring, check out how it’s different from welded piping.

How it Works

In grooved piping systems, according to Erick Bacher, engineering specialist at Victaulic, the joint is comprised of a pipe groove (rolled or cut into the pipe), the coupling housings and nuts and bolts, and the pressure-sensitive gasket (fully closed by the couplings). “This design reduces maintenance because it accommodates vibration within the system without periodic product repair or replacement,” he says.

The Differences

Obviously, the biggest difference between grooved and welded piping is the use of flame. Grooved piping doesn’t use a flame; welded piping needs a flame to secure the joint. Because of this, Bacher indicates that, in some cases, grooved piping can install up to 10 times faster than welded systems. Grooved systems do have higher material costs than traditional welded systems, however, so they’re more expensive upfront.

The lack of welding is clearly safer for workers and those who occupy the building, but there’s also an environmental component: arc welding consumes energy and specialty gases. The byproducts of this combustion are released as pollutants into the atmosphere.

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