Steel blinds & tube sheets are two of the forged flanges that are used under high pressure conditions. Steel blinds, about which I will be talking in this article, are important forged parts that are used for a wide range of high pressure piping systems in public water works, pipe engineering, petrochemical and many other industries. Before delving into how steel blinds work, lets quickly understand what they are.
What is a Steel blind?
Steel blinds are essentially blind flanges which have bolt holes but no hole in the center, quite unlike steel rolled rings. Owing to this seamless design which is devoid of a center hole, steel blinds are used to close off high pressure vessel openings and piping systems. They also serve as a point of repair since they can be reopened for maintenance services or any problem that occurs within the piping system.
Steel blinds can be forged using stainless steel, alloy steel and carbon steel and can range in sizes starting from a few millimeters in diameter to almost 2000mm.
Uses of Steel Blinds
The use of steel blinds in closing off piping systems and blocking fluids from moving further makes it highly useful and important for a wide number of applications.They include:
1. As repair joints – Steel blinds can be used to block fluids from flowing further when repairs and maintenance is required in downstream pipes. The process becomes easy and there is no fear of loosing fluids that flow through the pipe. While valves can be a location for repairs, they are usually located miles away from each other and would require going up to them to shut them down. Besides, they are prone to sticking and expensive too. Using steel blinds makes maintenance easy and also saves money.
2. When expanding pipelines – Using steel blinds in the final end of the piping system makes it easier to expand piping systems at a later stage by simply adding on to the final point.
3. Shutting down pipelines – Steel blinds are also used to close off pipelines that are shut down and no longer in use.
4. During installation of new valves – As a when a new valve needs to be installed, mostly during expansions, steel blinds can come handy to block flow of liquid. Hence, installing additional valves becomes easy.
5. Adding tees in a pipeline – When additional tees need to be added to the pipeline, steel blinds come handy. These tees can be installed and blocked to make way for a future need of running a pipe.
Conclusively, steel blinds can be very helpful in the piping industry both as a multitasking and economical part.
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