Technical article pipe connections

17 February 2022

Procedure ELPA-Tubo

In cathodic protection installations of e.g. buried gas pipelines, and whether these installations are executed by means of sacrificial anodes or impressed currents, it will always be necessary to make conductor cable connections to the steel pipe to be protected against corrosion.

The ELPA-Tube process is the method by which the best copper wire to steel tube connections are achieved, with excellent electrical properties, high mechanical strength, and unbeatable corrosion resistance, all without causing cracking in the steel of the tube or, much less, the risk of perforation of the tube.

micrografía conexión median Elpa Tubo
Micrograph of ELPA-tube connection: the steel structure of the tube remains unchanged and without cracks.
micrografía método alternativo a KLK
Micrograph of alternative joining process: the steel structure of the tube is altered and cracks appear.

the temperature at the surface of the tube does not exceed 500 ºC, which is well below the critical temperature A1 of the steel (730 ºC). As a result, the structure of the steel remains unchanged, without non-equilibrium components such as martensite or bainite and, ultimately, without the appearance of cracks or the possibility of crack formation. (See, at the end of the article, the comparison of two micrographs, one corresponding to joining by means of the ELPA-Tube procedure, and the other corresponding to joining by means of an alternative procedure).

Thus, and given that this method completely preserves the integrity of the tube, it is possible to make the connections without having to cut off the gas flow inside the tube.

The ELPA-Tube procedure has other important advantages over other methods, such as the fact that it is not necessary to completely dig up the tube to make the connection, thanks to the innovative mould fastening system consisting of a set of springs and magnets, the latter being tiltable to adapt to tubes of any diameter (see below, the mould fastened to large and small diameter tubes).

Conexión a cable a tubo ELPA | KLK
Example of tube connection diagram |ELPA Tube KLK

KLK Electro materiales slu

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