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Tough nuts

Published by , Deputy Editor
Oilfield Technology,

When a bolt has seized or a flange gasket requires inspection, bolting systems tools from SPX® FLOW are often used as a solution in the oil and gas industry. Its range of flange spreaders, hydraulic nut splitters and hydraulic nuts are well used throughout the world to help increase operational efficiency, safety and maintenance.

The FLS 15 single-acting hydraulic flange spreader uses an integrated wedge concept with a very small closed nose, making it ideal for inspection of flange faces, replacing gaskets and valve removal - even where gaps are very narrow. The unit is light weight and slim-line design, making it easy to use while offering exceptional power to meet even the toughest of applications. Superb corrosion resistance makes the tool ideal for offshore use with long life and excellent reliability. The FLS 15 is also highly flexible, with quickly interchangeable serrated or stepped shoes, and requires no special tools for maintenance. 

The cutting performance of the ENS triple-bladed hydraulic nut splitter, available in topside and subsea variants, makes it one of the leading tools of its type on the market. Ideal for even the toughest applications, its high strength means it can remove stubborn, corroded or heat seized nuts without damage of the stud (a blade witness mark may be left) - making it particularly attractive for blind studs/captive stud-bolts, typical in valve and heat exchanger applications. 

As with other Bolting Systems solutions, the ENS is designed for flexibility and low total cost of ownership, with an interchangeable head to enable the splitting of different nut sizes, up to 5.3/8”/130mm across the flats. The triangular blade design increases operation efficiency by having three cutting edges and easy removal/replacement facility, reducing the time needed to get a new cutting face. A dial-in blade travel control (nut-size scale) restricts the unit to avoid costly damage to the stud.

Also from the Bolting Systems range, SPX FLOW offers the EHN hydraulic nut. These precision machined units provide a quick, accurate and cost-effective solution for individual or simultaneous tightening of multiple bolted joints. Available in top collar or bottom collar and shim variants, the nuts can be energized using hand-operated or powered hydraulic pumps, and are compact enough for use in confined spaces. Although the range of standard nuts available meets the vast majority of applications, the company can also provide customised units as required.

Ultimately, all the tools are designed to offer reliability, safety and efficiency. Robust, corrosion-resistant construction makes them ideal for off and on shore use, where they are well-proven in providing reliable service and long life.

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