Solution Summary: Push-Fit Heat-Free Connections
Push-fit connections are designed to make pipe connections without having to solder or use glue.
Using push-fit heat-free connections is a prevention-through-design (PtD) process that addresses the risk of hot work (e.g., welding, joining, etc.) during the construction phase. This solution eliminates hot-work risks by using heat-free pipe joining. These innovative push-fit connections are ideal for use in confined spaces, reduce the need for flammable products storage, and eliminate fire risks. Compared to conventional practices of solvent-gluing PVC pipes or soldering copper pipes with a torch, the push-fit connections are considerably easier to use and do not require dangerous torches and solvents.
Push-fit connections offer the advantages of heat-free installation, improvement in on-site safety, enhancement of joint performance, shortened project time, and greater productivity and efficiency of labor. Use of push-fit connections does not require hot work permits at the job site, which means there is no need to carry oxy and acetylene bottles. These jointing systems offer a high-quality solution to health and safety regulations at job sites and are ideal for fast-track building systems. This jointing method relies on compressive strength and compression to provide an ideal connection. Selecting the correct specification and installation methods for push-fit jointing will offer proven benefits.
These connections are available for gas and water application and in various tube sizes. They can be used in heating systems and chilled water applications within permitted temperatures and pressure. The versatility of these connections is useful when alteration, repair, or maintenance are required.
A mechanical mechanism is used to join the tube and fittings in push-fit connections, which can provide permanent or demountable joints. Push fitting requires tubes and fittings of the correct size that are clean and free from damage and imperfections. The tube can be cut with a tube cutter. In assembling the joint, one must ensure that the tube meets the tube stop and is fully inserted. The sealing ring inside the fitting creates a tight and permanent seal as it is compressed, making these connections appropriate for use inside finished walls and ceilings.
Push-fit connections are manufactured under various design and brand names, but they all follow the same principle for internal structure. Push-fit connections are designed for almost all pipe types.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported 121 fatal injuries due to fire and explosion in 2015. NIOSH’s National Traumatic Occupational Fatality (NTOF) database also reported rates of 0.2 fire deaths and 0.3 explosion deaths per 100,000 construction workers. Although the fatality rate has decreased over the last five years, fatalities continue to occur, more attention is needed to prevent these incidents. Welding and other hot works are the leading causes of fires at jobsites. Fire detection and extinguishing equipment are inoperable during the construction phase, increasing the risk of fire in this phase of the project. In addition, many flammable materials are stored at job sites during the construction phase that increase the risk of fire considerably. By eliminating the use of glues, this solution also reduces the risk of vapor exposures.
How Risks are Reduced:
The use of heat-free jointing eliminates the need to apply for hot-work permits and reduces the risks of flame damage and fire incidents during construction projects. The joining process is easy, which can shorten installation time. There is no need to store fuel gases, adhesives, fluxes, solders, or any other jointing materials, thus increasing job site safety and eliminating fire risks.
Effects on Productivity:
The speed of making connections and ease of maintenance are perhaps the most important advantages of push-fit connections. Moreover, push-fit connections are heat-free connections, which eliminate the risk of fire incidents. Thus, the advantages of push-fit connections – improved on-site safety, enhanced joint performance, and shortened project time – offer greater productivity.
Sogand Hasanzadeh - SARMAD Research Group, University of Nebraska- Lincoln
Behzad Esmaeili, Ph.D. - SARMAD Research Group, University of Nebraska- Lincoln
Pouya Gholizadeh - SARMAD Research Group, University of Nebraska- Lincoln