Line Freezing | Altex Industries


Line Freezing | Altex Industries

Line Freezing

At Altex Industries, we provide innovative, cost-effective solutions to keep your facility up and running. One of our specialty services is freeze plugs, a specialized technology that creates temporary piping isolation, allowing plant modifications and repair when systems cannot be isolated directly.

Understanding the Line Freezing Process

Line freezing, or pipe freezing, is an effective method for isolating a section of piping or a process line. The fundamental principle behind freeze plugs involves the cooling of the pipe’s outer wall to a degree that causes the contents, usually water, to form a plug inside the pipe, adhering to the wall and creating a solid isolation. This process is achieved using a cryogenic heat exchanger or ‘jacket’ that circulates liquid nitrogen around the pipe. This technique is often used to enable repairs or modifications without shutting down the entire system. It’s a valuable solution in industrial process facilities as it minimizes downtime and permits continuous operation.

Our Approach

Our skilled and experienced team at Altex uses specialized equipment and techniques to ensure the pipe is frozen uniformly. We use nitrogen-based technology to create freeze plugs in the piping system, effectively creating a temporary blockage. The process of creating freeze plugs begins with placing a jacket around the pipe. This jacket acts as a heat exchanger where liquid nitrogen circulates, cooling the pipe and its contents. As the nitrogen flow volume increases, the water inside the pipe solidifies, forming a block of ice that adheres to the inner surface of the pipe.

Interestingly, the area of the pipe that gets cold shrinks in diameter, creating an hourglass-like shape within the freeze plug chamber. The ice plug forms within this area, effectively locking itself inside the pipe, preventing movement in either direction as long as the cold temperature is maintained.

This allows teams to perform the necessary maintenance or repairs during planned or unplanned (emergency) work and when a system cannot be isolated.   


Benefits of Altex Line Freezing Services

1. Operational Continuity

The primary advantage of our line freezing service is the ability to carry out repairs or modifications without shutting down an entire system. This means your business can continue operations as usual, preventing costly downtime.

2. Cost-Effectiveness

Compared to other techniques, line freezing presents an economical choice. It eliminates the necessity for draining, purging, or refilling the system, thereby conserving time, energy, and resources.

3. Safety and Reliability

Our nitrogen-based freeze plug technology ensure a safe and secure way to isolate sections of your piping. We adhere to rigorous safety standards, ensuring a reliable, risk-free solution to your piping isolation needs.

4. Versatility

Freeze plugs are used in a variety of scenarios, including isolation for hydrostatic testing, leak locating, and isolation for repairs or modifications. They are also used when isolations are required where there is no internal medium to freeze. Common applications for this process include modifications or additions to flare headers, repair of existing valves, new tie-ins on gas or steam lines, and temporary blocks for hydro-testing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is line freezing safe?

Yes, line freezing is a safe procedure. At Altex Industries, we use nitrogen-based freeze plug technology, a safe and effective method to isolate sections of your piping system. We uphold rigorous safety and quality measures to ensure a hazard-free execution.

Can line freezing be used on any type of pipe?

Our line freezing services are versatile and can be adapted to a variety of pipe materials and diameters. Whether your piping is made of carbon-steel, stainless steel, nickel-alloys, or other materials, our expert team can provide efficient line freezing solutions.

How long does the line freezing process take?

The duration of the line freezing procedure is influenced by a variety of factors, including the piping diameter and the properties of the process fluid. The process stream must be a freezable medium. Altex is committed to providing services with utmost efficiency, working diligently to minimize any potential interference with your daily operations.

How is line freezing cost-effective?

Line freezing negates the need for system drainage, purging, or refilling, which are not only time-consuming but also resource intensive. By preventing system shutdowns, it also helps avoid the costs associated with production loss during downtime.

Altex Industries: Your Trusted Partner in Pipeline Solutions and Line Freezing

Leveraging years of industry experience and a solid history of success, Altex Industries has established itself as a reliable provider of secure and proficient specialty services. Our dedication to quality, safety and schedule ensures that we offer top-tier solutions to our customers. Allow Altex to support your operations with our specialized line freezing services. For further details or to arrange a service, reach out to us today.