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Giant Industrial Inflatables The Different Types of Inflatable Pipe Plugs

The Different Types of Inflatable Pipe Plugs

Inflatable pipe plugs are inflatable industrial devises that are inserted into pipes then inflated to stop or controll a flow of fluid or gas in a pipe. It is also used to isolate a pipe  or duct from the environment and contamination.

Different Types of Pipe Plugs

There are many types of Inflatable pipe plugs each with a specific operation.                                                       

Main categories are:

Isolation Pipe Plugs

Multi-size Inflatable Plugs are flexible inflatable tube like devises that expand in a pipe and are designed so that one product will block a range of pipe diametersare. They are chemical resistant, and are used within a variable diameter range. This makes stocking the wide range of sizes required a simplified operation. Multi – size inflatable Pipe Plugs are available with or without bypass ports.. There are three main purposes of inflatable pipe plugs or bungs:

  • Temporary sealing or stopping the fluid flow in a pipeline
  • Leak testing
  • by-passing the flow
  • Other applications

Temporary sealing or stopping the fluid flow in a pipeline.

There are 101 instances where the flow of fluids in a pipe needs to be stopped. These include:

  • Stopping hazardous fluid spills where fluid flows into drainage pipes that need to be blocked to avoid environmental contamination.                               
  • Repair and maintenance of sewer and mains water supply pipes when the flow of fluids need to temporary stopped to change a valve, repair the pipe lining, or replace a damaged section of pipe.
  • Seal a pipe of fluid flow so that an inspection can take place.
  • Seal a pipe so that pressure testing can take place to ensure it is serviceable during the construction or repair phase.

Leak testing

Finding leaks in pipes requires a pipe to be sealed so that pressure or vacuum can be applied between specific points on the line. A drop in pressure or vacuum over a period identifies the location of a leak. Inflatable pressure testing plugs are inserted into the pipe between specific locations and the pipe is then pressurized between the set of two blocking plugs.

By-passing the flow.

Inflatable bypass plugs are inflatable plugs that have an inner tube that can allow fluid to flow through a blocking plug. This is useful for  by-passing the flow as well as when  fluid needs to be diverted or pressure reduced prior to blocking. They are also useful when testing or inspection equipment needs to be inserted into a pipe that has been blocked by the plug.

Other applications.

Inflatable bungs, Mega plugs and high-pressure multi- size pipe plugs are also used for void forming purposes as well as shuttering and formwork where grouts or concrete is poured against them to form more permanent stoppages of seals.

In Summary, the uses and features of  Kevlar reinforced Inflatable multi-sized  pipe plugs are:-

  • Multi size for any range of Pipes
  • chemical resistant
  • available with or without bypass port
  • withstand head pressure of 6-15psi
  • Leak testing of new pipelines
  • Leak detection of repairs to pipelines
  • Municipal testing of sewage pipelines
  • Stopping flow in a pipeline for maintenance or repair downstream
  • Pipeline acceptance testing, or to stop flow so infiltration of a section can be measured
  • Flood control to prevent rising ocean or river water from entering an outfall
  • Reducing the entry of toxic gases into the work area
  • Purging pipes of contaminate gasses for welding
  • Flooding pipe with shielding gas during welding repairs and co-joining.

Inflatable Isolation plugs are custom made to fit a specific pipe diameters and shapes. They are commonly used  for blocking the ends of pipes to prevent the entry of dirt and other contaminants during construction, maintenance, or repair of pipelines. They are also used in the maintenance of steam pipes for blocking the ends to prevent the entry of dirt and other contaminants during maintenance or repair. Our Plug Up range of Isolation Plugs for low pressure isolation are now available in spherical and round shapes.  These Plug-Up Inflatable Isolation Plugs are made to order

Importantly Inflatable isolation plugs made my Giant Inflatables Industrial are all custom made to meet our client specific requirements and can be made to any shape required.

Common uses or PlugUp Isolation plugs are:

  • Closing the ends of pipes or pipelines during construction or maintenance to keep them clean when work has stopped.
  • Keeping pipes clean and free of falling debris when overhead work is taking place.
  • Sealing pipes or ducts on plant and equipment during wash down.
  • Creation of a double block and blead instance when dangerous gaseous fluids need to be controlled during works in enclosed areas like ducts, and tanks.
  • Blocking pipes to stop airflow or purging of pipes for welding purposes.
  • Holding light walled pipes in form while they are lagged or coated.            
  • Keeping the shape of light walled pipes and shuttering tubes when stacked for transport.

Features & Benefits of Inflatable Drain pipe and Duct Isolation Plugs

  • Ease of use
  • Plug-Up Isolation Plugs are easy to maneuver through restricted access.
  • For difficult junctions, spherical inflatable plugs do the job with simplicity and finesse.
  • quick to set up and simple to use.
  • no special high-pressure equipment needed for inflation.
  • different shapes allow for seating in pipes, ducts or voids without being made to size.  A variable of 12% of size will still seal a pipe
  • safe and labor efficient
  • Cost effective

Inflatable pipe plug FAQs

What are multi-size pipe plugs made from?

Our range of multi-size pipe plugs are made from sustainably sourced rubber and reinforced with aramid cord and are noted for a wide application range.

What sizes are available ?

Each plug covers several pipe sizes. Multi-size ranges overlap to meet specific requirements. They can cover pipe diameters from 40 mm (1.6″) to 1800 mm (71″). Plugs are flexible and bend easily around tight corners or when inserted through the manholes.

How much pressure can a typical pipe support?

Std Plugs support pressures from .4bar [ 6Psi] to 2 bar [ 29Psi]

Is specialized equipment needed to inflate a multisided plug?

A standard air compressor, or simple foot pump that can deliver pressures to 2 bar are needed for inflation with pressures being controlled to over pressurization cannot take place. This is achieved by the use of a pressure regulator control gauge.

Is specialized equipment needed to inflate an isolation or Plug Up plug.

No special equipment is needed to inflate an isolation plug. All that is needed is a simple foot pump or pump like that used to inflate a beach ball.

Can plugs be inserted around a bend?

Inflatable multi- sized plugs and Isolation plugs are flexible and can be placed around a bend.

Plug Up Isolation Plugs are more flexible and compactable then std Multi-size plugs and therefore can also fit into pipes with very restricted access.

What shape pipe of duct can a PlugUp be made to block?

At Giant Inflatables Industrial we make plugs to suit most shapes of duct or plug. These include   round, oblong, rectangular or ovoid shapes. We also produce spherical plugs.

What pressure is a PlugUp isolation plug inflated to?

Isolation plugs are inflated to 20Kpa [3Psi]

How do I specify the type of plug I require?

When you have a plugging or isolation requirement its nest to get in touch with us so we can ask the questions that will allow us to understand your needs and we will then gladly offer advise on the best plug for your application. Importantly we need to know the reason for plugging and the expected backpressures you will be dealing with.



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