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Castings company automates filling of etch baths with proprietary acid blends

Piping system makes double containment installation fast and easy

GF Piping Systems Double-See System
It took just a day and a half to install the piping system, working from a simple sketch.

Chromalloy Castings, Tampa, Fla., recently replaced manual elements of a chemical-transfer etching process used to pre-clean parts with a semi-automatic transfer system. Using an overhead double-containment piping system for chemical conveyance, safety is improved by limiting the possibility of chemical exposure. Employees need only see that the chemical totes are correctly connected to the piping system.

At its 115,000 sq. ft. facility, Tampa, Fla.-based Chromalloy provides repairs, coatings, and FAA-approved component replacement parts for airline, military and industrial turbine engine applications.

The project included two 1” x 3” CPVC Schedule 80 x PVC Schedule 40 Clear overhead transfer lines. These lines are used for semi-automatic filling of the etch baths containing a proprietary acidic blend and are connected to double-contained totes filled with the acidic blend.

Chromalloy worked with Brian Ellison, division director, R&S Compliance Group, as well as Gary Sample, director, sales, services & product management and Paul Galvin, life sciences market segment manager, GF Piping Systems. GF Piping Systems’ Double-See Piping System, with solvent cement joined pipe and fittings, was selected, specified and installed.

System and Installation

Noted features of GF‘s Double-See system include a simplified installation method; a patented closure coupling design that allows conformance to ASME installation testing requirements; and a unique-to-the-market secondary pipe pressure rating of 50 PSI. In addition, the solution includes:

  • Versatile installation options
  • Pre-assembled and tested fittings and pipe
  • Pipe cut length guidance system

The system can be installed in two ways. The first uses a patented closure-coupling design that allows the installer to comply with the ASME B31.3 requirement for visual inspection of all primary joint connections during the pressure test, before closing the secondary piping joint. A second option, chosen by Chomalloy, is a simultaneous joining method especially beneficial when space limitations preclude the closure-coupling option. 

 “The simultaneous joining installation method helped tremendously,” Ellison says.  “Typically, with double containment piping, the inside and outside pipes have to be cut to different lengths and joined individually. With the Double-See system, you can cut both the inner and outer pipes to the same length and join them both at the same time. This saves significant aggravation, labor and potential installation mistakes caused by inaccurate measurements.”

With the Double-See’s fittings centralizing-adapter design, it took just a day and a half to install the piping system. Starting from a simple sketch provided by Chomalloy, R&S Compliance and GF Piping Systems together planned the system layout with Chromalloy’s on-going advice as to placement and functionality within the process. Edward I. Case Plumbing performed the assembly and installation with on-site assistance and project-management services provided by R&S Compliance.

Evaluation and Looking Ahead

Brian Ellison and Tracy Breeden from R&S, and Victor Alejo and Eric Long from Case Plumbing, were extremely impressed with the ease of assembly. As Ellison points out, “I had scheduled three days for the installation, but it was completed in half that time. So you can pretty well figure the simplicity — it was 50% easier and faster than expected.”

“All involved agree that what makes the system easy to install is that both inner and outer pipes can be cut to the same length,” Gary Sample adds. “This was very advantageous to the Chromalloy project because of spacing limitations.”  

Also worth mentioning was the ease of measuring from fitting to fitting, especially since layout drawings were unavailable. After seeing the installation, Rick Steinbach, Chromalloy’s maintenance manager, became interested in using the Double-See system in additional areas of the plant. Other Chromalloy personnel also commented on the clean system appearance, the attractive clear pipe and excellent installation workmanship.

With the success of the Double-See project, a second, much larger Double-See installation, combined with GF’s Contain-It Containment Piping System for the stainless steel lines, is being planned at the same Chromalloy facility. These systems will be used in multiple applications, primarily for handling chemical and effluent water process transfers.

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