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Coupling Structural Pipe

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  • Coupling Structural Pipe

    Trying to dream up a pipe coupling that will start with two 2" pipes mis-aligned and pull and clamp them straight and solid.Have a 40' Aeromotor tower set up with a foot of 2" sch 40 pipe sticking out the top. Have an 8' replica fan and head ready to put on top. It can have 2" pipe or whatever sticking out the bottom. On a test stand in the yard I telescoped the joint together but it is surprisingly difficult to hit the hole and get it aligned well enough to drop in place. Also used a bolt flange and it's too difficult to get the bolts started with the head dangling and the wind blowing it around. Will be worse working with a 60' tree trimmers ariel.

    Had planned to install the head and tilt up but kinked a leg of the tower standing it without the head.

    Any thought?

  • #2
    Really challenging assembly, especially if outside and subject to wind (which even when light can really screw with trying to align stuff), and even worse if the top piece is suspended via flexible hangers (rope, cable etc). Only had to do something like that once, with 4" pipe that had to go up 45+ feet (upper section hung from a crane) and couple together (using a victaulic type coupling that requires exact alignment for the gasket).
    Way we di it was to connect 2 "straight edges" to the bottom pipe at 90 deg (used angle iron), then as we got the upper one close and pulled into place added clamps to pull it straight. If you use flanges its harder as the straight edges have to be "stood off" the pipes for clearance, but it you use a "one pip inside the other" then it gets a lot easier. Pipe inside the other makes having them "self pull straight easy, where flanges can be made to pull the two straight, but puts a lot of pressure on some of the bolts. I would use a smaller dia pipe inside the 2" (1 1/2" Sch 40 should fit nice) fitted to one section, and have the other slide over it. The longer the "joining" section, the stronger and straighter the alignment will be.
    Last edited by Stern; 04-12-2013, 11:01 AM.


    • #3
      I don't mean to offend but,You need help from someone who knows what they are doing and has the right equipment. There are not a lot of those people around anymore. After 35 years in the waterwell business I have known many who have been injured and crippled working on windmills. I took a fall off one and quit working on them. When lifting or lowering a tower chains are attached in a specific manner just above the balance point. To aline 2" pipes you put the coupling on and slide it out of the way. Ridgid makes a tool that is essentially a long double vee with chains that draw the pipe into alinement. A couple of light tack welds and the tool can be removed and the coupling slid into position.
      Byron Boucher
      Burnet, TX


      • #4
        Boucher, around her they call it a "jewel".


        • #5
          If I'm understanding this right, tilt-up can be a safety feature, as it allows a tilt-down in high winds to protect things. The tower must be rigid in any position, so perhaps rigging it with re-inforcing wires would make sense.

          Don't know if I'm on the same page or not-
          I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


          • #6
            I dont know If I am on the same page. On tower legs you definately have to
            bolt atleast 15 feet of angle iron on two legs doubling them up. On those two
            one at a time we cut and welded and used one inch pins. On the oposite side,
            again, one at a time we cut and welded two plates to each leg, and through
            bolted them. Now the whole tower and mill can be lowered to the ground mill
            and all. 40 ft. towers usually have an 8 ft. mill thats the heavy part. Now all
            assembly is made on the ground.


            • #7
              Original poster here. Since subject has gotten off coupling topic here are some photos of the erection. Started with a couple of housebuilders house jacks. Then so muddy I could only use the skid steer as an anchor for a hand winch.

              Still trying to think of some kind of clamp, split in two halves, to throw over two mis-aligned, end to end pipes, with bolts to squeeze everything together.


              • #8
                Is this something where you want to erect the tower first, then raise up the top and attach it?

                Can you have the top part dangling from the top of the tower, then raise the tower, then climb it and swing the top upright and fasten it? If this would work, then I can see two clamshell parts flanking the pipe sections- two bolts would be loosely holding the clamshells to the upper part, while one bolt goes through the lower part. Once it's up in the air, the upper part is swung upright and the second bolt fitted through the lower section of the clamshell assembly. When all the bolts are tight, the sections are inline. The benefit is that the upper part is attached to the top of the tower already with one lower bolt in place, so you're not fighting to get the alignment started.

                But what do I know- perhaps there isn't any way to swing the dangling upper section to the upright position once the tower is erected.

                Looks like it should be totally assembled on the ground, then a quick lift from a chopper would stand it up. Or- do you have a giant hot air bag?
                I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-