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Maximize StoryMinimize StoryTitanically proven elastomer technology expanded for oil and gas construction, testing and maintenance tasks - September 2010

Media Release - AIR SPRINGS - September 2010

A comprehensive range of proven elastomer technology for onshore, offshore and underwater construction, engineering and maintenance tasks is being introduced to Australia by Pronal's national distributor Air Springs Supply Pty Ltd.

Pronal is the company that made the deep sea flotation tanks used to raise wreckage from the ocean liner Titanic 4000 metres beneath the icy North Atlantic, says Air Springs Supply's General Manager Mr Simon Agar.

Pronal's robust high quality fibre-reinforced elastomer products include inflatable pipe stoppers up to 3000mm in diameter, the large ranges of which include many types suitable for maintenance operations, including hyperbaric welding and testing. The stoppers are used to:

  • Test pipes for leaks under pressure (joint testing)
  • Isolate pipes for maintenance (inspection stoppers)
  • Temporarily seal pipes to avoid runoff of toxic materials (pollution stoppers)
  • Provide highly portable and re-usable medium and high-pressure stoppers for offshore use
  • Provide high-pressure, self-contained stoppers for specialised uses, including power and water utilities

The highly diversified stopper range includes either standard or made-to-measure models for low pressure and high pressure (over 100 bar) applications with a choice of shapes (cylindrical, ovoid, square) and specific models to comply with particular specifications.

Pronal has also used its civil and military know-how to develop new flexible innovative technical solutions intended for engineering, construction and maintenance of drilling platforms as well as seabed operations. Products include:

Pronal inflatable seals and annular seals; Because of their high mechanical resistance, they are used for applications where a perfect seal is required. Available either as original equipment or spare parts, they are frequently applied in or between pipes; as an annular seal; or in tubes, conduits and machinery and installations involved in the industrial, mining, mineral processing, offshore, energy and safety sectors. Examples include providing a leakproof seal between gas or liquid pipes in the oil and energy industries; and to facilitate grout packing for offshore platforms or similar structures.

Underwater parachutes and lifting units; These standard products are designed for use in multiple marine and offshore applications. When filled with air, they can be used to handle loads up to five tons.

Deep sea flotation tanks; These can raise loads at depths down to 4000 metres. Filled with liquid of lower density than seawater, this equipment was used to raise wreckage from the Titanic.

Recovery and decommissioning equipment; This includes technology designed to move platform equipment in safety and security during decommissioning. Products are robustly manufactured from vulcanized rubber-coated fabrics.

Jacket equipment system; Complete "Packer-Can" system for installation of platform legs. Includes grouting packer, grout seal, mud wiper, diaphragm and other products.

Buoyancy bags and cushions; Inflatable buoyancy devices facilitating underwater work, both installation and recovery operations.

Hyperbaric welding habitat door and sleeve; These provide a habitat facilitating hyperbaric welding operations in dry conditions. Include flexible doors, sleeves and seals.

Clamping systems; These inflatable systems are used to repair and seal damaged pipes to provide reliable functions. The can be installed by divers or by remote operation vehicles at great depths. They can also be used onshore.

Flexible Support Cushions; For installing seabed pipelines

The products are developed according to specifications developed in accordance with the often extreme conditions in which they are used. They must be able to withstand significant stresses.

Compatible technologies are used extensively in the equipment and maintenance of oil and gas platforms.

For special applications; Specific systems are designed and modified by Pronal's engineering department to deal with situations subject to particular constraints.

Information about Pronal products can be obtained through the Pronal website of Air Springs Supply Pty Ltd, Air Springs Supply's complementary website, is one of Australia's most comprehensive guides to pneumatic actuation, isolation and suspension.

For more information about Air Springs Supply's national distribution and technical support network, please contact Air Springs Supply Pty Ltd, 10 Angas St, Meadowbank, Sydney 2114, ph (02) 9807 4077, fax (02) 9807 6979,

Maximize StoryMinimize StorySimple, safe Pronal inflatable pipe stopper range grows in response to infrastructure needs - May 2010

Media Release - AIR SPRINGS - May 2010

An expanded range of inflatable pipe stoppers for maintenance, testing and emergency tasks is being introduced to Australia by industrial actuation and isolation specialists Air Springs Supply Pty Ltd.

The easily transported and reusable Pronal stoppers are produced by elastomer products specialists Pronal, the company that produced the enormously strong inflatable bags used to lift sections of the liner Titanic from nearly four kilometres deep in the Atlantic.

The multi-sized stoppers - in an expanded range spanning pipes from 45-2115mm diameter in stock sizes and up to 3000mm for customised types - are typically used to carry out sealing tests and maintenance work on municipal and industrial water and waste water pipelines and those used by the resources and energy sectors.

They are also applied to prevent accidental pollution such as spilling of toxic product, thus preventing the flow of toxic fluids into drainage networks or the surrounding environment, says Air Springs Supply General Manager Mr Simon Agar.

"The tremendous expansion of infrastructure projects in recent years - particularly water, waste water and desalination plants - has led to expanding demand for stoppers from both the industrial and the municipal markets. Our ranges are being expanded in response to the growing need for stoppers that are - easy and quick to set up, perfectly sealed, totally watertight and safe to use.

The versatility of the material used and the production method (customized dilatability) means Pronal inflatable stoppers are suitable for all types of pipelines including concrete, cast iron, steel, stainless steel and PVC, he says. "They are extremely strong and durable in service, being hot vulcanized in a mould and Kevlar reinforced, giving outstand service life."

"Naturally (as with any rubber-based product) direct or prolonged exposure to petroleum-based products is not recommended, but the plugs are widely used in municipal water and waste water, resource, utility and heavy industrial situations for testing and emergency applications.

"Inflated at the specified pressure and with a back-pressure of up to 1 bar for standard types (10m water column), each stopper can be used within a range of pipe diameters. For example, a range of just four stoppers is needed to span the 100-1200mm diameter pipe sizes

Stopper types include:

  • Vari plugs 45-1500mm with blank stopper, bypass for watertightness tests; and rod for mini pipes
  • Uni-Plug collapsible pipe stoppers from 20-3000mm that compactly fit around obstacles, corners and into previously inaccessible areas of surface, underground and underwater pipelines.
  • Pollu-Plug and anti pollution stoppers permanently fitted in stormwater and sewerage lines ready for rapid inflation by remote triggering as soon as an emergency arises in industrial, civil and municipal applications. Available in stock sizes to seal pipe diameters from 805-2115mm - with larger sizes custom fabricated - the deflated stopper is designed to allow normal non-polluted effluents or water to pass through the pipe when the stopper is uninflated.

Mr Agar says the Pronal stopper range, for which Air Springs is exclusive national distributor, is one of the most extensive ranges available nationally and internationally. In addition to standard products, Pronal customised products include low and high pressure resistance models (according to the application). Custom-build models also come in a variety of shapes - cylindrical, egg-shaped, square - and up to 3,000mm diameter. Special models can be manufactured to meet particular specifications.

"Where water flow needs to be stopped, inflatable stoppers are an efficient solution. By creating an airtight seal within the pipe, they effectively stop the water flow to enable professionals in different industries to do their job and resolve the situation. They can also be used in testing air and water pressure, locating leaks, and even allowing the injection of chemicals into a pipeline without a hazardous backup.

"Pronal products are based on more than 20 years of producing specialist pneumatic elastomer designs for demanding applications, including government, military, heavy industrial, emergency service, sub-sea and exploration" said Mr Agar, whose own organisation, Air Springs Supply, also has more than 30 years specialist national experience in applying pneumatic actuation and isolation technologies.

Information about Pronal products can be obtained through the Pronal website of Air Springs Supply Pty Ltd, Air Springs Supply's complementary website, is one of Australia's most comprehensive guides to pneumatic actuation, isolation and suspension.

For more information about Air Springs Supply's national distribution and technical support network, please contact Air Springs Supply Pty Ltd, 10 Angas St, (Cnr of Underdale Lane), Meadowbank, Sydney 2114, ph (02) 9807 4077, fax (02) 9807 6979,