Roller cradle systems are designed to make pipeline operations more efficient and much safer.Once the pipeline is conveyed to its intended spot, it has to be lowered into place. This is one of the most dangerous parts of the entire process because if the pipeline is not secured and handled carefully, it can jar loose and put workers on the ground in serious danger. And even if such a disaster doesn’t injure anyone, it will still result in damage to the pipeline, which can be extremely expensive. There’s no reason, then, to use inexpensive, unreliable supports that can make the pipeline installation process potentially dangerous and more expensive in the end.
How can roller cradle systems improve pipeline operations?
These supports are typically attached to a crane or other lifter, and in this position, the pipeline is fished through the support. This allows the lifter to adjust its position quickly without exerting dangerous pressure on the pipeline, and control is maintained throughout. Multiple lifters and supports can efficiently lower or move an extremely long stretch of pipe with little risk and with no damage to the pipeline.
The support consists of a pair of heavy duty support bars, typically made from galvanized steel or other durable material, a set of cables suspended from the support bars, and a series of polyurethane rollers that establish contact with the pipeline. Roller cradle systems can be designed for pipe diameters of nearly any size, ranging from 2 inches to 60 inches or more. As these supports often have to be used over and over again, and in various applications, they are built for quick assembly and disassembly.
What makes these supports work is the polyurethane components that contact the pipeline. Dozens of polyurethane pads may be built into a single support, and the extra contact area ensures that pressure is distributed evenly and the pipeline is tightly gripped. These contact pads are designed to allow for lateral movement when the pipeline is moved by the lifter, so a crane operator can move up and down the pipeline without losing control. Some roller cradle systems are built with springs between polyurethane contact pads, and this allows the support to adjust to different pipe sizes and weights without exerting additional pressure on the cabling.
These supports function best when they are made from polyurethane, as polyurethane offers unsurpassed durability and customizability. Polyurethane is a thermosetting polymer, so it can be designed to any hardness and with any additions or modifications that a company may require. It is extremely resistant to abrasion and impact, both of which will be frequently observed forces during pipeline operations. And they withstand inclement weather better than any other material, handling extreme heat and cold with ease.
Safety is of paramount importance when managing a pipeline operation, and polyurethane supports are trusted by many professionals to provide that safety.