Advantages of I-Purge Inflatable Bladder System Over Ring Bladder for Welding

Project planners and welders have a wide variety of options available to them when selecting a purge bladder. Often a bladder is chosen without careful consideration as to which will actually be the best fit for the job. One type of bladder that is commonly purchased is a “dog bone”, “collar”, or “ring” bladder. These are purge devices that consist of two large ring bladders on each side with a thinner hollow tube connecting them. It can be very effective for cutting down gas consumption in very large pipes; however, there are many purge applications where it is not up to the task.inflatable bladder vs ring bladder

Aquasol’s I-Purge and I-Purge X modular bladder systems can satisfy all the same requirements as other bladders. The I-Purge system is comprised of two spark-resistant, inflatable bladders connected by a high-heat resistant bridge harness. The inflated bladders create an airtight seal against the pipe walls and a superior barrier. A tri-flow hose maximizes efficiency by enabling bladder inflation and quick flooding of the purge area with noble gas. The patented diffuser reduces turbulence in the purge chamber to ensure a high-quality weld. The I-Purge does all this while boasting many other features that make it one of the most adaptable and versatile inflatable bladder systems on the market.

Inflatable systems that employ the ring bladder style can only be used in straight pipes due to their rigidity. The I-Purge double bag system features a flexible, high heat harness that allows for navigation through elbows and T-joints. Ring or dog bone type bladders are rigid and unable to navigate turns. They are designed to be stationary. I-Purge and I-Purge X offer flexibility, durability and heat resistance. The harness also features a luminescent indicator strip in the center for simple and easy alignment of the system at the root gap.

A ring bladder can only be used in one size pipe for one application. The modular nature of the I-Purge and I-Purge X allows components of the system to be swapped in and out as needed. A bladder can be connected with a smaller one for a reducer situation or a single bag can be used as an isolator. Extended length harnesses can be swapped in to push the bags further away from the heat affected zone.

A modular system also simplifies the repair process. If a bag is blown or a part is damaged, it can simply be detached and replaced. There is no need to purchase an entirely new system or wait while the product is shipped back to the manufacturer for repairs. Other purge bladders cannot have their components easily removed and replaced. These bladders typically have patch kits which are unreliable and likely to be the point of failure the next time the system is used.

Ring bladders are sometimes preferred for very large diameter pipes; however, Aquasol has been manufacturing larger I-Purge systems almost every year. I-Purge has now been manufactured, tested, and proven at a diameter of up to 60 inches. The I-Purge X has sizes up to 48 inches.

The I-Purge X has all the same features as the I-Purge with one key difference that truly sets it apart from any other inflatable bladder system on the market today. One bladder of an I-Purge X can fit a range of pipe diameters. With I-Purge X, a project that consists of welds for multiple pipe diameters could conceivably be completed with only one or two systems. Project managers can save considerable amounts of time and increase the cost-effectiveness of their purchases with the use of I-Purge X.

Aquasol’s I-Purge and I-Purge X systems are the most innovative inflatable bladder systems available. These systems possess many features that simply cannot be replicated in a ring or dog bone style purge bladder.