Grooved pipe couplings and fittings are used to join pipes in both wet and dry system. They provided some flexibility in terms of movement and deflection to the piping system. The concept of grooved coupling was invented in 1925 when Victaulic designed the first mechanical coupling. Though many other companies make mechanical grooved couplings, grooved couplings are still known mostly as Victualic pipe couplings or Victaulic style pipe fittings.
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Grooved pipe fittings consist of grooved couplings, grooved fittings, grooved outlets, grooved valves and grooved replacement parts. Typical application of grooved fittings are in sprinkler risers, pipe feeds passing from one building area to another, locations prone to earthquakes, in discharge line above pump suction, in air or water fire services lines, piping systems subject to excessive vibration, and installation in tight spaces or where pipe alignment is difficult.
Grooved pipe fittings are limited to use with rolled or cut groove pipe, valve and fittings. These fittings are rated to 175 psi (1205 kPa) as a minimum. Pipe grooves are made according to ANSI/AWWA C606 specification "Grooved and Shouldered Joints".
These couplings are FM approved and can be used in underground services. The maximum ambient temperature for these couplings are 225 deg F (107 deg C)
These couplings are sold by nominal pipe sizes and will fit the corresponding nominal pipes ,valves and fittings.
4 Components of Grooved Pipe Fitting
A grooved coupling or a Victualic style groove coupling has four main components:
A grooved pipe (grooved or cut)
Sealing Element (Gasket)
Fastener (Nut and Bolt)
Five Benefits of Grooved Piping System
A grooved piping system is the most versatile, reliable and economical piping system. It is more reliable than a threaded or flanged connection and often results in 2x-4x faster installation. The system is designed to work with rolled or grooved pipes. Flexible grooved pipe couplings offer the flexiblity needed for vibration dampening or installation in earthquake prone areas.
1) Cost Saving
Grooved piping systems offer up to 30% cost savings. It offers fast assembly in tight systems, cleaner systems with no welding slag, contamination or hot work permit. More predictable cost estimates for contractors, resulting in faster and cheaper installation.
A simple system with 3 components only
Each pipe joint is a union
Rolled or cut pipe groove
2) Each Joint is a Union
Each pipe joint is a flexible joint and removing the couplings allows removal of pipe for easy cleaning, servicing and maintenance. It also allows the flexibility to change the piping system and add / remove equipment.
3) Easy Installation with Rolled or Cut Grooved Pipe
Grooved pipe couplings require creating either a rolled groove or a machine cut groove. A rolled groove creates an indentation in the ID of the pipe whereas the machine cut groove is smooth on the ID. A rolled grooved is mostly done on thinner wall pipe whereas the machine cut groove is more common on thicker wall pipes. Grooved couplings are commonly installed on pipe schedules 5 to schedule 40.
A grooved pipe is much easier than a welded pipe joint, requiring no X Ray, hot work permit and associated hazards of welding a pipe.
4) Minimize Noise and Vibration
Use of grooved pipe coupling isolates the noise and vibration. Resilient gasket absorbs noise and vibration resulting in a quieter system. Provides superior vibration attenuation and eliminates the need of noise suppression devices.
5) Provide Expansion and Contraction
A grooved pipe joint allows for expansion and contraction of the pipe joint without compromising the integrity of the connection. It eliminates the need for costly expansion joints. Grooved pipe joints also eliminate pipe stresses for buried and underground pipes.
Five Types of Grooved Pipe Fittings
1) Grooved Coupling
A groove is made in the pipe by cold forming and machine cutting a groove into the end of pipe. See figure below for difference between rolled and cut groove. A gasket is housed in the coupling housing and is wrapped around the pipe ends. The groove in the pipe mates with tongue in the pipe and creates a restraint that prevents pipe pull out. Gasket / sealing element creates the pressure barrier. The entire assembly is tightened with bolts and nuts.
Flexible grooved pipe coupling
There are two types of basic grooved couplings:
Flexible grooved coupling that allows a limited amount of angular movement
Rigid grooved coupling that does not allow movement and is similar to a fanged or a welded pipe joint
2) Grooved Pipe Fittings
Grooved Concentric Reducer
Grooved 90 Deg Elbow
Grooved Eccentric Reducer
Grooved and Threaded Adapter
3) Grooved Pipe Outlets
Grooved Strap Tee
Grooved Mechanical Tee
4) Grooved Valves
Grooved Butterfly Valve
Grooved Check Valve
5) Grooved Replacement Parts and Accessories
150# Grooved Weldolet
Grooved X Threaded Nipple
Grooved Pipe Fitting Manufacturers
Grooved pipe fittings were introduced in 1925 by Victaulic. Since then several manufacturers have entered the market. Notable among them are:
Cooplok (by Smith Cooper)
Grinnell / TYCO
The link below has part numbers cross referenced between different manufacturers. If you are used to other brands, the table below will help you choose an equivalent fitting from the other manufacturer.
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