In addition to plug material, it is important that you order the correct tube plug size for your application. In order to determine what size you need, measure the ID of the tube inside of the tube sheet. One-piece plugs are more versatile and can cover a wider tube range, making them ideal for sealing leaky tubes in both heat exchangers and boilers. Whereas, mechanical tube plugs are ideal for plugging feedwater heaters and other heat exchangers.
In applications where they can be used, mechanical tube plugs are often the best choice. Compared to other plugs on the market, Elliott’s Torq N’ Seal mechanical tube plugs are easy to install and can be used in a variety of applications. Elliott’s mechanical plugs can be used in both low and high-pressure vessels, up to 6,500 PSI. Additionally, installation and removal only require the use of a torque wrench or an easy out and slide hammer. These tools are commonly available and more economical than the hydraulic ram, used to remove other types of mechanical tube plugs. Mechanical plugs are also significantly safer than explosive plugs, commonly used in high-pressure vessels. The explosive “shock wave” can damage ligaments and loosen rolled joints in adjacent tubes, in addition to being dangerous for operators to use.
Overall, when looking for the correct tube plug it is important to consider the application, material, and the ID of the tube. When you’re in a low-pressure vessel and need to weld the plug, a one-piece tube plug would be the best option. However, if welding is not required and you would prefer a larger sealing area, consider a two-piece tube plug. Lastly, you should consider using mechanical tube plugs to achieve the best seal in low, medium, and high-pressure situations.