SAVING A GREAT PIPE LINE (Sep, 1915)
SAVING A GREAT PIPE LINE
SOON after water was turned on in a great pipe line in Colorado, trouble began with the joints. There were several hundred of them, all told, twenty-seven being in tunnels through the rock. In some cases, the sand nearby was caught up by the water jets, hydraulic sand blasts were created, and threatened with their cutting power the very integrity of the pipe and rivets. The line was shut, and the thoughts of the management wandered from a successfully repaired pipe line to the scrap pile. No ordinary and effective means of stopping the leaks was known; but eventually the company arranged to have the leaks dealt with by the oxy-acetylene “welding” process.
A mere handful of men took charge. The work was done in the field in a Colorado winter, the oxygen and the acetylene being made on the spot. When the “welding” was completed, there was a long strip four thousand feet in length and joined to it, like so many barrel hoops, a couple of hundred girth straps. The whole was now one single piece of steel without crack or crevice.