Oklahoma Patent of the Month – November 2022

Butt fusion welding is a popular type of hot plate welding used for thermoplastic pipes. Many commercially available butt fusion welding machines use low accuracy force measuring devices, and the joint quality shows it. McElroy Manufacturing, Inc. has designed a pipe fusion machine that has greater force measuring accuracy and can be used for both butt and socket fusion.

Their design successfully butt or socket fuse polyolefin pipes and fittings in straight alignments and it mitered universal angles. In the case of butt fusion, they achieved angles from 0° to 45° and from 0° to 10° for socket fusion. The machine is manually driven, hydraulically monitored and operated in all configurations from one side of the machine.

The machine has a main frame that supports both butt and socket sliding and fixed jaws which are designed with mirror-image circular clamps. These clamps are designed to secure the pipe so the jaws may grip it reliably. The clamps are equipped with a lever and latch which allows the user to manually adjust the force applied by the clamp. The force application is precise, allowing for minute changes in force and guaranteeing improved welding joints. In similar fashion, each of the jaws can be manually adjusted, rotating it to the desired angle to create a mitered bend. If both sets of jaws are rotated 22.5°, a 45° miter results and a 90° turn in the pipe can be accomplished with two miter joints.

McElroy Manufacturing was founded in a small garage in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1954. As a result of the company’s interest in the science of design and innovation, they quickly became a leader in fintube machinery. They have never lost sight of this innovative drive, spending the last nearly 70 years improving and expanding their fusion machine offerings.

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