New pipe cutters reduce cutting time significantly

April 22, 2015

Steve Vick International has introduced two new pipe cutters to its range – one for cutting ‘windows’ and one for circumferential cuts; both developed for cutting ductile iron.

Whilst the majority of the existing gas network in the UK is made up of cast iron pipes, there is a significant proportion constructed from ductile iron and steel. These mains pose a problem for utilities when carrying out live and dead mains insertion, as they are not able to be broken out easily like cast iron mains.

Developed with Wales & West Utilities

The Rapid Window Cutter has been developed in collaboration with Wales & West Utilities who saw the need for a fast, safe and easy-to-use machine which would dramatically reduce cutting time on ductile iron pipes.

The Rapid Window Cutter is probably the fastest on the market, able to cut a window in ten minutes when traditional equipment would take significantly longer. The machine comprises a cutting disc mounted on a bespoke chassis assembly which has four small wheels. Pneumatically powered, the operative guides the cutter, applying sufficient pressure to penetrate the pipe wall and is able to pivot the chassis to change direction without removing the unit from the main. Depth controls allow the cutter to be used safely on inserted pipe.

Comprehensive safety features have been incorporated including an automatic emergency cut-off on the trigger handle and the machine is quiet and user friendly. The finely tuned motor operates at low torque; consequently the cutter is easy to operate and does not have a tendency to ‘run away’ or ‘kick back’. The slow cutting speed produced means that no water is required as a coolant when cutting ductile iron, resulting in a cleaner trench.

The Rapid Window Cutter is small and lightweight and the compact design allows the cutter to be used close up to third party equipment. The Rapid Window Cutter may be used on ductile iron pipes in the size range 100mm to 200mm (4”, 6” and 8”).

Rapid Rotary Cutter

Cutting ductile iron has always posed a problem in the gas and water industries as the pipes cannot be broken out like cast iron mains. Steve Vick International offers a solution with its new Rapid Rotary Cutter, a compact circumferential cutter which is able to cut a 4” ductile main in around two minutes.

The machine is ideal to use during live or dead insertion projects and is supplied with depth control discs to prevent damage to internal PE pipe.
The Rapid Rotary Cutter comprises two aluminium shells with a motor mounted onto the top shell. The resulting circular frame sits closely around the circumference of the main. The motor and cutting disc assembly are common to all three sizes; different sized frames are available for diameters 100mm, 150mm and 200mm (4”, 6” and 8”). Bespoke frames are available for different dimensions to special order. For safety, the cutting blade is mounted safely away from the operator’s hand.

The motor is air driven and powered from a typical compressor. An airline lubrication unit maintains the operation of the motor preventing it from freezing or seizing up and prolonging its life. An air exhaust hose prevents dust and debris from being blown around the trench and into the operative’s face.

No water coolant is required when cutting ductile iron which is convenient and leaves a dry trench. A water feed hose is fitted, however, and should be connected to a supply when cutting steel to prevent sparking.

The Rapid Rotary CutterThe machine is extremely compact and, compared with traditional circumferential cutters, requires very little space around it resulting in reduced trench sizes. As well as being quick to operate, the machine is assembled over the main in seconds.

Pipe Cutting Made Fast and Easy

With these two new products – The Rapid Window Cutter and the Rapid Rotary Cutter – Steve Vick International believes that it offers utilities faster, safer and more efficient cutting of ductile iron mains.