Air Force

Rigging and hoisting attachment for heavy flanges

Coupling device makes the lifting of heavy flanges simple


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Airmen from the 374th Maintenance Squadron carry a custom-made reduction flange. Photo: Airman 1st Class Krystal M. Garrett

Flanges like the one shown in the picture at right are common in piping systems, pumps, motors, and other valved industrial equipment. They range in sizes and materials but many of the configurations are heavy and awkward to move.

Common practice in moving units that are too heavy to be physically lifted by individuals is to weld a lifting point to the flange for the attachment of a chain and pulley system.

This is time-consuming, requires a certified welder with weld quality testing, and results in a change to the original design.

The pin 12 has a shaft 14, with a head 16, and a retaining feature 18 to receive a retaining bolt or cotter key. Portion 20 is the lifting lug with attachment point 24 for a cable or chain. 26 and 16 represent the cam mechanism with an offset of 30. The cam mechanism is inserted into the flange, rotated and thus fixed in place for lifting.

In order to move heavy flanges more easily and without altering the structure of the flange, the Air Force has devised a pin that slides into one of the various bolt holes on the circumference of the flange.

A head on the end of the pin occupies the space between the flange and back flange.

Once inserted, a sleeve is rotated around the pin to engage a cam thereby securing the shaft in the bolt hole. A hoist attachment point is fixed to the end of the shaft where a cable or chain can be placed.  This simple component can accommodate multiple sizes of flanges.

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