Viega Fittings Earn Additional Navy Approval

The pressing technology is approved for use on U.S. Navy surface combatants

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Viega, the first press fitting system to meet the standard for use on Navy combat ships, has won approval for additional components to be used onboard.

Last year, the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) approved the use of MegaPress CuNi press fittings in sizes 1/2-inch to 2-inch to be used in surface combatant vessels for a variety of systems, including chilled water, potable water, electronic freshwater cooling, seawater cooling, washdown countermeasures, drainage and many others. ProPress copper 1/2-inch fittings were also approved for potable water and various drains.

The new extended approval from NAVSEA includes the addition of MegaPress CuNi 90-degree elbows, 45-degree elbows, straight tees, reducing tees and reducer couplings. This allows shipbuilders and Navy personnel to better integrate Viega fittings into onboard systems. 

“NAVSEA is arguably the toughest standard in the world and we’re proud to have won additional approvals for our system,” says TJ Tracy, Viega’s director of marine. “We make the most reliable press fittings in the world and this is proof of that.”

MegaPress CuNi is made of a 90/10 copper nickel alloy specifically designed to withstand harsh marine environments. Pressing pipe offers the Navy, its shipyards and contractors two enormous benefits. The first is mitigation of fire, which is one of the greatest dangers in ship construction, repair and maintenance. There were more than 600 shipboard fires documented between 2017 and 2020. A recent analysis by the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers found more than half the fires were caused by hot work, such as welding and soldering. Because pressing does not require heat, flame or an external power source, it eliminates the danger of fire when joining pipe. It also makes it unnecessary to post a fire watch or to prepare a job site for hot work.

The second benefit is cost and labor savings. Pressing can reduce installation time by 70% over traditional methods of joining pipe. When coupled with savings when testing the systems, the cost and schedule advantages easily outweigh the investment. The National Steel and Shipbuilding Co., which builds Navy ships, has done studies showing that testing pressed pipe fittings costs less due to fewer leaks, repairs and retesting. 

“Commercial and offshore marine have benefited from pressing for years. And our defense partners have embraced the technology since its initial approval by NAVSEA last year. The new extension to multiple configurations opens the door to additional opportunities, especially with maintenance, repair and overhaul of existing vessels,” Tracy says. 

Along with the NAVSEA approval, the U.S. Coast Guard, American Bureau of Shipping, DNV-GL, Lloyd’s Register, Bureau Veritas and RINA all have previously approved the use of Viega fittings in marine environments.

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