An Overview of Mud Tank Unions
Connecting mud tanks is a common practice in the oil fields in Texas as well as throughout the country. As these tanks are rarely in perfect alignment, it is necessary to have a durable, effective way to quickly and easily connect the tanks, while also providing a complete seal to prevent leaks at the joint.
The best way to manage this, and one that is seen on virtually all mud tanks in Texas, is the use of mud tank unions. These are also called hammer unions, and the reason for this name is evident if you consider they are designed to be tightened in place with a hammer.
The Basic Design and Operation of Mud Tank Unions
Although the hammer union comes in one piece, it is actually three different components. There are different possible ends to mud tank unions, including male and female ends that are threaded as well as the option for butt-weld connections.
There is also an O-ring in the system with the pipe from both sides designed to sit into the O-ring. Once in place, the nut is hit with a hammer to tighten the nut and seal the O-ring. The method of tightening the union makes it ideal if the alignment of the two tanks is not perfect, and the seal created can tolerate slight movement of both sides of the pipe.
Most of the hammer unions used in the oil and gas industry are designed to stand up to extreme operating conditions. They are sized using the nominal oilfield pipe sizes for both the male and female sides of the union.
When necessary, the hammer union can be removed using the same process. When installed correctly, these are a durable and reliable union that offers easy installation and easy removal.