News | September 26, 2016

New Alpha Restrained Joint Saves Labor, Time, Money

Source: AMERICAN - American Cast Iron Pipe Company
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AMERICAN Flow Control recently unveiled the new ALPHA restrained joint for use on its Series 2500 4- to 12-inch Resilient Wedge Gate Valves and its American-Darling and Waterous fire hydrants at the 2016 Water Environment Federation’s Technical Exhibition and Conference in New Orleans. “ALPHA’s physical strength, its one-piece quick install design, and its ability to accommodate a wide range of pipe diameters, make it a truly revolutionary new product for the utility industry,” said John Hagelskamp, division manager of AMERICAN Flow Control.

Restrained joints, used to connect pressurized pipe, valves and hydrants, are designed to resist thrust forces. In 1929, AMERICAN introduced and patented the Mechanical Joint. Originally designed to meet the rigid requirements of the gas industry for a pressure-tight joint, it soon became the industry standard and set the stage for development and use of rubber-gasketed joints.

“Many will agree, few things in the waterworks industry have been as innovative as the Mechanical Joint,” said Derek Scott, marketing and technical manager for AMERICAN Flow Control. “Countless numbers of valves equipped with this joint have been installed around the world. And many more are installed every day. But now, there is ALPHA.”

ALPHA was developed by Romac Industries, Inc., (U.S. Patent 8,894,100). Compared with the Mechanical Joint, ALPHA offers these advantages:

  • ALPHA can be quickly and easily installed by one person. In some instances, the Mechanical Joint may require more than one person to install.
  • The Mechanical Joint uses up to eight bolts on each end and eight wedge bolts for each restraint; ALPHA uses only one stainless steel bolt, which saves time and money.
  • The Mechanical Joint often requires the installer(s) to elevate the valve or hydrant to reach the bolts on the bottom of the joint.
  • Unlike the Mechanical Joint, ALPHA comes with the restraint accessories attached. This also saves time and money.
  • ALPHA is compatible with several pipe materials, including ductile iron, cast iron, HDPE and PVC pipe. This means it will work with just about any pipe material on the job.
  • ALPHA works with the pressure to achieve restraint.

In a video demonstration, available on AMERICAN Flow Control’s website, it takes a two-man crew about seven minutes to install a Mechanical Joint. One person is able to install an ALPHA joint in just under two minutes. “We are working to bring great value to our customers,” Hagelskamp said.

ALPHA is the latest in a series of innovations introduced by AMERICAN Flow Control in recent years, including an Earthquake Resistant Valve and Hydrant System; the AFC Mapper, a free Web and mobile app that allows utilities to locate and manage valve and hydrant assets; and the AMERICAN Series 3500 Ductile Iron Pipe Resilient Wedge Gate Valve for use in higher pressure applications than those requiring the traditional 250 psig-rated gate valve.

And those are just recent innovations. In its history, AMERICAN and its family of companies have introduced a number of items that are used every day including the world’s first self-propelled fire truck (Waterous 1907), cement-lined iron pipe (1922), the modern traffic model fire hydrant (Darling 1938), and the first reduced wall ductile iron resilient wedge gate valve in the U.S. (1989).

“AMERICAN is best known for its Golden Rule business philosophy of treating our customers the way we want to be treated,” Hagelskamp said. “That includes bringing to market the latest in design and function of products to improve our water infrastructure and fire protection systems.”

About AMERICAN Flow Control:
AMERICAN Flow Control is a division of AMERICAN Cast Iron Pipe Company, founded in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1905. In addition to valves and hydrants, AMERICAN also manufactures ductile iron and spiral-welded steel pipe for the waterworks industry and electric-resistance-welded steel pipe for the oil and gas industries. AMERICAN’s diversified product line also includes static castings and high performance fire pumps. For more information, visit

SOURCE: AMERICAN - American Cast Iron Pipe Company

AMERICAN - American Cast Iron Pipe Company