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Meeting the “Toughest Standard in the World”

July 6, 2021 Viega
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The U.S. Navy takes testing seriously.

To shock test a new aircraft carrier this year, it set off a 40,000-pound explosive nearby.

Tough test

While there were no explosions involved in the Navy’s testing of Viega MegaPress CuNi and ProPress copper fittings, there was a hammer. A really big hammer, like 500 pounds, delivering 200G of force against a metal sheet to which our fittings were attached.

Surviving giant hammer blows was just one of the tests the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) put Viega fittings through before approving them for use on Navy combat ships, the first press fittings to earn that distinction.

“NAVSEA standards are the toughest standards in the world,” said Viega LLC’s Director of Marine TJ Tracy. “The fact that Viega could meet those requirements with off-the-shelf fittings is a testament to our standards for engineering and manufacturing.”

How it began

The Navy first approached Viega about earning approval for press fittings at the suggestion of a shipbuilder that wanted to take advantage of the safety and cost benefits that pressing technology offers.

The challenge for Viega was proving to NAVSEA that pressing is an approved alternative to welding pipe, a technology the Navy has used for over 100 years. The process, which required designing the testing procedures, input from Navy shipbuilders, creating special rings for the press tools and a grueling series of tests at three NAVSEA-approved labs, took nearly six years.

Once the performance and reliability of Viega press fittings was proven, NAVSEA approved press technology for its multiple benefits during construction and maintenance. Pressing mitigates the danger of fire onboard ships caused by hot work, such as welding and soldering. It also saves considerably on costs and labor. Pressing can reduce installation time by 70 percent over traditional methods of joining pipe.

While Viega has a host of other marine certifications and approvals, including the U.S. Coast Guard, we’re proudest of this one because we know if it’s tough enough for the Navy, it’s tough enough for you.

To download the NAVSEA approval letters, click here.

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