Hawke International, the leading manufacturer of glands for harsh and hazardous environments, has unveiled a range of 28 new glands featuring 7 major innovations. These represent the biggest set of developments within global gland manufacture since the company introduced the first hazardous area cable gland 60 years ago.
As the leading supplier of glands to the oil and gas industry, Hawke’s glands are used by all the leading oil and gas companies globally - including Shell, BP, Adma and Opco to name just a few. The first key innovation is around Hawke’s hugely popular Universal 501/453 cold flow compliant cable gland, which has been a market leading Ex gland for the past two decades. The company has developed a special conversion kit which enables the Universal to be easily converted into a barrier gland.
Matt Ogden, Cable Gland Product Manager at Hawke International, explains what the conversion kit means for users: “In essence, we’ve created a ‘one gland, two applications’ proposition. Our customers can now purchase just one gland for both their standard and barrier gland requirements. Given that these glands typically make up 10-15% of the stock held by companies, that means major cost savings, stock flexibility and peace of mind.”
The conversion kit is available in two forms. This first is a quick, two-part hand mix putty, which is easy to use and has a cure time of 30 minutes. This is particularly useful where termination space for the gland is limited, or in situations where cables are running horizontally to the installation area. The second conversion kit uses a liquid, fast curing resin. This is injected into a unique clear compound chamber, allowing full visibility of the flameproof seal during installation and inspection.
Hawke has also unveiled a revolutionary, patented tightening guide which is now integrated into all Hawke glands, as standard. The guide reduces the chance of glands being over or under tightened - a major health and safety issue for companies within harsh and hazardous environments. A gland that has been under tightened may allow water or dust into equipment, or the gland may become loose creating an electric shock risk. If a gland is over-tightened, the cable’s properties will be compromised, and the equipment may fail, or the cable may become damaged, which can then lead to explosion risk.
“A poorly installed cable gland can easily become a weak link in the chain and tightening is a critical area where things can go wrong,” explains Matt Ogden. “Whilst the cost of cable glands is insignificant compared to that of other hazardous equipment, the cost of failure can be catastrophic.”
The guide gives the installer and inspector a simple visual indicator, to show the cable gland has been tightened to the corresponding outside diameter (OD) of the cable being fitted.
Punched Seal Glands are another key product development in the Exd barrier gland world. As part of this latest wave of innovation, Hawke has increased the number of cores that can be passed through its Punched Seal Gland (PSG). As a result, this gland, offers a far greater range of barrier gland applications, completely removing the need for resin or compound and reducing installation time by well over 50%.
Health and safety have also been critical areas of focus within the development process. For instance, to prevent cables pulling away if an incident happens with a gland, it is best practice to install a clamp and cleat within 300 mm of any gland installation. However, due to lack of knowledge, or space, there are many installations where this standard has not been met. To help with this, Hawke has developed a new highly cost-effective, space efficient cable clamp which can be applied within 50 mm of a gland.
Hawke has also turned its attention to the overall ingress protection rating (which measures the level of dust and water penetration) across all its glands – meeting the highest levels of ingress protection achievable. The protection ratings it now offers include IP66 which withstands high waterjet pressure and IP67/68 which tests the product when submersed in water. Lastly, through the addition of IP69, the glands are proven to withstand high pressure steam cleaning. This coupled with a redesign – fully enclosing the gland threading – means Hawke glands are now ideal for the food, clean room and pharmaceutical sectors.
Lastly, in a world first, Hawke’s non-metallic, fully inspectable barrier seal has gained NEC certification. This means it is the only NEC certified compound gland to contain a non-metallic clear and fully inspectable resin chamber approved for use within the US.
Matt Ogden concludes: "We’ve focused on every aspect that matters to our customers – cost, installation, maintenance, stock management, ease of use, performance, of course safety - and innovated on all of these fronts.”