A boltless, reusable flange system for joining metal piping includes a circular, wedge-shaped tongue on an upper flange for mating with a groove containing a fusible alloy in a lower flange. The lower flange includes a heating element for melting the fusible alloy, and a thermocouple device to sense the alloy temperature. Heat can be controlled and supplied from a remote source and monitored by a remote temperature indicator. The upper flange is positioned above the lower flange, tongue and groove aligned, and the lower flange is heated until the fusible alloy melts to allow the upper tongue to settle down within the lower groove. Upon removal of the heat, the alloy hardens to further bring the two flanges together in a solid and sealed couple, compressing an optional gasket.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
The United States Government has rights in this invention disclosed under contract number DE-ACO7-84ID12435 between the U.S. Department of Energy and Westinghouse Idaho Nuclear Company, now contract number DE-ACO7-94ID13223 with Lockheed Idaho Technologies Company.