Spark-Free Steel Pipe Cutting

Critical path and spark-free cutting in an oil refinery. The refinery’s emergency fire suppression water system included 2 42” diameter water supply valves that had reached end of service and needed to be replaced. Bluegrass was contracted to provide diamond wire saw services to cut the 1” thick steel pipes underwater and therefore meeting the refinery’s spark-free requirement.


Mid-west USA


URS Energy & Construction Inc.


Because this project affected the fire suppression system, it was critical path. The work chamber had limited accessibility for technicians and equipment, and in the combustible environment of a refinery, the 4 cuts on either side of the valves had to be done quickly, and safely, without producing sparks or emissions.

Two saws and two crews were mobilized to work around the clock. The saws were positioned, then the work area chamber was submerged and the underwater saws were operated remotely.



Bluegrass performed the cuts using diamond wire spark-free cold cutting technology, completing the job ahead of schedule which allowed the refinery to remain online.

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