The plant’s older carbon steel piping, used for transferring chilled water for climate control and for its manufacturing process, was at the end of its life expectancy. The objective: how to provide a new piping system that was lighter, stronger, and easy to assemble to prevent extended downtime?
The answer: Aquatherm, a global leader in the production of polypropylene pipe and fittings, and a major materials supplier to The Macomb Group.
“The plant’s older piping was wearing out, and a long-lasting material that could be assembled quickly was needed,” said Macomb Group Sales Specialist Troy Taylor. “That’s when we partnered with Aquatherm for this project.”
Faster, longer-lasting, safer to install than metallic pipe
Originally used for highly reactive applications because it doesn’t react with most chemicals, polypropylene is one of the most reliable piping materials; and according to Taylor, it can last for over 60 years.
“It’s an ideal material for many applications like potable water, heating and cooling. Since it won’t react with water or dissolved chemicals in water it prevents corrosion, scaling and erosion which are the three main causes of long-term pipe failure such as you would see in carbon steel piping,” Taylor said, adding that the lighter weight of polypropylene makes the material easier to handle.
In addition, Aquatherm pipe does not leach any chemicals into the water flowing through it, like copper can, making it a premiere choice for health and safety
Fusion: Putting it all together
Aquatherm uses heat fusion to connect segments of pipe and fittings rather than glues, solders and gaskets. This assures a chemically pure solution. Heat fusion is the process of using heat to turn the polypropylene pipe and fittings into a single continuous piece so that no additional chemicals are used to create a seal. Although like welding, the material at the point of connection is not weakened. Instead, by fusing large joining areas, the connection is as strong as the pipe itself, if not stronger.
Taylor, who, as part of his job, trains assemblers in fusing Aquatherm piping, estimates the system under construction at the hand sanitizer plant will require more than 200 heat-fusion joints by the time it is completed.
In addition, entire sections of Aquatherm piping is preassembled at Aquatherm’s own fabrication plant in Salt Lake City, then trucked to the final assembly site.
“Prefabrication is a big plus.” Taylor points out, “as it can reduce installation time by at least 50%. When you have a customer that cannot afford any excessive downtime, that’s a big advantage.”
Today’s business climate is ever-changing. The price of traditional metal piping systems continually rises and falls, but the cost of polypropylene piping systems remains stable. In fact, Aquatherm pipes do not rust or corrode like metal, so they help building owners, contractors, designers and facility managers stay competitive and offer a superior piping system. Contractors also like the prefabrication ability of Aquatherm since it reduces time on site. The Macomb Group has the cost-effective, intelligent solutions to meet your piping needs.