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Mechanical Grooved Piping Systems

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Mechanical piping systems are increasingly used in India on HVAC, fire protection and a range of commercial and industrial applications due to the time and cost savings associated with installation. They are an effective alternative to welding and flanging for potable water distribution, equipment connections on pumps, water softeners and filters as well as drain, waste and vent piping, and other industrial applications.

Mechanical pipe joining systems employ a proven grooving process to join pipes, valves and other components. Using a two-bolt coupling design, pipe fitters can make rugged, secure joints quickly and easily using only basic hand tools. And with a union at every joint, contractors have maximum field flexibility for on-site decision making. All couplings are sealed for optimum integrity with a durable elastomeric gasket designed to withstand years of sustained high compressive and cyclical loads.

Grooved pipe joining technology is rooted in sustainability; its inherent qualities naturally make it environment friendly. Reducing the need for welding, soldering or brazing means better air quality, less particulate matter released into the atmosphere and decreased fire risk. There also is less material waste, reducing site impact. Indoor and outdoor-air quality is preserved because there are no fumes or particulate matter to endanger workers or the environment.

Reduced onsite waste

During installation, mechanical grooved piping systems significantly reduce or eliminate waste, emissions and noise pollution on the jobsite providing a safer and healthier environment. The reduced need for soldering lowers emissions on the job site. By-products of solder fumes can contain lead oxide, carbon monoxide, V.O.C. (volatile organic compounds) and hydrochloric acid in addition to many other harmful particles and gases.

A grooved mechanical pipe joint does not require the use of electricity during installation, reducing the draw on burdened power resources. Pipes that are joined by welding or soldering require the use of vast amounts of electricity for prolonged periods of time, consuming up to 4000 watts of energy per hour on a 200mm (DN200) joint.

The installation of a grooved joint is cleaner than soldered joints and therefore reduces on-site job waste. Unlike in soldering and brazing methods, this process does not require flux to seal the joint, which must be flushed and cleaned from the system prior to operation. Additionally, soldered systems often require as much as 35% re-work for failures discovered when pressurizing and testing the completed system requiring additional resources. However grooved mechanical pipe joints can be visually inspected for proper installation, so re-work is minimal, saving energy, resources and time on the job. And grooved systems generally are easier to align and rotate.

The future of a building

Energy costs typically represent 30% of a building’s annual budget and are the single largest operating cost (Energy Star). The Energy Systems Lab at Texas A&M University indicated that energy use in buildings could be reduced from 10 to 40% by improving operational strategies in buildings, including maintenance strategies. Less deferred maintenance means a higher level of energy efficiency.

Mechanical pipe joining systems provide an optimal way to effectively maintain piping systems in structures, thereby reducing the deferral of maintenance and promoting operating efficiency and saving money. Their ease of installation and ability to disassemble and reinstall the same components make them a simple solution for the frequent performance of both routine and unscheduled maintenance. For access to a grooved piping system, a maintenance person simply loosens the two coupling bolts.

Given the busy agendas and budget constraints in India today, it is easy to see why familiar procedures are replicated. But in reality, tried and tested alternatives to traditional pipe joining techniques can have huge impact on both the immediate and future economic and sustainability returns.

 

Pankaj Soni
Victaulic Country Manager, India

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