Reflections on pipeline work

Planning and installation of piping systems is a true engineering task, necessitating the organisation of a multitude of requirements and goals. For piping installations, simple, critical and aggressive media in each case require suitable materials. The idea is to especially cover the requirements of functionality, operating safety, optimal service life, environmental conditions and adequate profitability. Included in this are overall ecological, technical and economic assessments. High-performance plastics for piping installations are proven and implementable where special endurance problems in connection with the media need solving.

Environmental protection is an important responsibility affecting us all. Each one of us, businesses and industrial concerns alike have to meet this great challenge.

Plastics, the basics

Plastics are materials which are created by chemical conversion of natural products or in a synthetic manner from organic compounds. The main components are the elements carbon (C) and hydrogen (H). The bases of most plastics are carbon-hydrogen compounds, from which the single components of plastics, the so-called monomers, are produced.

1) Synthesis: production of a chemical compound from different elements or simple molecules. Synthesis is the opposite of analysis.

2) Organic media are pure non-metals of natural occurrence, e. g. petroleum, coal, wood, natural gas.

Inorganic media are compounds of metal and non-metals, e .g. minerals, ores etc.

3) Monomers are the basic molecules, i. e. the smallest components of which plastics are built. 

Raw materials for the manufacture of plastics are natural compounds, such as cellulose, coal, petroleum and natural gas. In a refinery, petroleum is separated into several components by means of distillation.

Grouped into vaporisation ranges, gas, benzene, petroleum, gaseous oil, and as residue bitumen are obtained during distillation.

All components consist of hydrocarbons which only differ in size and form of the molecules. The most important component for plastics production is crude benzene.

In a heat cracking process this crude benzene is broken down into ethylene, propylene, butylene and other hydrocarbons and is then modified.

Distribution of Chemicals – Best handling

In the chemical distribution business, the highest product quality and a maximum of process reliability is an absolute must because chemical media are transported in diverse concentrations and dosages. Transporting chemicals from their storage place to the actual process application must be planned and carried out reliably and safely. This means the materials used in the piping system must be one hundred percent compatible with the properties of the chemicals.

Whether a manufacturing facility receives deliveries of large liquid supplies or distributes liquids to customers, the fluid is transported, in bulk, via large tanker trucks, railroad cars, drums, etc. These liquids are usually tightly controlled and filling or emptying the bulk container must be closely monitored using flow sensors and instruments.

Choosing the most suitable piping system, including automation technology, allows you not only to increase productivity and reduce maintenance costs, but also to realise a significant improvement in product quality for your customers.

Drinking Water

The shortage of drinking water and subsequently the valuable nature of the resource, gives high significance to an efficient purification process. Several sources for the production of drinking water – varying from groundwater and sea water through to surface or brackish water – have been exploited over the years, demanding diverse treatment efforts. In this context, legal and normative standards, together with specific requirements of the distribution grids, give direction to the design of the processes.

Ensuring drinking water supply worldwide is one of the key challenges today and therefore one of the most important and fastest growing industry sectors. Systems for water intake, production, purification and distribution need to adapt to the diverse regional conditions. Despite the differences, a constant high water quality is required throughout the whole process, which places high demands on the system solutions.

Understanding ABS

Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS) is a versatile standard polymer. In addition to its application in piping systems, ABS is mainly common in automotive applications and in high-quality household devices. The wide area of application relates to the versatile characteristic profile of ABS. It can be adapted to the application by varying the composition of its three components: acrylonitrile, styrene and polybutadiene. While acrylonitrile provides strength to the material and gives ABS an improved chemical resistance relative to polystyrene, the styrenic component provides both strength and a quality surface finish. The chemically bound polybutadiene rubber particles, on the other hand, give the material its toughness and impact strength, even at very low temperatures.

About Polyamide (Nylon) Pipe Systems

Polyamide (Nylon) gas pipe system is a revolutionary plastic pipe system developed for the gas industry, used for both direct burial and rehabilitation of existing cast iron and steel gas mains.

The excellent chemical resistance properties of Polyamide 11 (PA11) and Polyamide 12 (PA12), permits the conveyance of natural, manufactured or LP gases containing small amounts of aromatic and other condensable hydrocarbon impurities.

High tensile strength of polyamides enables the production of thin walled pipes with comparable strength, compared with much heavier walled polyethylene pipes.

Polyamide can withstand considerable stresses at peak temperatures in the region of 80°C (dry heat).

Polyamide pipes have excellent chemical resistance to heavy hydrocarbons at ambient temperatures.

Christmas Post 2016/2017

GF Piping Systems would like to wish you a safe and enjoyable Christmas, and New Year. We look forward to a busy 2017 for all.

Please note that our blog will be not be monitored during the festive season from COB Thursday 22 December 2016, until Monday January 9, 2017.

Please note our offices throughout Australia will be closed from COB on Friday December 23, 2016, and will reopen on Tuesday January 3, 2017. Contact our customer service team to ensure we can meet your requirements before we close for the festive season.

Solvent Cementing

The solvent-cemented connection in thermoplastic pipe and fittings is the last vital link in a plastic pipe installation. It can mean the success or failure of the system as a whole. Accordingly, it requires the same professional care and attention that are given to other components of the system. There are many solvent cementing techniques published covering step by step procedures on just how to make solvent cemented joints. However if the basic principles involved are explained, known and understood, a better understanding would be gained as to what techniques are necessary to suit particular applications, temperature conditions, and variations in size and fits of pipe and fittings.

When Level Matters

Many process plants handle harmful and corrosive liquids. To assure the best possible protection of life and property, operators need to focus special attention to their inventory- or day-tanks. These vessels are the points with the highest accumulation of dangerous fluids on their facilities.

The right combination of dedicated sensors and controllers can be used to design a redundant filling level control monitoring system; their continuous and limit switches which are taking care of crucial filling levels.

Continuous Level Control

Ultrasonic, radar or hydro static level sensors generate a continuous signal which allows precise filling and emptying control. They are used e.g. in batching or mixing processes but also for simple inventory control. The sensors directly control the process during daily operations.

Limit Switches

Even most advanced continuous technologies can be prone to measurement errors or malfunctions. But the handling of harmful fluids does not leave any room for loss of control. That is where limit switches play an important role as a redundant safety system.

At least one pair of limit switches is placed into a tank – one at the maximum and another one at the lowest allowed filling level. Most limit switches are designed to react as soon as they get in physical contact with the process media – as soon as the minimal or maximum level had been reach. This usually only happens if the continuous sensor fails. Still the environment is safe due to the fact that the switches directly connect to the power supply of the pump or the valve of the inlet.

Only by applying both technologies operators can guarantee protection of life and equipment, even if one system may fail.

Plastic Piping for Refrigeration and Cooling Plants

Refrigeration and Cooling plants in general using plastic pipe as the carrier system offer complete corrosion resistance and a cost effective solution compared to traditional metal materials.

Pressure ratings for thermoplastic pipe are always quoted for water at 20 °C. It can be used at higher temperatures but it is a fundamental principle in thermoplastic pipework that if the working temperature is increased then the working pressure must be reduced.

The design and installation of thermoplastic pipe systems requires designers and installers alike to take into account the fact that plastics have different physical characteristic to metal.

As a general rule for designing and installing plastics one of the major differences is that plastics can and should be allowed to move after commissioning i.e. move under the influence of temperature fluctuation and pressure changes. For instance using pipe brackets that allow horizontal movement and not clamping the system in place is a must for plastic piping installations.