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In Indian, architects and plumbing consultants are looking for alternatives to galvanized iron, PVC and copper, to meet the increasingly demanding performance requirements for state-of-the art buildings.

Water piping plays a very important role in determining the life of the reinforced concrete cement (RCC) structure and therefore the life of building.

New and tall buildings nowadays must be able to withstand not only high pressures but the motion of the building caused by seismic and wind forces.

The mechanical properties of stainless steels are ideally suited for such loads. Stainless steel also is well known for its hygienic and anti-bacterial properties thus are used extensively in the pharmaceutical and food processing applications.

Stainless steel plumbing is often seen as expensive and tricky to work with. But the new and innovative “Press Fit Technology”, has made stainless steel to be a cost effective and easy to install alternative to most systems.

Stainless steel press-fittings, in particular, are easy to use for joints, and ideal for installation in areas with limited space and access or where the use of heat would be a problem.

It corrosion resistance with high strength properties allows reduction in section diameter, wall thickness and weight, making it cost effective and quick and easy to install.

At the end of its useful life, stainless steel is fully recyclable and retains a higher residual scrap value than ordinary steel.

The expected lifetime of a stainless steel system is more than 50 years, longer than is typical for competing materials.

Stainless steel requires no additional coating / or painting. No maintenance is required after installation, eliminating system down time, replacement and maintenance costs over the life of the installation.

Another area of stainless steel plumbing is the fire-fighting systems.

A conventional fire-fighting system consists of pipes with welded joints for the sprinkler systems.

It is typically found that 40% of sprinklers do not work when fire testing is carried out. The problems are not of installation, but the material. The corrosion products of pipes and weld spatters get accumulated at the nozzle of the sprinklers and block the water exit.

A stainless steel press fit system on the other hand doesn’t suffer from this shortcoming.

Stainless steel press fit system is easy to install and easy for the workers to get trained on. It save the installation time by 75% as compared to threaded GI piping system.

Source : Stainless India; Vol.16 No. 2; May 2011; Indian Stainless Steel Development Association

(this article written for 1BINA.my)