Fluid conveyance solutions provider Incledon has noted a growing trend towards high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe solutions, which include valves for flow regulations, presenting its water infrastructure segment with a major growth opportunity, as South Africa’s ageing water infrastructure network requires serious government intervention and investment, says Incledon chief marketing officer Kelly Wilson.
“Most of the country’s water supply infrastructure was installed decades ago. Maintenance has been neglected over the past 25 years, and this has exacerbated [the effects of] the current drought, as a large percentage of water loss can be attributed to old infrastructure breaking down.”
The company, which offers a range of HDPE pipe solutions, has noted that government is under immense pressure to update and enhance the current water infrastructure system. Incledon, therefore, expects to supply products for some of the upcoming projects and that its long-time association with global leader in HDPE pipe-fitting solutions Plasson, in particular, will prove beneficial in the coming months.
Wilson notes that the Plasson range offers solutions for connecting polyethylene pipes, used for conveying water and other fluids in urban and interurban infrastructure, as well as in industrial, mining, landscaping and farming applications.
Plasson fittings are designed to withstand working pressures of up to 16 bar and also include valves for flow regulation, he adds. These fittings are available in diameters from 16 mm to 160 mm. He comments that, while polypropylene is forgiving when subject to surge conditions, the project engineer should design the conveyance system to accommodate such conditions, because, if or when surge pressure exceeds the suggested working pressure, it will cause damage to fittings and valves.
Wilson explains that Plasson valves are manufactured from either polypropylene or HDPE, adding that “these materials are resistant to most chemicals and alkalis”.
Further, the valves are manufactured with a 50-year design life, as long as the valve is used in applications suited to its design criteria. He adds that Incledon’s pipes, fittings and valves are all certified and approved by national standards authority the South African Bureau of Standards and are thus compliant with the relevant national standards.
The major benefits of HDPE pipe solutions are corrosion resistance and remaining leaktight, Wilson says, adding that the heat-fused joints create a homogenous system, with the fusion joints exhibiting greater strength than the pipe itself.
HDPE pipe systems also maintain optimum flow rates. They do not tuberculate and have a high resistance to scale and biological build-up, with excellent water-hammer characteristics in addition to being designed to withstand surge events, he adds.