Move over HDPE: Why ACO’s stainless steel pipe is a better choice
Behind every drain is a complex pipework structure, which facilitates the flow of wastewater throughout a building to the sewer. A reliable pipe system is crucial, particularly in food processing plants and commercial kitchen environments where hygiene control is vital. When selecting a system, the specifier must take into account the durability and flexibility of the materials that the drainage system is constructed from, plan to prevent spread of fire and select products which prevent pests from moving around the building.
Commercial and industrial pipes come in many different materials, such as polypropylene (PP) and high density polyethylene (HDPE), as well as stainless steel. However, stainless steel pipes stand out as having a clear advantage, especially over HDPE drain pipe systems.
The ACO range of grade 316 stainless steel push-fit pipes is the modern metal alternative and superior choice compared to PVC and HDPE.
Polypropylene (PP) plastics can deteriorate quickly when exposed to heat, resulting in cracks and discoloration. Temperature changes mean all materials are subject to varying levels of expansion and contraction. Plastics are very susceptible to this, which often leads to pipe failures. Conversely, stainless steel is able to withstand larger temperature fluctuations as it expands far less than plastic - key for in-ground applications.
ACO Pipe stainless steel pipes also feature a unique, double lip seal for additional durability.
The benefit of stainless steel drain pipe structures is that they are fire resistant, eliminating the concern of a fire spreading through pipe penetrations which connect rooms. Other drain pipe materials, like HDPE, must have additional fire collars installed to prevent fire from spreading to those adjacent rooms.
The drainage system can be compromised accidentally in the workplace. With some materials like HDPE and cast iron, impacts can cause ruptures leading to pipe leaks.
A common cause of distress in food processing plants, commercial kitchens, labs and healthcare facilities are pests. Rodents like rats are a severe threat in a workplace that must remain clean and hygienic. Rodents can chew into plastic and move throughout the building within the pipes. Stainless steel is a strong material, which rodents cannot chew through to enter the system. For this reason alone, stainless steel pipe is often the hygienic and logical choice for business owners. The ACO Pipe range also includes a 'rat trap' fitting. This fitting prevents rodents from moving further into the pipe system if they gain access.
An easy to clean, well maintained drain pipe system helps to avoid the risk of contamination. A damaged pipe can cause a backflow of water and contaminate a production area.
Hot water jet cleaning is the preferred method of grease removal in many industries. Stainless steel pipes are easy to clean and their chemical resistance ensures cleaning standards can be maintained with a durable pipe system. The ACO stainless steel pipe range is durable to withstand rigorous cleaning processes.
Installation and maintenance
Cast iron pipes are heavy and therefore difficult to install; stainless steel is more lightweight to allow for a quicker and easier installation.
HDPE is a cheaper upfront alternative to stainless steel, but over time, fees to maintain and replace ill functioning, brittle HDPE pipes is costly. Stainless steel is a superior choice for total cost of ownership and if need be, upgrades and additions to a pipework system can be easily conducted onsite.
Designers of commercial buildings and food and drink processing environments have enough to worry about - so why not ensure the integrity of its drainage system with a safe, reliable, easy to clean pipe network? ACO's pipe product range is the internationally recognised leader of grade 316 stainless steel push-fit drainage pipe, with a wide range of fittings and accessories.
ACO Pipe is compatible with ACO's wide range of floor drains and channel systems for a complete and seemless stainless steel drainage solution.