Water Journal : Water Journal February 2015
water FEBRUARY 2015 40 Company Profile: Saint-Gobain SAINT-GOBAIN BRINGS EUROPEAN TECHNOLOGY TO OZ Applications for ductile iron pipes boom as PAM technologies burst onto the Australian market U ntil recently, technologies driving the success of ductile iron water industry pipeline systems in Europe were literally a world away. Australia’s isolation, currency exchange and fluctuations, and shipping lead times ex-Europe meant that ductile technologies remained relatively unknown in the Australian market. Now, with the arrival of Saint-Gobain PAM, European features and benefits can be realised in product applications in the Australian water industry. HOW IT ALL BEGAN PAM (whose products originated in the village of Pont-a-Mousson in France – hence the acronym) is part of Saint-Gobain, a French multi-national company with a history in industrial manufacturing stretching back 350 years. Some of Saint-Gobain’s commonly recognised products include flat plate glass, auto glass, abrasives and building products such as gypsum. With its strong emphasis on research and development, Saint- Gobain is continuously developing new products (in fact, 20 per cent of this market leader’s product portfolio did not exist five years ago). PAM itself is “only” 155 years old, but has a rich heritage of cast and ductile iron foundry products. In many respects PAM has led the way in the innovation of ductile iron, from its development in 1948 to its adoption in production in 1970. Today the company’s products lead the world in the areas of corrosion protection, lining materials and joint development, and have been used in 120 countries around the globe. DEVELOPING TECHNOLOGIES External corrosion protection of ductile iron pipe is a particular area where Saint-Gobain PAM (SGP) products have led the world. Rather than relying on Loose Polyethylene Sleeving (LPS), which has several disadvantages, the PAM system features factory-applied protection incorporating a zinc or zinc alloy layer and synthetic top coat. ZINALIUM technology is the latest development in the Australian ductile iron armoury of protection, comprising 400g/m2 of zinc 85%/ aluminium 15% alloy and a synthetic pore sealing top-coat. The zinc/ aluminium alloy is applied via a wire-fed metal spray gun before the top-coat of synthetic pore sealing is applied. This technology controls the release of zinc in effecting galvanic protection and initiates the formation of an impermeable barrier of insoluble zinc salts over coating damage. The result is that protection is effective in even very aggressive soils to the extent that LPS is not required in soils with resistivities down to 500Ωcm. For more aggressive soils, such as marine environments, where resistivities are well below 500Ω, the solution is a coextruded envelope of polyethylene or polyurethane coating (PUX). No longer are customers reliant on the pipe installer following correct practices applying LPS for corrosion protection – it comes inbuilt with the pipe with production control of protection quality. Two key new products featuring ZINALIUM technology are HYDROCLASS pipes, for potable and reuse water applications, and INTEGRAL pipes for sewage applications. Both these pipes satisfy AS/NZS 2280: 2014 and have been positively appraised by the Water Ser vices Association of Australia (WSAA) in their report PA 14/18. Linings are another development that have allowed ductile iron pipeline systems to be deployed in non-traditional applications, such as gravity sewage where abrasion and low pH can make service conditions extremely aggressive. In Europe and now in Australia, the most commonly used lining is High Alumina Cement (HAC) with a brown/red epoxy or acrylic pore sealer. HAC chemical resistance is pH 4 to 12, covering most septic fermentation and occasional acid attacks. Solutions also exist for pH1 to pH14. Restrained yet flexible joints make strings of ductile pipe a reality in horizontal directional drilling.
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