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The exhibitors at last year’s IFAT in Munich, the world’s leading trade fair for environmental technologies, once again presented the most innovative products in their portfolios.

The pipe manufacturer Amiantit was no exception here, introducing its new pipe – the “Flowtite Grey” - from the Flowtite range. Light as plastic and strong as steel, the new pipe type is intended for use in particularly demanding terrain but without compromising on transport and installation comfort.

GRP pipes have many advantages and are therefore frequently the preferred solution for the creation of hydro­power pressure pipe lines. In addition to the low-cost installation, Flowtite pipes are also very durable thanks to their high corrosion resistance and excellent flow properties.

To ensure that a power plant is as economical as possible, operators nowadays expect their pipes to have a particularly long life. However, the operating parameters may alter over several decades so that pipe manufacturers are required to warrant that their pipes can also withstand unforeseeable events. Standard pipes from Flowtite have a high ­safety factor so that they are usually able to withstand changes in pressure and the level of strain.
At last year’s IFAT in Munich, Amiantit ­presented a new Flowtite pipe – the Flowtite Grey – for particularly demanding terrain. Grey is the result of a multiyear development programme in the areas of material, layer structure and production technology. The aim was to achieve even better pipe properties.

Premature pipe defects are usually attributable to faults when installing the pipes or unexpected strain. Flowtite Grey now offers a solution precisely for these two factors. The impact resistance of the pipes in this range is ten times higher compared with the standard pipes in the Flowtite range. Flowtite Grey has a new wall structure that makes the pipe less sensitive to, and more tolerant of, cracking due to higher impact. They are therefore ideally protected against transport and installation ­damage. More excavated material or coarser bedding material can also be used as backfill. This saves money because finer backfill material is more expensive and more difficult to procure – also because it does not naturally occur on site. Flowtite Grey now permits particle ­sizes of up to 100 mm to be used as backfill material for the largest pipes. The higher ­impact resistance has been tested and con­firmed in an impact test.

The abrasion resistance has also been increased considerably compared with the standard ­pipes in the Flowtite range and is 60 % - 100 % above the normal value. Abrasion resistance is important in all pipe installations in which water carries sand, silt and gravel at high speed. These particles in the water can cause abrasion and wear and endanger operational reliability in serious cases. They may also often make frequent renewal measures necessary. The higher abrasion resistance also reduces the frequency of having to bring a plant to a standstill for inspections and therefore permits longer operating periods, something which is also reflected in a longer life of the pipe line.

Water jet cleaning is a method which is usual for sewers throughout the world. However, it is increasingly used for pressure pipe lines to guarantee optimum conditions of use. High cleaning pressures are used here and the pipes must be able to withstand these extreme cleaning conditions. Flowtite Grey is a highly ­resistant pipe in this respect.

The Flowtite Grey product range comprises pipes with a diameter from 300 mm to 4000 mm, pressure resistance of up to 32 bars and any stiffness upwards of SN 2500. Flowtite Grey permits a backfill particle size of up to 100 mm with diameters greater than DN1100.

Flowtite Grey is designed for use with the standard range of Flowtite couplings and fittings. This also applies to the laminates. Pipe couplings are also produced and supplied in accordance with the requirements for normal Flowtite pipe lines. Tried and tested pressure couplings are used for hydropower applications. Flowtite couplings for increased angular deflections permit an angle of up to 3 degrees.

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