Stainless steel drainage products offer several advantages over cast iron and PVC alternatives in below ground or above ground installations.

Stainless steel pipe products have the resilience to withstand damage from impacts that would definitely cause cast iron or PVC pipes to fracture. Stainless steel drainage products therefore, reduce risk for all parties from the manufacturer to the supplier, the specifier, the installer, and the end user.

However, improving the specification of pipework and drainage systems for healthcare environments is not simply a matter of adding some stainless steel components to the system. A poorly specified system that for example, uses cast iron or galvanised steel as a hidden component connected to a visible stainless steel drainage grating chosen for cosmetic effect can be a false economy as the contact between those two different metals will result in galvanic corrosion. It is important to specify the right materials to suit the application.

Applications that involve acids also require the advice of an expert who understands the corrosive effect of those acids on metals and tailors the materials from over 150 grades of stainless steel to best resist the corrosive effect of each given acid. Even 316 stainless steel, which contains molybdenum and offers an even more resilient option than the more commonly used grade 304 can be vulnerable to certain chemicals such as hydrochloric acid and sulphuric acid.

The right specification can only be made by first carefully considering the drainage performance requirements of a hygiene-critical environment and understanding the corrosive nature of the liquids that the system will handle. Informed material selection can only be made using the right criteria and an awareness of the limitations, which is best achieved by working with a supplier that understands the issues and can offer expert advice.

A corrosion resistance checklist will help ensure that no crucial issue is overlooked during the specification process for applications in any environment, especially healthcare. These questions must be addressed in order to move towards the selection of the most appropriate stainless steel grade and the right seal materials to match.

Key checkpoints to be covered include the presence, concentration and temperature of chemicals in the fluid being handled, as well as the duration that the materials will be exposed to the solution.

Stainless steel pipe products must also be fabricated correctly to prevent surface defects, imperfections and corrosion. Fabrication finishing processes are necessary to restore full corrosion resistance properties to stainless steel.

Additionally, specifiers and installers must take steps to minimise and control the risk of contamination by microorganisms through informed decisions including careful planning of the drainage system, correct choice of materials and installation techniques, and a design that allows efficient maintenance.

When specified correctly by technically informed designers and installers, stainless steel pipework and drainage channels clearly offer the potential to provide healthcare institutions and other hygiene-critical environments with long, reliable service, helping them get the best value from available budgets.

Key benefits of ACO Pipe stainless steel socketed pipe systems:

  • Comprehensive range with pipe lengths up to 6m for diameters up to 200mm
  • Lightweight components push fit for quick assembly
  • Optimum joint integrity with components having a low coefficient of thermal expansion compared with HDPE
  • All components manufactured using advanced cold forming techniques to minimise the amount of welding required
  • Unique double lip sealing system on all joints ensures trouble-free reliable system
  • Long service life from grade 316 stainless steel construction for high corrosion resistance and low ongoing maintenance
  • Superior geometric concentricity, fitting design and weld quality
  • Connection adaptability with components suitable for either push-fit or weld-up connection methods
  • Socketed end profiles provide a modular push-fit system that offers all the time-saving benefits of traditional PVC pipe systems
  • Full range of angles, branches, accessories and installation devices reduce the amount of on-site cutting and installation time
  • Complies with AS3495, EN 1124-1 and EN 1124-2 standards
ACO Pipe stainless steel socketed pipe systems are available from ACO Polycrete .