Published December 16, 2019
There is an increasing number of different options in pipes and fittings for all types of applications. In both potable water and HVAC types of applications, HDPE (high-density polyethylene) pipe has been the go-to option for durability, ease of installation, and for its long life cycle. Today, there is another option on the market that may offer significant advantages over HDPE pipe and fittings in these types of applications.
Niron Pipe Systems
Niron, also known as PR-RCT piping, is a complete type of pipe and fitting system. It is a form of polyethylene pipe that is manufactured in layers, creating additional strength in the pipe, ideal for longer runs, and in more demanding types of applications.
The specific material that forms the Niron pipe and fittings is a beta crystalline polypropylene random copolymer, which is designated as PR-RCT. This material is ideal for any type of potable water or HVAC piping system requirement. It is also approved for use in geothermal types of residential and commercial heating applications, for the transport of liquid chemicals in processing plants and systems, as well as for use in compressed air systems.
The pipe comes in various color coding for easy installation. All blue Niron pipe is approved and meets all standards required for cold potable water, while the red Niron pipe meets all requirements for use in hot water systems. There is also a gray pipe, which can be used across all types of systems.
Benefits of Niron Piping Systems
Niron piping systems are relatively new to North America, but they have been used in Europe for over three decades. This is the piping system of choice in most new construction in the EU and throughout many other areas of the globe.
The lightweight nature of Niron piping systems makes them a plus to work with, particularly on large systems. Similar to HDPE, this pipe and fittings are fused through different methods based on the specific application. The result is a leak-free joint that is as strong as the pipe and fitting. The specific types of fusion processes include electrofusion, compression connections, butt welding, and socket fusion technology.
Another advantage in the choice of this piping system is the limited movement of the pipe and fittings due to thermal expansion. The limited expansion and contraction, even with significant temperature changes, adds to the overall stability of the piping system.
The manufacturing process of different layers of material in the pipe and fitting walls increases the abrasion and impact resistance of the system.
Perhaps the most significant advantage of this type of piping system is the estimated life span. When tested using hot water that is chlorinated, the life span estimate is in excess of a century, meaning these piping systems can be installed to outlast most buildings.