September 24, 2017

Polypipe brings water management expertise to Africa


Polypipe, one of Europe’s largest and most innovative manufacturers of plastic piping systems, is set to expand its presence in the African market. The company is focusing its drive on the mining industry, having already secured contracts to supply pipework systems to major mining projects in Kenya and Sierra Leone.

Established in 1980, Polypipe is a global organisation. Its British manufacturing operation delivers technical excellence worldwide with over 20,000 product lines which offer the broadest range of plastic pipework systems available from a single manufacturer.

With the breadth of its product portfolio, Polypipe is able to offer pipework and water management systems to meet the needs of mining operations themselves, which involve both pressurised pumping and gravity systems, mining process pipework and all of the water supply and drainage involved in the construction of buildings, offices and accommodation complexes.

Polypipe export manager Philip Wood says: “In territories where water is in short supply, and with processes that place high demands on water usage, effective water management in large-scale mining operations is essential. Mining companies and their contractors need to consider the environmental impact of their operations, so efficient re-cycling of water used in the various mineral extraction processes is vital. Similarly when considering the associated infrastructure, the effective re-use of water needs to be an integral part of their pipework design. Our British-made products are designed to meet today’s carbon and water challenges and we provide solutions for the total water management process, covering capture, treatment, re-use, attenuation and soakaway ,- along with drainage for buildings and infrastructure.”

Ridgidrain Pipe

One of the key product systems for this sector is Polypipe’s PE100, a high density polyethylene pressure pipe system that has been used in some of the toughest mining environments in applications such as recirculation pipelines for heap leaching operations, solution mining, process slurry pipelines and process water. Chemical and corrosion-resistant, it can cope with harsh materials from abrasive slurries to corrosive acids, bases and salts. It has excellent hydraulic properties, enabling large volumes of liquid to be carried at high flow rates – and will resist scaling, biological build up and damage through thermal shock. Pipes and fittings can be jointed using electro fusion or butt- welding techniques to form a continuous homogenous pipeline which affords no chance of leakage.

Of equal importance in mining applications is the Polypipe Ridgidrain twin-walled pipe system, which is suitable for non-pressurised storm water, sub-surface gravity drainage and offers a number of advantages over traditional pipe systems. The system has the UK Highways Product Approval Scheme status along with BBA and WRc approval. In underground installations, Polypipe twin-wall pipes will accommodate ground movement and subsequent settlement after installation without failure. Twin-wall pipes are available from 100mm to 2100mm.

Philip Wood says: “One of the key advantages of the Polypipe Ridgidrain and RidgistormXL system is that it has excellent environmental credentials. The product has a high recycled plastic content and requires less energy to manufacture than other materials. It is up to 94% lighter than traditional concrete systems, making it easier to handle which in turn considerably reduces transportation and ‘on-site’ plant hire costs.

When shipping the product overseas, Polypipe can maximise the sea container space by carrying pipes within pipes. This means that considerably more meterage can be loaded into one container – an important consideration when shipping pipes worldwide.”

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