August 12, 2016
Pressfitting has advantages over traditional pipe work joining methods such as soldering and welding. This makes it an increasingly desirable choice for metal plumbing applications, with the benefit of speed of connection and the convenience of cold jointing. The technique uses a pressing tool comprising a pressing unit with matching jaws or collars to compress O-rings sitting within special pressfit connections onto piping to form a complete seal. The jaws of the pressfit tool can be rotated into tight spaces, making the system ideal for use on retrofit projects and complex installations.
Stainless steel has lent itself to pressfitting manufacture and is used to install supply systems including potable water, fulfilling stringent requirements and low leaching levels for the conveyance of drinking water in both public and commercial buildings. Due to its high corrosion resistance, strength and ductility, it can also be used for a wide variety of other applications involving corrosive or aggressive media.
One recent project where the benefits of pressfitting in stainless steel were realised was the Wellcome-Wolfson Institute at Queens University, Belfast. Located on the Health Science Campus at Belfast City Hospital, many of the building services installed deal with specific laboratory environment challenges, such as chemicals and high temperatures. The system, constructed from Type 316 (UNS S31600) stainless steel, was specified for the building’s low temperature, hot water and chilled water systems, mist fire suppression system and natural gas.