Benefits of Using Stainless Steel in Water Supply

Benefits of Using Stainless Steel in Water Supply

Guidelines for the use of Stainless Steel in Municipal Waste Water Treatment Plants

Types 304L and 316L stainless steel has been used extensively and very successfully for piping and a wide variety of other applications in waste water treatment plants. Stainless steel offers higher design strengths, thereby allowing lighter weight construction, and exhibits very low corrosion characteristics.

 Water distribution systems are evolving toward stainless steel

Material Benefits

• Stainless steel has a very low general corrosion rate in water and no corrosion allowance is required.
• It can withstand very high flow rates - in excess of 40m/s.
• Combining corrosion resistance with high strength allows reduction in section diameter, wall thickness and weight, making it quick and easy to install.
• It is ductile and, using the appropriate tooling, is not difficult to bend and cut.
• Stainless steel pressfittings, in particular, are easy to use for joints, and ideal for installation in areas with limited space and access or where the use of heat would be a problem.

Environmental Benefits

• Stainless steel can be used in all types of water. Leaching of constituent alloys falls well within the limits allowed for products in contact with drinking water in public supply.
• It has excellent resistance to the full range of potable waters (including the various chloride levels) covered by the European Drinking Water Directive.
• Stainless steel installation is clean and, if properly carried out, does not contaminate the system and reduces flushing times.
• No heat is required to form a joint or a groove, reducing fire hazards. Therefore hot work permits are not required.
• Stainless steel is fully recyclable.

Economic Benefits
• The expected lifetime of a stainless steel system is more than 50 years, longer than is typical for competing materials.
• Stainless steel requires no additional coating.
• No maintenance is required after installation, reducing system down time, replacement and
maintenance costs over the life-cycle of the installation.
• Although initial costs may be higher than for the competing materials, such as copper and plastic, the economic benefits of using stainless steel increase over time.
• At the end of its useful life, stainless steel is fully recyclable and retains a higher residual scrap value than ordinary steel.


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