Pegler Yorkshire

Tue, 27 Oct 2015

Stainless Steel: From 19th century invention to 21st century innovation

History suggests that Sheffield born Harry Brearley was the first to discover stainless steel over 100 years ago.  Initially created to be used in the production of small arms to prolong the life of barrels which were eroding away too quickly, Brearley soon discovered its many other advantages.  According to the history books Brearley etched his steels with nitric acid and examined them under a microscope in order to analyse their potential resistance to chemical attack. Brearley found his new steel resisted these chemical attacks and continued to test the sample with other agents, including lemon juice and vinegar. Brearley was astounded to find his alloys were still highly resistant, and immediately recognised the potential for his steel within the cutlery industry.

Stainless steel is now widely used in thousands of applications – including plumbing!

Typical Stainless Steel Plumbing Systems

In our industry applications that benefit from stainless steel are primarily those where hygiene is of the upmost importance, including chilled water services, fire protection, pharmaceutical and health care environments, plus hot and cold water services, above ground 2nd and 3rd family gas service pipelines, compressed air and those gas pipelines where high levels of hydrogen sulphide makes copper unsuitable.  

Benefits of using Stainless Steel  

  • Low corrosion rate in water
  • Lightweight yet strong and ductile which makes it quick and easy to install
  • Excellent resistance to the full range of potable waters covered by the European Drinking Water Directive
  • Clean installation as no heat is required to form a joint therefore no contaminates are left in the system which reduces flushing times
  • Fully recyclable!
  • Lifetime expectancy is more than 50 years, and it requires no additional coating and no maintenance after installation
  • Finish can form part of an interior design rather than being hidden away!

All great reasons for Pegler Yorkshire to introduce a new more affordable grade of stainless steel tube to the UK market…

21 st  Century Innovation

We noticed that in the UK stainless steel tube options were restricted to 304 and 316 in comparison to our European counterparts who have been using an alternative grade for several years. This grade of tube is widely used across Europe because of its unique qualities.  Its high Chromium content and presence of Molybdenum, amongst other alloys has meant the price sensitive Nickel element is no longer a requirement, which provides huge cost savings when compared to other grades of stainless steel already in use.

And so, we have introduced this new grade of stainless steel tube that benefits from equivalent strength and corrosion properties to the 316 and provides a new choice for the commercial marketplace.

We believe our new Xpress SS630 is set to be a serious contender in the tube market.  Its strong technical performance makes it perfect for a wide variety of building services and industrial applications, from commercial heating and fire protection systems through to aggressive environmental applications, such as shipbuilding.

XPress SS630 is available in sizes 15-54mm and 6m lengths and meets a wide range of approvals including several international standards for sprinklers (LPCB, FM) and shipbuilding (DNV, GL, RINA).  The presence of titanium gives the tube strength and formability which means it can also be bent to suit. The SS650 range completes the tube offering up to 108mm. 

Forming part of the XPress portfolio this lightweight, easy to handle tube supports the drive for more heat-free installations through quality push-fit and press-fit technology.  It is compatible with the standard XPress Stainless Steel fittings range and benefits from a unique “Leak Before Press” (LBP) design, developed as a final check to the system to provide instant identification of joints that have been assembled correctly but mistakenly left un-pressed. 

Wonder what Harry Brearley would make of that?!

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