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Pipe fittings for the mining industry

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A MAJOR push into the mining industry has been launched by Philmac with the release of new products developed specifically to meet industry demands.

The products include chemical resistant components for Philmac metric fittings and a new range of victaulic-compatible couplings. Victaulic couplings are a type of connection that is widely used in the mining industry because of its strength and ease of use.

Philmac product manager Richard Mackenzie said that Philmac Metric fittings had been used in the mining industry in the past, but until now Philmac had not had the specialised range of fittings required for the market.

"We have had some success in mines in Tasmania with our metric fittings because of their ease of use and reliability, but after a number of requests, we looked at ways of improving the product to meet the industry's specific needs," he said.

"This particularly related to chemical resistance."

Mr Mackenzie said the standard O-rings used in Philmac metric couplings were made from nitrite rubber, a tough form of plastic that was suitable for most applications.

However, the chemicals and acids widely used in the mining industry could corrode this form of seal.

As a result, Philmac now sourced new O-rings made from chemical resistant EPDM and Viton A, which could either be retrofitted to existing metric couplers or supplied with new product.

"This is ideal if the fitting is connecting pipes which are transporting corrosive materials," he said.

Mr Mackenzie said Philmac had also developed a modified nut assembly for fittings that were submerged in chemicals or subject to corrosive vapours.

The split-ring is made from an exotic, chemical resistant plastic known as polysulfone, while the spacer and nut are made from polypropylene, which has very good chemical resistance properties.

The kits are available for all size metric fittings from 20mm to 110mm.

"One of the main advantages of Philmac's metric fittings is the ease of installation and the strength of connection," Mr Mackenzie said.

"The installation process for the metric fittings simply involves inserting the pipe to the first point of resistance and then tightening the nut until it butts against the flange at the body. This simple process really comes into its own in the 63mm and above size range, fittings that are widely used in the mining industry.

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