Control the corrosion that accompanies a coke

Sept. 1, 2014

Corrosion eats through steel pipe, causing leaks and eventually necessitating pipe replacement.

Movie theaters, restaurants, fast-food chains and convenience stores all use soda-fountain machines to dispense carbonated soft drinks. The machines generate revenue, so it’s a priority to keep them running.

Soda-dispensing machines combine flavored syrup or syrup concentrate and carbon dioxide with chilled and purified water to make soft drinks. Soda carbonation and low acidic pH levels (2.0-3.0) lead to corrosion build-up in the steel pipes typically used for machine waste drainage.

Corrosion eats through steel pipe, causing leaks and eventually necessitating pipe replacement. Dispenser use, liquid type, oxidation, temperature and other parameters determine the speed at which corrosion attacks the steel pipe, so it is difficult to say how long a drainage system will last.

Cost avoidance

To avoid corrosion, one movie theater owner installed the Fuseal Polypropylene corrosive waste piping system manufactured by GF Piping Systems to replace existing carbon steel lines used for the soda machines’ waste drainage.

Fuseal has excellent chemical and corrosion resistance and will not rust, pit, scale or corrode. Acids, bases, solvents and other corrosive waste mixtures wasting to most metals, have no affect on the Fuseal PP system. The cinema installed approximately 300 feet of flame retardant 4-inch Fuseal piping and fittings, all above-ground, with excellent results.

"The Fuseal system was specifically developed to handle corrosive waste and high temperatures in applications where traditional metal piping lacks the benefits of plastic piping," says Zhao, product manager of engineered piping systems for GF Piping Systems. "This system has been highly successful in food processing, institutional and pharmaceutical laboratories — we are now seeing its benefits applied to the beverage industry."

Beverage manufacturing plants face the same challenges as the soda dispenser owner, only on a much larger scale. The cleaners and detergents running through pipes of beverage manufacturing plants are equally as corrosive. Considering the massive amount of waste drainage piping in the beverage industry, use of a corrosion free pipe that eliminates the need for frequent pipe replacement can result in significant cost savings.

In the case of new plants, the ease in which thermoplastic pipe is installed offers a dramatic improvement over stainless steel.

Plastic piping a plus

With plastic piping, installation is simple using the Electro Plus Electrofusion Machine, also from GF Piping Systems. It can join several joints at once and minimizes labor. The installer can place the fusion machine on the floor and perform joints up in the ceiling. This minimizes the amount of time spent climbing up and down a ladder for each fusion. A built-in electric heating element in the fitting welds the two components together. Heater coils melt the inside of the fittings and the outside of the pipe wall, which then weld together to produce a very strong homogeneous joint.

With plastic piping, installation of pipe and fittings is not only simple, pipe layout can be easily modified to meet new requirements at the last minute — something not easily accomplished with welded stainless steel pipe. With Fuesal, it’s a simple matter to cut the plastic pipe and quickly make a new weld using the Electrofusion machine, then reposition the pipe where it needs to be. Fuseal is also ideal for dry-fitting an entire piping system by means of the socket style fittings.

In the beverage industry, where stainless steel has been the traditional piping material for decades, considering use of plastic piping is something like bringing sheep into cattle country in the old movie westerns.

But once these veteran stainless-steel users understand the benefits, it’s easy to make that leap, says Brian Gordon, GF Piping Systems product manager says.

Besides corrosion-resistance capabilities, ease of installation and cost-savings, the drainage systems provides leak-proof, distortion-free pipe joints. A similar product is used when UL fire plenum rating is required.

When it comes time to retrofit an existing piping system or build a brand new one in the beverage industry, consider Fuseal thermoplastic piping for waste-drainage systems.

GF Piping Systems, Tustin, California, supplies a full range of plastic pipe, fittings, valves, actuators, rotameters, fusion machines, secondary containment, heat exchangers, custom products and sensors and instrumentation for industrial process control.

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