Cast iron is often referred to as a ‘fit and forget’ material – impervious to degradation by UV light and most mechanical damage, including aggressive or careless maintenance. With a track record measured in centuries, cast iron is a proven lifetime choice. Prestigious projects worldwide utilise cast iron, including multi-storey commercial and residential developments, retail parks, hospitals, schools, car parks and prisons.
Drainage of waste and rainwater causes noise. Plumbing noise should be inaudible. The degree of phonic insulation of two different materials (i.e. their acoustic performance) depends directly on their surface mass (cast iron 21kg/m2 compared to PVC-u 4kg/m2). The density resulting from the high surface mass of cast iron means that less noise is produced when the system is in use. PVC-u pipes require a significant amount of insulation and this must be taken into account when deciding on the type of pipe being specified.
Cast iron is renowned for its strength and robustness in resisting impact damage and mishandling on site.
The strength of modern cast iron and improved coatings means that cast iron drainage needs minimal maintenance during the lifetime of the building in normal conditions. This makes cast iron the first choice for concealed built-in or otherwise inaccessible systems.
Modern cast iron drainage systems usually need load bearing support only every 3 metres in vertical stacks. Cast iron can save considerable time, labour and components compared to other drainage systems.
Resistance to damage
The strength of cast iron makes it more resistant to accidental damage or vandalism.
Fire and heat resistance
Cast iron is flame proof for 4 hours – acting as a barrier to flame spread. Neither does cast iron emit toxic gasses – a leading cause of death during fires.
In areas where ground disturbance or extra loading is likely, no additional protection is necessary. Other systems will often need extra protection such as a covering concrete slab or a concrete surround.
No expansion joints
The coefficients of linear expansion for cast iron and concrete are almost identical. This makes cast iron a highly suitable material where drainage systems are required to pierce concrete floor slabs. No special jointing to allow for differential expansion is needed.
The demand for building land has resulted in the greater use of locations that may be subject to ground movement. Cast iron, below ground, offers more resistance to such movement and is less likely to fail under unfavourable conditions.
No fire collars
Cast iron drainage systems can penetrate floor slabs without the need for fire collars to retain fire integrity from one floor to another in accordance with the Building Regulations.
Resistance to extreme temperatures
Cast iron’s low coefficient of expansion means that it will not distort when exposed to extreme temperatures.
The environmental concerns of building materials are quickly becoming a major issue for all involved in the construction industry. But those specifying, installing and supplying cast iron pipes, fittings and accessories are working with a material that is not only recyclable and environmental friendly but made from almost 100% recycled scrap metals.
Supercast is the registered brand name of cast iron, plain ended drainage systems. Manufactured since 1971, formerly under the name Besaans-duPlessis foundries, and now by Saint Gobain Pipelines South Africa, PAM-Supercast complies with all South African standards and specifications and is compatible with EN 877 and ISO 6594.
The entire PAM-Supercast range of 50mm, 100mm and 150mm diameter fittings, as well as 100mm diameter x 2m pipes are manufactured in South Africa in accordance to SANS 1034.
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