Going through all the necessary welding processes and acquiring all the product certification and documentation for your project will ensure your piping system complies with all the necessary standards.
It is important to not only use the standards required in welding but also understand them to ensure better quality in the industry, according to pipe industry specialist Ian Venter, who delivered a keynote address at the Thermoplastics Welding Technology Day, hosted by industry body Plastics SA.
Variables such as the working environment and environmental conditions, the condition of the product, product preparation, and health and safety needed to be taken into consideration.
Other contributing factors which affect the dynamic include airflow in the pipe; foreign matter, such as water or sand; scars or scratches on the product; and other contaminants, such as oily fingerprints.
The quality of products being supplied must also be high. Over time, polymers often suffer oxidisation and material degradation when left out in the elements. The duration of a project, especially if spanning over different seasons, and the time it would take to supply products must also be taken into account.
Moreover, Venter highlighted that each weld must be recorded to ensure quality and traceability. “This is not necessarily used to find and fix failures, but more as a preventive process that will identify problems before they arise.”
Independent consultant to the plastics industry Jacques van Eck added that to ensure a quality installation, a customer has to look at the ISO 9001 certificate, a certificate of analysis from the raw materials supplier and a certificate of conformance issued by the manufacturer of the pipe before a project starts.
Companies with certifications by the Southern African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Association, and Installation and Fabrication Pipes Association strive to offer a higher standard product than non-affiliated pipes manufacturers and are regularly audited to maintain their affiliate memberships.
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