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Valsir S.p.A.

 

PEXAL WATER DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM

The Pexal system comprises the use of the multi-layer pipe combined with special brass fittings. An innovative system to realise sanitary and heating systems using the same pipe and the same fittings.

The Structure of the multi-layer Pexal pipe is as follows (passing from the inside to the outside):

  • Internal layer: PE-Xb cross-linked polyethylene pipe (cross-linked using silanes);

  • Intermediate layer: adhesive to cement the Internal layer and the Aluminium;

  • Intermediate layer: length-wise butt-welded aluminium alloy pipe;

  • Intermediate layer: adhesive to cement the External layer and the Aluminium;

  • External layer: PE-Xb cross-linked polyethylene pipe (cross-linked using silanes).

The Pexal range is as follows:

Ø 14x2 - Ø 16x2 - Ø 16x2.25 - Ø 18x2 - Ø 20x2 - Ø 20x2.5 - Ø 26x3 - Ø 32x3 - Ø 40x3.5 - Ø 50x4 - Ø 63x4.5

The fittings are available both in the threaded system (up to Ø 40 included), and in the press-fitting system (for the complete range of diameters), and with more than 800 different articles and accessories we feel confident we are able to satisfy all your system requirements.

The features: the multi-layer pipe has been produced to overcome the limits and defects inherent in traditional metal or plastic pipes; in fact, this pipe comprises no less than five layers: Pex - adhesive - aluminium - adhesive - Pe(x), which form a high-performance single unit that offers the following advantages thanks to the particularly complex production process and the use of specifically designed raw materials:

High mechanical resistance also at relatively high temperatures (10 bar up to 95°C and up to 25 bar at 20°C), in addition to corrosion resistance and being insensitive to stray electric currents;
Excellent workability (bending for up to 2.5 times the pipe diameter using a pipe bender and up to 5 times without): the pipe therefore maintains the shape applied and does not require anchoring, is not subject to crushing during laying operations, which combined with the product's lightweight, significantly simplifies the work on the construction site;
Dimensional stability : thermal expansion similar to metal (0,026 mm/m°K);
Good hydraulic properties, namely, resistance to abrasion, incrustations, corrosion and therefore minimum pressure drops thanks to the internal PE-X layer which completely overcomes the typical drawbacks of metal;
Total hygiene due to the oxygen barrier formed by the Aluminium, the unchangeable nature of the polymer materials that line the metal, guaranteed over time (up to 50 years), and the internal washing process performed before storage.
Ergonomics : The four polymer layers of different density give the Pexal pipe distinctly superior sound-absorbing qualities compared to metal pipes, but also compared to single-layer plastic pipes; the overall lightweight and the ductility make the pipe easy to work, the smooth, consistent and unalterable surface appearance give the Pexal pipe a pleasant appearance even if installed in an exposed position;
Low installation cost : easy to handle, thanks to the lightweight, robust to the point of not requiring special handling on the construction site, rapid laying operations; in fact, significant time savings are achieved in the work by utilising the press-fitting system, which can reach 50% compared to the steel or welded copper and from 10 to 20% compared with other systems and plastic pipes.

The basic performance refers to a maximum pressure of 10 bar and a maximum temperature of 95°; however the product, or rather the pipe-fittings system, must pass very demanding fatigue tests to guarantee a working life of at least 50 years.

Why Valsir believes in this product :
when the Valsir Management decided to propose a water distribution pipe in 1995, there were no doubts about the choice of a quality product, with high technological content, and which offered best guarantees for reliability and long life.
At the time, the multi-layer product was relatively new, not well known in Italy and having a limited distribution in the rest of Europe. Despite this, Valsir decided to focus on an innovative product with a high technological content.
The legitimacy of the Management's decision was then confirmed by completing the offer of CZ132 threaded fittings (in 1996), and press-fittings (in 1997) in order to propose and ensure that the Company's customers had a complete system.
A major confirmation was finally provided, by the decision to install the pipe manufacturing plant in the Company's production centre at Vestone, a decision that became a reality in August 1999 with the start-up of the new plant and of the new laboratory equipped with specific instrumentation to control the quality of the Pexal pipe.
The start-up of a second plant has been scheduled for August 2002, and the entire production will be transferred to the new production unit in Vobarno (BS): Valsir's fourth production centre.

Once again therefore, Valsir confirms its corporate philosophy according to which the Company manufactures the articles that it sells; in fact, only in this way can Valsir have the know-how and therefore guarantee both the product's quality and future development.

Quality and service above all
The complex production and the need to guarantee the functioning of the system for at least 50 years have transformed Pexal into the basic reference point to measure the qualitative level of the entire Company.
ISO 9001:2000 (Vision 2000) certification was implemented for this reason, along with product investments, and certification was obtained in March 2001, among the first companies in the sector in Europe.
The decision to become a manufacturer of the multi-layer pipe was first of all based on quality, in fact, as has been said, this is the only way to have the know-how and therefore guarantee both the quality and the future development. Only the manufacturing process enables one to appreciate the factors that determine the product's performance, to define the tests that ensure the product's quality, and to select the most appropriate raw materials to obtain certain features .
This also enables the Company to support the product in the best possible way: in addition to taking part in courses, our customers can see directly how the product is created, how it is controlled and tested; furthermore, by visiting our Internet web site www.valsir.it, customers can access directly the answers to the most frequent questions or send new queries by e-mail: new queries and answers (if of general interest) will be published on the web site with the others.
All the choices made by Valsir have therefore been focused in a single direction: to avail of the best plant, equipment, laboratories, and raw materials to obtain the best multi-layer pipe.
Investments that target quality : laboratory equipment, training courses, product certification, etc. on average entail more than 1% of the Company's turnover: this is the fundamental pre-condition to ensure the best quality and product development.
Staff : 5% of the staff employed by Valsir is engaged exclusively in product quality functions; in particular, there are also the production line operators that perform the tests directly on the production plant, in addition to the persons that work directly in the Laboratory using the specific instrumentation.
Research & Development : cwith its designers, this function contributes to check and improve the product continuously, thanks specifically to the exchange of information with the other Quality sectors; the same applies to the after-sales support, where a team of technicians supports, instructs, demonstrates the product and intervenes both in Italy and abroad to cover the entire range of Valsir products.
Raw Materials : the quality of a given product is based directly on the quality of the raw materials used: Valsir utilises exclusively new raw materials to manufacture the multi-layer pipe supplied by major European producers.
Process control : the plant producing the multi-layer pipe incorporates a process computer which enables no less than 70 product parameters to be monitored and recorded, while the operators verify further ten parameters manually: finally, every metre of the pipe is marked with the date, time of production and the batch number to ensure the total traceability of the product.
Finished product test : our laboratory is equipped with the necessary instruments to perform all the analyses and measurements on the product established by the testing protocol of the most trusted institutes. The tests schedule envisages more than 17 different types of test for a total of approximately 20,000 tests/year and approximately 1 hour for every 1,000 m produced.
Fatigue test and duration of the overall system : Valsir has set up 12 pilot heating circuits (complete pipe - fittings system) that operate continuously for 365 days every year, to ensure the product is guaranteed over time: the demanding conditions of this test permit the simulation of an approximately 50 year-long working life for a system.
Product Certification : despite being a relatively recent product, Pexal can already lay claim to a number of important certifications, for example: suitable for drinking water, Rina, Gost R and MC (Russia), PZH (Poland), QAS (Australia)while other certifications are in the process of being obtained (Germany, Austria, Holland, France).

Target market and prospects : use of the multi-layer pipe mainly focuses on the distribution of domestic water, traditional heating and low-temperature heating (under floor).
The characteristics of the product make it possible to compete with all the traditional pipes, as regards both the opportunity of use in the three sectors mentioned above (as opposed to almost all the other pipes) indifferently, and the best features for specific uses.
For example:
the hydraulic properties are typical of plastic pipes and are therefore distinctly superior to the properties of metal pipes, but the cross-sections are larger contrary to the plastic pipes;
the mechanical properties are similar to metal pipes, but the lightweight, the flexibility and the simple laying process are typical of plastic pipes;
Hygiene is ensured by the natural barrier to oxygen, which is the metal Aluminium layer, but at the same time also by the absence of possible corrosive residues typical of metals, since the internal polyethylene layer isolates the Aluminium completely.
Thanks to the press-fitting system, the simple laying process brings the advantage of significant savings in the time required for installation: this translates into a competitive edge, compared to almost all the other pipes.

The quality characteristics of the product should therefore lead to its being more widely used by installation technicians who are still tied to the more traditional systems, in fact the sales results confirm a growing annual trend which exceeds 50%.
Future prospects are strongly positive and bodes very well for the future, above all to the detriment of metal and various plastic pipes.
Finally, it is also possible to foresee the system being used in other sectors, such as to transport gas, compressed air, inflammable or aggressive fluids, etc.

As can be seen, Valsir has not overlooked any aspect in the product manufacturing to ensure the best quality: the result achieved has been, and we believe will continue to be, its continuous improvement, accompanied by a growth of corporate know-how which represents the true and most important value added of Valsir products.