Articles & Case Studies


Posted: Friday 13th July 2012

A host of Durapipe pipework has been installed as part of a refurbishment project for CEFAS, the UK's largest and most diverse applied marine science centre.

CEFAS has undergone a major overhaul to upgrade all of the research laboratories at its Lowestoft facility. Housing a diverse range of specialist laboratories and aquaria, the sophisticated research facility uses complex instrumentation and processes to monitor and evaluate the marine and freshwater environment.

The in-depth testing activity requires a range of high performing, reliable pipework systems to work with the facility’s complex research processes. As a result, Durapipe ABS, Airline-Xtra and Duracool pipework systems were specified, along with a complete range of valve and flow control products, by contractors COEL.

Durapipe’s specialist pre-insulated pipework system, Duracool, was specified in up to 63mm to cater for the waste sea water requirements of the centre. Duracool has been installed to transport waste sea water from the external pumping station, across a car park and into the building where it delivers it to various testing tanks.

It is imperative that this water is kept at a constant temperature for the research processes. As Duracool is pre-insulated ABS it was the ideal option, as in addition to exceeding the insulation requirement, it also meant installation was simple and efficient as no additional time or labour was needed to lag the pipework once on-site.

Each laboratory also houses a compressed air outlet that is utilised for pumping clean air into tanks containing sea water when conducting research with fish. It is crucial the air is kept clean so that it does not contaminate the sea water and as a result, Durapipe Air-line Xtra in sizes 20mm to 40mm has been installed to transport compressed air into the outlet in each laboratory.

Durapipe Air-line Xtra is a purpose designed pipework system for the distribution of air that can operate up to a pressure of 12.5 bar. A lightweight and non-corrodible system, Durapipe Air-line Xtra is the ideal solution for ensuring that air is kept clean and uncontaminated until use.

For all of the water requirements throughout the centre, Durapipe ABS in sizes up to 2 inch was specified. A variety of different treated water is used within the research processes including fresh water, sea water, ionised water and glycol treated water and a pipework system was required that could cater for the diverse range of water types being pumped through it.

The corrosion free properties and wide temperature capabilities of Durapipe ABS make it the ideal system to carry a variety of low temperature fluids. The lightweight material and ease of jointing of Durapipe ABS also makes it a quick and easy solution to install, offering significant installation cost savings.

The pipework system feeding each research laboratory was also fitted with a series of Durapipe VKD valves for isolation so that the water being delivered to each tank can be easily regulated. A Durapipe Variable Area Flowmeter was also installed into each pipework system to accurately measure and record the flow of effluent into each tank. Different research processes all need a different flow speed so it is important that this can be measured accurately.

Commenting on the project, Dean Powell, mechanical services manager from COEL in Cambridge said: “We had a vast range of pipework requirements for this project so were keen to work with one pipework manufacturer that could supply products that met all of our needs and Durapipe did just that.

“In addition to the exceptional individual performance capabilities, all of the products were very easy to work with and the quick and simple installation that was possible with all products enabled us to save significant time and costs on the labour.”

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