VIP-Polymers has launched a new chemical resistant flexible coupling under its VIPSeal® brand that the firm says dramatically simplifies the joining of pipes, speeding up installation, reducing costs, and minimising operational downtime.
The patent-pending VIPSealChem coupling is for use on pipe systems where a high resistance to chemicals or extreme temperatures is required, yet it is said to be as easy to fit as other products.
VIPSealChem addresses areas like the chemical and process industries, pharmaceutical, and research laboratories, hospitals, food and drink manufacture, and fuel storage. The new couplings have been developed by couplings and gasket specialist VIP, based in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.
VIPSealChem FKM flexible couplings are manufactured to meet the demanding requirements of EN681-1 WB/WD and EN295-4. FKM rubber is resistant to a broader chemical range, and has a higher temperature resistance than EPDM rubber which is traditionally used for pipe seals.
The couplings have a distinctive green colour to clearly distinguish them from the standard EPDM and NBR (Nitrile) couplings. This, along with the clear VIPSealChem branding and labelling, will allow merchants, installers, and end-use clients to quickly identify that they have a higher chemical and temperature resistance.
Because the chemical resistance lies within the rubber sleeve itself, VIPSealChem couplings can be fitted without having to incorporate additional materials required by other products on the market.
VIP’s Jon Crean said: “We have developed VIPSealChem couplings to overcome installation limitations contractors have been facing with chemical resistant seals previously available.
“As such, we believe VIPSealChem represents a major step forward in the performance of chemical resistant flexible couplings, and a significant innovation in this product category.”
Other chemical resistant couplings require the installer to stick expanded PTFE seals around each pipe before fitting the coupling, then heat-shrink an FEP liner around the pipe.
VIPSealChem does away with these processes, which are time-consuming and can be difficult to carry out within worksites that often have limited space and are generally a dirty environment.
Crean said: “Our in-house laboratory, testing and rubber compounding teams have formulated our own variant of the FKM rubber compound that gives VIPSealChem its chemical resistant properties.
“It means VIPSealChem looks like a VIPSeal® coupling and can be fitted just as quickly and easily as a VIPSeal® coupling. The only outward difference is that it’s green.
“The absence of extra components and steps in the installation process gives installers dramatic time and cost savings. It allows construction and repair projects to be completed more quickly, reducing operational downtime.
“Also, because of its unique simplicity, the VIPSealChem range includes adaptor couplings, allowing chemical resistant pipes of significantly different diameters to be connected to each other for the first time.”
VIPSealChem couplings provide a flexible, watertight connection on above and below ground, low and non-pressurised drainage systems.
They have excellent resistance to chemicals, including automotive and aircraft fuels and oils, hydrocarbon solvent, hydraulic fluids, and certain chlorinated solvents.
VIPSealChem can also withstand exposure to long-term service in temperatures of -15° to 200° and for reduced periods of time, temperatures of -30° to 300°C