Well-laid plastic pipe has a maintenance-free work life of more than 50 years, and a century in some cases. Built on years of innovation and experience, Sizabantu’s PVC-O pipes present the ultimate future for water and sewer infrastructure.

Research suggests that as much as 60% of potable water conveyed in aged and damaged infrastructure could be lost from the network and never reach the end-user. “South Africa is a water-scare country; we need to protect our valuable water resources. If we can replace and upgrade existing networks, we will address a major part of the water availability to the citizens of South Africa,” says Sean Harmse, director, Sizabantu Piping Systems.

“Sizabantu has been in the water industry for more than 17 years and continues to grow. By bringing new technology and products to the market, we will form an integrated part of South Africa’s water security and supply. Our industry relies heavily on stable and reputable manufacturers to lead it into the next decades,” continues Harmse.

By establishing the first factory on the continent producing Molecor TOM 500 PVC-O pipes – one of the most advanced pipes available on the market for the conveyance of high-pressure water – Sizabantu has firmly established itself as a market leader.

Molecor DN 1 000 mould under operation at its Madrid factory

Molecor partnership

Sizabantu’s state-of-the-art factory in Richards Bay is the culmination of a partnership with Spanish company Molecor Canalizaciones, the acknowledged world leaders of biaxial PVC-O pipe technology. Through this joint venture, Molecor and Sizabantu have introduced the latest thermoplastic technology to South Africa, creating new jobs and transferring world-leading skills.

Molecor has continued to push the limits with the introduction of a new PVC-O DN 1 000 pipe and the technology for DN 1200. This has positioned Molecor as the manufacturer of the largest PVC-O pipe in the world to date, and the largest PVC-O pipe manufacturer globally.

The M-OR-P 5012 system is now a reality, bringing a new machine for high-quality PVC-O pipe manufacturing to the market with unheard of diameters. The first DN 1 000 pipes are now being manufactured in Madrid and the DN 1 200 are expected to be available at the beginning of next year.

TOM pipes now cover nominal diameters from 90 mm to 1 200 mm in 12.5, 16, 20 and 25 bar pressure. Moreover, they are certified in more than 10 countries and are 100% recyclable.

The PVC-O advantage

It is well known that large-size pipes are usually heavy and difficult to handle. But the full range of PVC-O TOM pipes has become the best choice for the pressurised conveyance of water due to their physical and mechanical properties, which are improved during the manufacturing process.

PVC-O pipes are lighter and more ductile, allowing for superior installation performance. TOM 500 PVC-O pipes are less than half the weight of PVC and PE pipes, and between 6 and 12 times less per linear metre than cast iron pipes of an equivalent nominal outside diameter. This, together with their ease of connection and watertight joints, ensures the highest-speed installation performance in the market.

TOM 500 pipes also have an extremely high resistance to impacts. Moreover, the material creep behaviour is very low, ensuring the durability of the pipe working at nominal pressure for over 100 years.

They offer lower celerity than other piping systems, which means less water hammer is caused by sudden variations in water volume and pressure. Thanks to molecular orientation, TOM 500 pipes come with a higher internal diameter and greater flow section, contributing to their hydraulic capacity – which is about 15% to 40% greater than pipes made from other materials. Additionally, they have a maximum ductility that enables the pipes to bear big deformations of their internal diameter.

These products have also proved to be highly chemically and mechanically resistant to degradation and corrosion.

The full range of TOM 500 PVC-O pipes manufactured by Molecor runs from DN 110 to DN 1 200 and can reach pressures from PN 12.5 to PN 25. This includes the ecoFITTOM® PVC-O fittings, providing a full solution that covers all the medium- and high-pressure needs of the market.

All pipes and fittings can be used in numerous applications, including potable and non-potable water transport, irrigation, sewerage, fire protection and even industrial applications. Ultimately, TOM
pipes and the ecoFITTOM fittings provide the best solution to
pressurised water conveyance.

Molecor TOM PVC-O large-diameter pipes in the field

Local success

The introduction of PVC-O locally proved to be an instant success. According to Harmse, there has been a massive swing towards the use of PVC-O pipes in nearly every South African municipality and water board since the introduction of PVC-O to the South African market in 2012.

Sizabantu has since supplied pipes to numerous memorable projects, including the City of Polokwane’s Sterkloop Wellfields Infrastructure, where 450 mm PN 25/20 was installed, as well as the Mutshedzi Bulk Water Network in Venda, which used 630 mm and 450 mm PN 20.

“This is a clear indication of the confidence that PVC-O has instilled through the hundreds of projects it has been supplied for. Our export into Africa has also seen massive growth, with countries like Zambia, Botswana and Madagascar now insisting on PVC-O,” he says.

TOM 500 PVC-O is SANS accredited, giving water authorities quality assurance. In addition, Sizabantu’s SAPPMA membership offers absolute customer confidence, ensuring the material delivered is always of the highest quality.

TOM 500 PVC-O is environmentally friendly and totally recyclable in terms of the SANS 16422 specification. TOM 500 PVC-O also uses less energy when installed, as well as during the manufacturing process, compared to any other pipe material, making it
the conscious choice for preserving the environment.

Since 2014, Sizabantu has supplied more than 3 800 000 m of TOM 500 PVC-O throughout Southern Africa.

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