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The Rise of PE Pipe Floats in the Liquid Management Industry

PE pipe floats are an innovative solution for fluid management and transportation. Made from polyethylene plastic, these floats provide buoyancy to pipes, hoses, and cables to prevent them from sinking.

PE pipe floats have a hollow design that allows them to float on water. They are fitted over piping systems to keep them afloat for efficient liquid transfer. This eliminates the need for expensive underwater piping infrastructure.

Some key benefits of PE pipe floats include:

  • Cost-effective alternative to submerged pipelines
  • Allow piping to remain accessible for inspection and maintenance
  • Protect pipes against damage from rocks, debris and marine growth
  • Suitable for use in lakes, dams, rivers, and ocean
  • Durable and resistant to weathering and UV radiation

PE pipe floats were initially developed several decades ago as an economical solution for transporting water across significant distances. Pipe floats gained popularity in the agricultural sector before being adopted for industrial applications.

Early PE pipe floats were prone to cracking, but modern manufacturing techniques have vastly improved durability. Advanced grades of polyethylene provide long service life even in harsh conditions.

Today, PE pipe floats are a versatile solution used across many industries like mining, wastewater treatment, desalination, and marine construction. These pipe floats enable efficient fluid transfer without the complexity and cost of submerged pipelines.

Types of PE Pipe Floats

PE pipe floats are available in both standard and custom designs to suit different applications and requirements. Standard PE pipe floats come in a range of common sizes and are ready for quick shipment. These pipe floats typically feature a cylindrical float section made of polyethylene resin, which provides buoyancy.

Custom PE Pipe Floats

For unique applications that require specific dimensions or features, custom PE pipe floats can be engineered and manufactured. Custom floats allow the diameter, length, wall thickness, end cap design, and other specifications to be customised. They are commonly used for large municipal water lines, mining slurry lines, and other high-flow industrial piping systems. Custom floats can be manufactured from 10 inches in diameter up to 72 inches in diameter based on project requirements. They can be produced in extra-long lengths over 50 feet as a single section or joined together onsite for extreme lengths. Materials can also be tailored for enhanced chemical resistance or other properties.

Materials Used

Polyethylene provides excellent chemical resistance and durability. It is also a lightweight, low-cost material. The centre support pipe is usually carbon steel, but stainless steel or other alloys can be used if required. End caps are typically moulded polyethylene, but metals or custom materials are options for special applications.

Applications of PE Pipe Floats

PE pipe floats have a wide range of applications across various industries and settings due to their versatility and flexibility. Some of the main applications include:

  • Irrigation systems: Floats enable water lines to be placed on the surface rather than buried. This makes inspections and repairs easier.
  • Refineries, chemical plants, and processing facilities: Floats allow pipes and hoses to be safely routed over roads, water, and other obstacles.
  • Mines and quarries: Pipe floats enable the pumping of wastewater and slurries over large distances.
  • Docks and harbours: Floats allow piping to rise and fall with tides and waves.
  • Construction sites: Temporary piping for water, sewage, and slurry transport can be deployed.

So, in summary, PE pipe floats serve a wide variety of liquid transfer and positioning applications across many sectors. Their flexibility makes them a versatile solution for routing piping and hoses, whether temporarily or permanently.

Installation of PE Pipe Floats

Proper installation of PE pipe floats is crucial for optimal performance and longevity. The installation area should be clear of debris and levelled to allow the pipe floats to sit evenly. Any protruding rocks or sharp objects should be removed to prevent puncturing the floats. The subsurface should be compacted and stable enough to support the weight of the pipe.

Advantages of PE Pipe Floats

PE pipe floats offer numerous advantages over traditional pipe floatation methods, making them an ideal solution for many liquid management applications. Some of the key benefits include:

  1. Durability

    PE pipe floats are highly durable and resistant to damage. The polyethylene construction is strong enough to withstand years of exposure to sunlight, weather, and general wear and tear. The chemical resistance of polyethylene also allows PE floats to be used with a wide variety of corrosive liquids.
  2. Cost Savings

    With its strength and longevity, PE pipe floats are very economical. Their lightweight polyethylene construction is cost-effective compared to materials like steel and aluminium. Installation costs are lower as well since PE is easier to handle and connect onsite. By virtually eliminating corrosion and maintenance expenses, PE floats provide excellent value for money over the lifetime of the system.
  3. Ease of Installation

    The lightweight flexibility of PE pipe makes installation much simpler than rigid pipe systems. PE can be easily unwound from reels and shaped into position without heavy equipment. Connections are made quickly via heat fusion or specially designed couplers. Minimal anchoring is required due to the inherent buoyancy of PE pipe floats. Overall, PE systems can be installed in a fraction of the time compared to metal or concrete alternatives.
  4. Customisability

    PE pipe floats can be manufactured in almost any size to suit unique application requirements. Custom diameters, wall thicknesses, and lengths are all possible. PE is also available in different densities to provide the exact buoyancy levels needed. Special additives can be incorporated into the PE material for enhanced durability or other properties as well. This level of customisability is difficult to achieve with other piping materials.

In summary, the unbeatable durability, cost-effectiveness, ease of use, and customisability of PE pipe floats make them the product of choice for an ever-widening array of liquid management applications. Their many advantages provide superior performance and value across countless industries.

Environmental Impact

PE pipe floats offer significant environmental advantages compared to traditional pipeline floatation methods. They are produced from polyethylene, which is one of the most eco-friendly and recyclable plastics available.

PE is highly chemically resistant and stable, meaning PE pipe floats have an exceptionally long service life. The sturdy one-piece construction eliminates leaks, corrosion, and maintenance requirements. This results in less waste and disruption over the lifetime of the system.

At end-of-life, PE pipe floats can be recycled and repurposed. The material is not biodegradable but can be reprocessed and reconstituted into new products. This gives PE pipe floats an important sustainability profile.

The production process for PE also has a lower carbon footprint. It requires less energy to manufacture, and lightweight PE results in fuel savings during transportation.

Overall, PE pipe floats enable environmentally responsible liquid transfer and containment applications. Specifiers and end users are assured of a solution that minimises ecological impacts. With recyclability, durability, and energy efficiency, PE floats are a green alternative to traditional methods.

Standards for PE Pipe Floats

AS/NZS4020:2002 and AS2070 Part 1 Standard 

PE pipe floats are often used in applications that involve contact with drinking water, such as water supply systems. In this context, compliance with the AS/NZS4020:2002 standard is crucial. This standard assesses the suitability of materials and products for their use in conveying potable water, ensuring they don’t release harmful substances or affect the water’s taste and odour. While PE pipe floats may not be directly associated with food contact, the AS2070 Part 1 standard is relevant as a benchmark for quality in plastics manufacturing. This standard sets strict requirements for plastic materials used around food, ensuring that they are free from contaminants that could leach into foodstuffs. By complying with similar strictures, PE pipe float manufacturers align their processes with the highest safety protocols, ensuring that the materials used across various industries retain their integrity and do not contribute to environmental contamination.

Australian Standard AS 1110.1 

Another crucial aspect of PE pipe floats is their assembly, which often involves various types of fasteners to secure the float to the pipeline. This is where the Australian Standard AS 1110.1 becomes relevant. It specifies the properties of fasteners such as bolts and screws, ensuring their strength, durability, and reliability. This standard ensures that the fastenings employed in PE pipe floats can withstand the mechanical stresses and environmental challenges of industrial settings, thereby preventing failures that could lead to operational downtime or environmental hazards.

Importance of Compliance

  • Ensures safety, reliability, and long service life.
  • Reduces risk of failures or leaks causing environmental damage.
  • Meets legal requirements and industry regulations.

Strict compliance with the latest standards and best practices is critical for all stakeholders in the PE pipe float ecosystem.

Factors to Consider When Selecting a Trusted Supplier

Australia has emerged as a global leader in manufacturing high-quality PE pipe floats for various liquid management applications. When selecting a supplier for your project, it’s important to partner with an experienced company that offers excellent products, service and support.

Consider factors like:

  • Manufacturing capability: Ability to produce floats in required dimensions and specifications
  • Materials used: Quality and durability of finished products
  • Customisation options: Ability to modify floats to your exact requirements
  • Lead times: How quickly floats can be manufactured and delivered

Service and Support 

Choose a supplier who provides:

  • Technical guidance during product selection
  • Assistance with installation and maintenance
  • Training on proper use and care of floats

Partnering with the right float supplier ensures a smooth project and optimised float performance. Liquimech, a premier liquid management solution provider in Australia, is at the forefront of delivering high-quality, innovative solutions tailored for the dredging, mining, and marine industries. With a strong focus on supporting the floatation of pipes, hoses, and cables, Liquimech’s offerings are not just products but key components to the infrastructure that powers these critical sectors. Pipe floats, hose floats, and cable floats are designed with precision, ensuring that they exceed industry standards while catering to the unique requirements of each application.

Why Choose Liquimech’s Pipefloats?

Liquimech’s Pipefloats emerge as an industry standard, promising an unmatched blend of durability, reliability, and efficiency. These floats are 100% Australian made and designed, highlighting Liquimech’s commitment to supporting the local economy and manufacturing sector. Moreover, Liquimech embodies innovation, moulded from quality grade high-impact, linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) and certified to meet stringent Australian and New Zealand standards (AS / NZS4020:2002 and AS2070 P1).

What sets Liquimech’s Pipefloats apart is its robust design, equipped with tough hexene polyethylene for maximum service life and full UV stabilisation to combat degradation. Its chemical resistance ensures flexibility across numerous applications, making them a versatile choice for any project.

A Customised Approach to Hose and Cable Management

Understanding that hoses and cables vary significantly in diameter and manufacturing processes, Liquimech has devised specialised solutions to cater to these variations effectively. Hose floats and cable floats are meticulously designed to provide buoyancy and stability, ensuring a consistent level and support throughout their deployment. By offering a wide range of sizes and the inclusion of Galvanised Fasteners (with options for Stainless Steel Grade 304, 316, and GRP on request), Liquimech ensures a tailored fit for any scenario.

Hose Floats

Hose floats play a vital role in supporting dredging and mining hoses by offering essential buoyancy. These are supplied with bolt kits suited for various applications, emphasizing adaptability and resilience in harsh conditions.

Cable Floats

Similarly, cable floats play a crucial role in keeping electrical cables afloat, minimising risk and reducing power drop, which is crucial for pontoon-mounted pump sets or securing pipelines. They not only maintain cable visibility but also reduce the overall length of cable required, signifying a cost-effective and safe solution.

Designed for Excellence

Liquimech’s pipe, hose, and cable floats are not only engineered to support the physical needs of these components but are also crafted to withstand environmental challenges. They allow pipes to bend and flex while maintaining low resistance to external forces such as waves, wind, and currents. This consideration is vital for ensuring the longevity and reliability of the infrastructure they support.

Manufactured in Australia to international standards, Liquimech’s products stand testament to the quality and innovation that Australian manufacturing can achieve. Whether you are managing a project in dredging, mining, or marine applications, Liquimech’s pipe floats offer a solution that combines high performance with unsurpassed durability and flexibility.

Partner with Liquimech today and leverage Australian-made excellence to elevate your project’s success and efficiency!

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