Replacement of concrete channels with polypropylene

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Concrete drainage channels often need to be replaced due to damage or wear caused by weather or exposure to chemicals carried through the drainage system. Polypropylene gutters are increasingly being used to replace these damaged concrete gutters.

There are several reasons why polypropylene gutters should be preferred over concrete or polymer alternatives.

Polypropylene channels guarantee an optimal and aesthetically pleasing result in all projects that require an easy to install and durable solution.

Ease of installation and reduced installation costs

Polypropylene is a lightweight material that facilitates transport, handling and installation of these channels on site. Concrete channels, in comparison, are much heavier than polypropylene channels, which has a significant impact on labor and transportation costs.

For example, based on the same performance parameters, a polypropylene channel, class D400 with an internal section of 200x200mm has a weight of approximately 22kg, while a concrete channel can weigh up to 130kg. Heavier concrete channels will need equipment to handle them during transport and installation, which will lead to higher costs.

Being considerably lighter, polypropylene channels can be installed directly by labor and easily.

Less internal roughness means higher water flow

When comparing polypropylene and concrete or polymer-concrete channels of the same size, polypropylene channels were found to carry more water. In fact, the polypropylene channels have less internal roughness, which makes it possible to transport more water or liquids with the same internal section.

In hydraulics, coefficients associated with the internal roughness of the walls are used, the formulas of Gauckler-Strickler, Bazin, Manning or Kutter being applied to estimate the speed of water flowing in open channels. As shown in the table below, polypropylene performs significantly better than other materials from which drainage channels are commonly made.

For example, taking the Gauckler-Strickler coefficient as a reference, polypropylene has an index of 95 against 70 for cement and 80 for concrete-polymer.

Chemical resistance

In their article on rainwater drainage channels in service stations and forecourts, SABdrain indicates that chemical resistance is an important factor to consider when considering the replacement of existing drains. Extending the useful life of the drainage system decreases the chances of an emergency response to replace or repair drainage channels that were previously installed.

An example of this type of intervention was the installation of SABdrain channels in service stations in Jordan for three major players in fuel distribution: JoPetrol, Total and Al Manaseer. The project involved approximately 2,000 meters of drainage and the proximity of the Gersa stations next to Hadrian’s Arch, a historical and artistic beauty dating back to 130 AD, made the success of the project even more relevant and significant.

Initially, these service stations used concrete channels to optimize material costs. However, this solution quickly led to a serious problem with the rapid deterioration of the channels. This led to the replacement of the concrete gutters with SAB polypropylene gutters.

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