Advantages & Cost Effectiveness
Glass Lined Pipe and Fittings have been successfully utilized in the wastewater and sewage treatment industry for nearly 40 years, primarily as a deterrent to interior build-up and clogging of piping systems related to otherwise problematic sludge and scum systems. The unsurpassed lubricity, or non-stick characteristic of the product, significantly reduces, or eliminates, build-up within these systems, thereby maintaining designed flow capacity indefinitely and eliminating the expensive, time consuming need for rodding, pigging, or steam cleaning operations otherwise needed to keep the systems free flowing. Energy costs are reduced, pump repair and maintenance costs are decreased and overall system maintenance costs are dramatically reduced.
Glass lining has even been found to be extremely effective in combating Struvite, an extremely difficult build-up problem found in some plants. Because of the very positive results experienced on test pieces installed in a system previously clogged with Struvite for the City of New York, a decision has been made to utilize the beneficial characteristics of glass lined material throughout the Newtown Creek plant in Brooklyn.
Over the years, many "organic" lining materials have been introduced such as polyethylenes, epoxies, or polyurethanes, and, although they are minimally effective, the longevity of their effectiveness is limited. The abrasives within the sludge systems eventually begin to abrade and roughen the surface of these "softer" organic lining materials. This surface "roughening" creates areas for sludge material to anchor and the build-up begins. Newer "ceramic epoxy" lining materials claim to be "glass like", but are simply epoxy materials with ceramic powder or beads suspended within the epoxy.
In addition to the relative softness of the organic linings, the bond with the base metal is suspect as well. Because glass lining is applied at approximately 1400 degrees F., both a chemical and a mechanical bond are created between the base metal and the lining material. The lining cannot be separated from the base metal. Organic lining materials are oil or petroleum based. Over a period of time, these lining materials tend to become brittle and in some cases shrink slightly because of the leaching or depletion of the oils from the lining materials. This can cause them to begin separating or delaminating from the base metal. Conversely, glass lining is permanently bonded and will not separate from the base metal.
Various glass lined samples recently taken from several plants show no signs of deterioration whatsoever after as many as 35 years in continuous service. There have been no organic lining materials capable of providing this same successful level of service life longevity.
On average, pipe and fittings represent approximately 3 1/2 to 4% of the total cost of a typical treatment plant project. Glass lined material, primarily used in a sludge and scum process piping, is therefore utilized on only about 15 to 20% of the total piping required. The actual net additional cost for providing glass lined material versus standard cement lined product to these crucial service areas is approximately 1/4 to 1/2 of 1% of the total project cost and only minimally more expensive than inferior organic lining materials. To compare this cost with all of the experienced benefits including the long term energy and maintenance cost savings and system longevity, the relatively insignificant additional cost for glass lined pipe and fittings is easily justified.