Electrical conduit strung through harsh environments requires a tough exterior shell. One material stands above others in providing protection for conduit in the toughest of conditions – stainless steel.
Stainless steel’s protective properties begin with corrosion resistance. The chromium in stainless steel means a surface that is cracked or scratched will generally “heal itself” by oxidizing over the abrasion to protect against further corrosion. This can be particularly important in gaseous environments like waste water treatment or chemical plants.
Stainless steel holds up in extreme temperatures too, from the sub-zero climate of a commercial food processing freezer to the – literal – blast furnace temperatures of a steel mill, power plant or pulp & paper processing plant.
Calpipe, maker of Calbrite stainless steel conduit and fittings, lists among the leading markets for stainless steel conduit: food & beverage; pharmaceutical, petrochemical and chemical; pulp & paper; water & wastewater; power plants, energy and power generation. Many of these environments, the company says, combine some collection of harsh temperature or caustic chemical processes, and all benefit from the lower-cost, lower-maintenance longevity of stainless steel over other conduit materials such as galvanized, aluminum and PVC-coated pipes.
In addition, Calpipe touts the environmental friendliness of stainless steel conduit, noting it will not burn or emit dangerous smoke and carcinogens, has a usable life of 50+ years in most cases, and is easily installed using standard contractors tools and construction methods.
“For many applications, stainless steel has the lowest maintenance cost and the lowest total lifecycle cost of any other UL-approved conduit material,” states Matt Westerfield, Sales Manager and Director of Operations for Calbrite.
Written by James R. Dukart