Which pipes are better to choose for heating: a comparative review

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The question of which pipes are better for heating is emerging during the construction or overhaul of private residential real estate. The owners of houses and apartments ask its consultants in building stores, installation engineers and repair crews, but they do not receive a definite answer.

This is an objective reality, because Modern heating systems differ significantly from each other and require individual choice. We will introduce you to all types of pipes currently used in the construction of pipelines. Taking into account our recommendations, you can choose the best option.

The content of the article:

  • Main pipe selection criteria
  • Varieties for heating systems
    • Features of steel pipes
    • Copper pipes for heating
    • Distinctive features of polypropylene products
    • Cross-linked polyethylene pipes
    • Metal-plastic for the construction of pipelines
  • Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Main pipe selection criteria

In order to reasonably and correctly select pipes for a domestic heating system, the following items are taken into account:

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  • type of installation of the pipeline complex - surface or hidden (internal);
  • Estimated pressure power - an estimate of the range from basic to the highest possible performance
  • type of heating system - autonomous or central communications with gravity or forced circulation of the heating composition;
  • the maximum temperature for which the coolant is designed;
  • configuration features of heating equipment - one-pipe or two-pipe complex.

Only knowing all these factors, proceed to the choice of the type of material that will most effectively manifest itself in the specific specified conditions.

Varieties for heating systems

In modern heating systems use pipe rolling and parts made of materials such as metal or plastic. The first category includes ordinary steel, alloyed steel and copper pipes. The second includes polypropylene, metal-plastic and polyethylene crosslinked communication elements.

All of them have certain positive qualities and effectively manifest themselves in different situations. The choice of a specific type of pipe occurs individually, depending on the expected operating conditions and other important parameters.

Features of steel pipes

More recently, steel pipes were used in the vast majority of heating systems and were non-alternative material. Today, their positions are significantly shaken, and some serious competitors have appeared.

However, it was not possible to completely drive steel pipes out of the market. Until now, they have been successfully used, but mainly in autonomous gravity-free complexes, where laying of large-diameter communications is required.

Ordinary steel pipes

Steel pipes are laid by professional craftsmen before the start of finishing activities, as welding can damage wall or floor decor.

Among the main advantages of steel pipes, there is a high tendency to thermal conductivity, low linear expansion with active heating, and resistance to intense pressure.

Reasonable advantages are considered unprecedented strength, both on straight and rounded sections, the ability to withstand aggressive temperature conditions and the affordable cost of elements.

Pipe Fittings

In addition to welding, there is an alternative method for assembling a system of steel pipes - mounting on threaded connections using additional fittings and fittings. To prevent joints from leaking, they are sealed with sanitary flax

Among the shortcomings they point to a problematic and time-consuming installation, impossible without the availability of specialized expensive equipment that can be operated only by professionally trained craftsmen with extensive experience in conducting such events.

They impede the process of arranging the heating complex and the impressive dimensions of the pipes. It’s impossible to do everything alone, it is better to attract someone from friends or relatives who have the skills of welders and installers. It is easier and faster to work with the brigade, you can organize everything clearly and accurately, providing the system with the necessary tightness.

Steel pipes in the heating system

Steel pipes exhibit a good level of resistance to water hammering and have an impressive boundary melting point (up to 1500 ° C), unlike other materials

For the organization of hidden heating systems steel pipes and used for their connection steel fittings categorically do not fit. The metal has a low corrosion resistance threshold and, under wet conditions, quickly rusts, rot and leaks.

To solve the problem, complete dismantling of the decorative coating is required if the pipe is indoors, or large-scale earthworks when a problem occurs on the way to the house.

What is the difference between alloy steel?

Alloy steel is a durable material that has, in addition to traditional impurities, various additives that improve the physical properties of the metal.

An example of a doped material is stainless steel - it is a special steel alloy containing not less than 12% chromium. This additive provides pipe corrosion resistance and easy handling with special tools.

Stainless Steel Pipes

When purchasing stainless steel pipes, it is important to take into account the carbon content in the metal. The larger it is, the higher the strength, but the lower the flexibility. At low temperatures, such products become brittle and their area of ​​application is reduced.

For the production of pipes with a welded seam, cold-rolled or hot-rolled steel sheets with a working thickness of 0.4-5 mm and 2-50 mm, respectively, are used.

Finished products have less weight than ordinary steel, have good resistance to structural damage and mechanical damage. Due to the low coefficient of thermal expansion, it is easy to withstand severe temperature loads during operation. They function well at pressures up to 16 bar.

Alloy Steel Pipes

The cost of alloyed pipes is slightly higher than that of analogues from ferrous metals. However, the costs are justified, because simple steel communications last an average of 15-20 years, while stainless steel works reliably at least 3 times longer

Another indisputable advantage of stainless steel alloy pipes is the ability to transport not only heat-transfer fluid, heated to high temperatures, but also heated steam.

Stainless steel tube types

Alloy stainless steel pipes are made in two ways: welded and seamless. In the first embodiment, the sheets of metal using electric welding are interconnected, getting a longitudinal or spiral seam. To prevent low-grade corrosion, the joint area is specially treated and ground.

Welded Steel Pipe

Welded pipes with a spiral or longitudinal seam are cheaper than seamless analogues, but their service life is less. In addition, they have limitations on maximum working pressure and are vulnerable to mechanical damage.

Seamless products are made through cold or hot deformation of solid stainless steel alloy billets. The cold method produces thin-walled pipes, and the hot - thick-walled. Finished products have a perfectly smooth surface and are distinguished by unprecedented reliability.

Radiator outlet

Seamless steel pipes are ideal for arranging heating systems of any complexity. Despite the high physical characteristics, they have a reasonable cost, and thin-walled models successfully compete with more expensive copper products

Pipes made by seamless technology are not afraid of corrosive manifestations, they function well in harsh and aggressive operating conditions and calmly withstand record temperatures and tremendous pressure.

Copper pipes for heating

In the manufacture of pipes for heating systems use high quality copper, in rare cases, copper-zinc alloy, where the volume of the zinc component does not exceed 5%. To reduce the level of heat loss and make the products more attractive, the external surface is covered with a polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride layer.

Copper pipes for heating

Copper pipes for the heating system undergo additional phosphorus treatment. This significantly improves their physical characteristics, and in particular, resistance to water

Among the main advantages material for copper pipelines First of all, they note unsurpassed strength, thanks to which the products, during intensive use, last for 100 years and are not exposed to corrosion.

Their thermal conductivity is 389.6 W / mK, which greatly exceeds the actual operating performance of iron, steel and metal-plastic.

Copper heating system

Copper pipes in the process of heating even to high temperatures do not emit any harmful vapors, therefore they are absolutely safe for humans.

The range of operating temperatures for copper pipes is very wide. They perform well both at high (up to + 250 ° С) and at low (up to -100 ° С) temperature modes, do not melt during intensive heating, do not crack and do not deform in the process operation.

Copper radiator

Ideally they keep their original shape, they are not afraid of high pressure in the system and even in the area of ​​soldered joints it is easy carry a load of 200-400 atmospheres, and this is tens of times higher than the capacity of metal-plastic in the same areas.

Indicators of thermal expansion of copper pipes are simply minimal. With regular exposure to the coolant metal with a temperature of over 90 ° C, each running meter of communications extends by about 0.1%. All other materials and here are significantly inferior to copper.

Due to the ability to maintain over time aesthetic, attractive appearance suitable for pipeline laying not only internal but also external heating systems and can serve not only for their intended purpose, but also bear the function of a decorative interior element.

Of the minuses, professionals note incompatibility with other metals. It is not recommended to reduce the use of connecting parts made of cast iron or stainless steel for copper pipes. Such a “saving” will subsequently come out sideways to the owner, since the chemical reaction between the elements will eventually provoke corrosion of the entire heating system.

In the assembly of copper pipelines are used only copper fittings. With their help, make the connection by crimping, high-temperature and low-temperature soldering.

Among the disadvantages of copper pipes most often mention their high cost in comparison with other types of materials.

Distinctive features of polypropylene products

Polypropylene is a tough non-toxic synthetic polymer with high physical and mechanical characteristics. Pipes made from this modern material demonstrate exceptional impact resistance and the ability to bend repeatedly, low gas and vapor permeability, wear resistance and full dielectricity.

Advantages of PP material

Due to these qualities, pipe material from PP is actively used for arranging heating systems both on an industrial scale and in the private sector.

Polypropylene pipes in the heating system

The heating system of polypropylene pipes can be mounted with your own hands. But it is necessary to ensure the absence of sudden pressure and temperature drops. To create such conditions will help the installation of the boiler, which has the limitation of the maximum possible heating of water (no more than 70 ° C)

Pipes made of polypropylene are included in the category of budget communication parts and have a small weight, making it easy to transport and install them alone.

Among other advantages distinguish such positions as:

  • ideally smooth inner surface that does not contribute to the accumulation of lime deposits, significantly complicating the free circulation of the coolant;
  • fast and affordable installation that does not require the use of professional expensive equipment (all the work can be done with with the help of the soldering iron, which is so easy to use that it easily “submits” to even very far from such works man);
  • long service life without loss of efficiency (on average, about 25 years with full load);
  • good resistance to negative temperatures;
  • neat, aesthetic appearance that does not deteriorate over time.

By cons polypropylene pipes include the weak stiffness of plastic, which in the future can provoke a sagging of the heat line and, as a result, lead to a crack at the junction or breakage.

To fix the problem, just patch the fragment will not work. For subsequent correct operation and restoration of the integrity of the heating complex, it will be necessary to replace the pipe section located between the two fittings.

Connection of parts of the polypropylene pipeline is made by welding, the production specifics of which are set forth in the article recommended by us.

With features of choice welding machine for the construction of the pipeline of polypropylene and recommended outside working temperatures for soldering you can also find on our website.

Types of polypropylene pipes for heating

In order for the home heating system to work longer and throughout the entire operational period it demonstrated the highest possible efficiency rates, polypropylene pipes of the reinforced type are used. They are classified by type of reinforcing material.

Used in the heating device Pp pipe reinforced with aluminum foil on the outer layer, in the middle or on the inner edge. Sheets of metal in this case can be not continuous, continuous and corrugated.

Polypropylene pipes

Polypropylene is highly plastic and may increase in size when it comes into contact with a hot coolant. If the communication is mounted in the wall or floor, it can cause cracks in the floor. Reinforced pipes are subject to expansion to a minimum due to the protective frame

The foil reduces the actual thermal expansion of the material and creates a diffusion barrier, preventing oxygen from penetrating through the walls. As a result, a precipitate of calcium does not form and does not provoke oxidative processes on the walls of the radiators and the boiler.

Glass fiber is also an effective reinforcing material for pipes. By coextrusion it is placed in the middle layer of the polypropylene pipe. Due to the fact that both materials are similar in composition and basic properties, during welding with fittings fastening forms an alloy of high strength, not subject to delamination even in the process of prolonged operation.

Polypropylene pipes with fiberglass reinforcement are simple and convenient to install, unlike aluminum, do not require additional stripping of the edges before soldering, demonstrate excellent sound insulation properties.

Polypropylene pipes reinforced with fiberglass

Polypropylene pipes reinforced with fiberglass are considered the most suitable option for arranging home heating systems and last much longer than their counterparts.

Another modern reinforcing element is composite. It is a mixture of polypropylene and fiberglass. Added to the pipe increases the adhesion properties of the reinforcing layer and enhances performance characteristics such as strength and resistance to mechanical damage.

Rules for the assembly of pipelines for heating systems made of polypropylene pipes are given in the next article, the content of which we advise you to read.

Cross-linked polyethylene pipes

Cross-linked polyethylene is a progressive material made using modern technologies. It is a polymer of ethylene with molecules connected transversely by chemical or physical crosslinking. It has a homogeneous structure, flexibility and high level of tensile strength.

The list of the main advantages of pipes made of cross-linked polyethylene includes:

  • excellent shrink properties;
  • the ability to clearly keep the shape along the stitching line, even when heated to 200 ° C;
  • excellent wear resistance during intensive use;
  • the absence of halogens and heavy metals;
  • Immunity to corrosive manifestations and increased pressure;
  • weak vulnerability to chemically active aggressive substances;
  • normal toughness at low temperatures (up to –50 ° C);
  • minimum percentage of expansion due to heat;
  • suitable for flush mounting;
  • minimal need for preventative maintenance.

Due to its plasticity, the material is easy to process and does not require special tools, special professional abilities or serious experience. Even an amateur who has at hand a step-by-step instruction on the description of the necessary work can handle the arrangement of the heating system.

Heating system with cross-linked polyethylene pipes

Another distinctive feature of pipes made of cross-linked polyethylene is the “memory effect” when a fragment “remembers” its position in the system and does not change it even over time.

The most significant drawback of cross-linked polyethylene is a high vulnerability to ultraviolet radiation and an objective technological impossibility to manufacture large diameter pipe material.

Methods and technology of welding of polyethylene pipes are described. in the articlefully dedicated to this interesting question.

Metal-plastic for the construction of pipelines

Metal products - the most common and practical material for the arrangement of home heating systems. They harmoniously combine the advantages of plastic and metal, only at the minimum absorbing the shortcomings of both materials.

Pipes from metal-plastic

Compression fittings are used to assemble the heating system from metal-plastic pipes. They provide a reliable connection of all elements, but need further additional maintenance.

Metal pipes have a complex structure and multi-level structure. The outer plastic layer works as a fuse and protects the product from aggressive environmental influences. Further, aluminum foil and polymer of increased smoothness are arranged, which do not allow accumulation inside the sediment and deposits.

Connection of metal-plastic pipes is made using specialized fittingsdesigned for crimping and clamping. In the first case, theoretically detachable connections are created, which are still not recommended without particular need to disassemble. In the second - one-piece.

To form press fittings No expensive tool required. With his choice will introduce articlerecommended by us for reading. The assembly system will be able to produce a completely inexperienced performer.

Of distinctive features metal pipes most important are:

  • minimal linear expansion under the influence of the coolant that does not lead to deformation and sagging of the pipeline system or its individual fragments;
  • pronounced smoothness of the inner surface, due to which the passage does not clog and the coolant circulates in the set mode;
    good temperature resistance (lower than that of metal parts, but higher than that of other plastic products);
  • bending and tearing strength, plasticity in permissible radii (if the threshold is exceeded, a “hall” is possible);
  • low weight, greatly facilitating the installation process;
  • corrosion resistance;
  • possibility of processing without the use of special equipment.

The disadvantages include not too long service life of pipe products (up to 15 years, according to the manufacturers) and a significant cost of connecting fittings.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

In the videos information on how to choose the best option pipes for a domestic heating system.

A detailed overview, useful tips and curious nuances of using copper, metal-plastic, polypropylene and cross-linked-polyethylene pipe parts for heating homes.

Variants of arrangement in a residential house of a modern heating system. Pros and cons of various ways of mounting equipment made of metal and other popular materials.

Councils for the selection of pipes and fittings for radiator heating systems. What material is better to dwell on so that the equipment gives the maximum return with a reasonable consumption of energy resources?

Even the most experienced professional cannot give an unequivocal answer to the question which pipes are preferable to choose for arranging heating in a private house or apartment. Each case will have to be considered separately, taking into account the particular design of a specific heating system and the financial capabilities of property owners.

Do not make a choice, based only on the price. It is better to stop at a variant combining optimal quality and reasonable cost, otherwise you may end up in the position of the stingy, who paid twice for the work done. Moreover, the process of installation of heating equipment takes time and delivers certain inconveniences to the owners of the home.

And what pipes did you buy to install a heating circuit in a country house? What was the decisive factor for making this particular purchase? Please write comments in the block below, post a photo on the subject of the article, ask questions.

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