Stainless steel protects systems inside and out

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Stainless steel piping results in increased sanitation and corrosion resistance, less maintanance and quicker start ups.

Based in Seattle, Washington, with sales and service capabilities that span the North American continent and the Pacific Rim, Highland Refrigeration designs and manufactures industrial refrigeration plants ranging from the smallest reciprocating compressors to the largest multiple compressor screw packs. Companies in the food industry comprise the bulk of Highland's customer list. However, the 30-year-old company also describes itself as the largest marine refrigeration company in the United States.

According to Highland President Lars Matthiesen, Danfoss has played a critical role in the company's success, regularly responding to challenges Highland presents with products that meet the sometimes unique demands of their customers. "In the food industry, for example, with our customers stainless steel piping is prevalent," explained Matthiesen. "It's easier to maintain and has an aesthetic appeal. So we prevailed upon Danfoss to develop stainless steel valves that we could incorporate into the refrigeration systems we design. And that's exactly what they did."

Benefits begin at the construction site

Stainless steel piping and valves offer Highland customers a number of benefits that begin at the construction site. There, pipes and valves can lie exposed for extended periods of time, where they might be exposed to moisture and rain. Those that are not made of stainless steel are susceptible to rust formation, which presents itself in the form of rust particles frequently dislodged during welding of the system and start-up. As a result, strainers need to be cleaned more often to ensure rust particles do not enter sensitive areas.

"You can attempt to avoid this situation by pickling the inside and by priming and painting the outside of black steel pipes," noted Matthiesen. "But that's a time-consuming process, and because the equipment is regularly exposed to thawing and freezing conditions, the exposure to moisture and opportunities for corrosion increase. 

"And in the food industry, where corrosive materials may be an important part of the sanitation process, black steel is again subject to corrosion."

Such is not the case with stainless steel piping and valves, which, according to Matthiesen are easier to clean and not susceptible to corrosion. "Once they are installed, you can forget them," he said.

"And because they don't corrode, they can be opened and taken apart easily."

In addition to their ability to resist corrosion, stainless steel pipes and valves can be recycled. "Not everyone thinks 10 years down the road," said Matthiesen. "But our customers that do are more likely to consider stainless steel. If systems change, they are able to reuse the pipes and valves in another application, and in the event of a plant closure, stainless steel can be recycled."

Matthiesen also points to the aesthetic appeal of stainless steel, particularly in a food processing area that demands cleanliness. And he is impressed with the extensive product line that Danfoss offers, including a variety of sizes and component styles.

"Stainless steel valves appeal to people who want quality, top-of-the-line components," Matthiesen added. They ensure a cleaner, more attractive system that requires less maintenance today. And years from now they offer flexibility as systems are redesigned to meet changing technology and industry requirements.

Stainless steel offering from Danfoss
  • Stop valves
  • Check valves
  • Overflow valves
  • Hand regulating valves
  • Filters
  • Solenoid valves
  • Service valves

 

They ensure a cleaner, more attractive system that requires less maintenance today. And years from now they offer flexibility as systems are redesigned to meet changing technology and industry requirements. - Lars Matthiesen, president, Highland Refrigeration

They ensure a cleaner, more attractive system that requires less maintenance today. And years from now they offer flexibility as systems are redesigned to meet changing technology and industry requirements. - Lars Matthiesen, president, Highland Refrigeration