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Designing Laboratory Drainage Systems

Image Source: Vulcathene

Designing and building a system for the drainage and disposal of chemical waste for a laboratory requires careful consideration and is a complex process.

Chemical waste is potentially dangerous and this specific type of waste demands a laboratory drainage system with a unique set of characteristics. In most cases, designers of these systems start by considering the volume and type of chemicals that will be passing through the system. These chemicals can be anything from acids, solvents and detergents to radioactive waste.

With that knowledge, designers may then include additional factors for consideration into the design process. Such factors can comprise the level of corrosiveness and hazardous nature of the chemical waste and/or the temperature of the chemical waste. All these elements are impertinent to be taken into deliberation during the design planning process as they help designers establish the key design aspects for the system which consist of the material to be used, dimensions and methods used to connect the piping system.

Material of the piping system

Plastic laboratory drainage systems have become a popular choice for designers and contractors due to their diversity and ability to offer complete solutions. However, similar to all types of material, plastics have differing standards and performance benefits. For example, Vulcathene’s laboratory drainage system made of polypropylene (PP) provides better chemical resistance against a wider range of chemicals compared to piping materials used for sanitary drainage, waste and vent applications.

Dimensions of the piping system

The minimum wall thickness of pipes is another important factor contributing to the required chemical resistance of a laboratory drainage system. It also has added applicability in areas of strength and durability.

An appropriate laboratory drainage system should possess specific design characteristics such as having increased angle (92° instead of 90°) fittings in its range of products to provide a natural fall to the horizontal stack. This is crucial to allow proper flow to speed up the rate of effluent disposal and to ensure that there is maximum reduction of residual chemical waste in the drainage system.

Connection methods of piping system

There are two main types of connection methods for this type of piping system – fusion and mechanical connection. The fusion connection method provides a permanent welded joint and is ideal for use in voids, vertical stacks and underground pipework.

Conversely, the mechanical connection technique is more commonly applied to pipe runs in the laboratory cupboards. It is vital for this method to adopt a securing mechanism instead of the common push fit types in order to prevent the possibility of the pipes being dislodged or displaced in the event of an accident.

All the factors mentioned above are required to be properly assessed to design an effective laboratory drainage system. Compromising any of the elements could cause the system to fail. More importantly, it would pose health risk to the students and employees working in the laboratories, research facilities, schools, universities and/or hospitals.

A preferred solution - Vulcathene

At Val-Technik, Vulcathene is the preferred solution for these types of applications. With 68 years of proven performance, it is a purposed-designed and engineered laboratory drainage system. It is also the only system BBA approved for laboratory drainage.

For more information on laboratory drainage systems or Vulcathene, please email us at or call 6742 2770.


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