A century-long track record ready for another challenge

A life-long pipe solution comes easy through engagement with an Australian manufacturer such as Steel Mains, which boasts experience in the water and mining industries.

Steel Mains has supported companies across Asia Pacific and the Middle East with unique engineering solutions for more than 100 years.

In the Pilbara region of Western Australia alone, Steel Mains has supplied more than 100 kilometres of large diameter watermains since 2003.

Steel Mains’ expertise has been gained from experiences working with water authorities, complying with the strictest acceptance criteria for water assets.

This combined with Steel Mains’ capacity to meet the demands of mining companies for a leak-free, low-maintenance operation, placing the company’s products in a favourable position with water authorities and resources companies.

There are four principles which have sustained Steel Mains’ long and successful track record globally.

 Minimising total cost of ownership

Steel is synonymous with strength, but corrosion remains a challenge. Steel Mains proprietary Sintakote coating technology is a medium-density fusion bonded polyethylene that is bonded to the steel substrate.

“Water asset owners have benefitted from using this long-lasting quality corrosion protection coating for many decades,” Steel Mains national business development manager – mining Amir Vahdani tells Australian Mining.

“Sintakote offers a design life of over 100 years for buried pipelines and over 50 years for above-ground installations.

“Steel Mains also offers a wide range of lining solutions to suit applications, including potable water through to hyper saline, seawater, acidic water, wastewater and sewerage mains.”

Non-welded high-pressure jointing

Steel Mains uses a unique Sintajoint Rubber Ring pipe jointing (RRJ) technology to allow project owners to complete their projects within a shorter construction schedule.

With welded joints eliminated, pipe installation can be simpler and involves less construction plant and equipment.

It also removes costly non-destructing testing and associated quality control checks, generating material savings in both direct and indirect costs.

In fact, Steel Mains’ construction partners have achieved a record maximum pipe laying rate of 7.3 kilometres in a single day (or 58 seconds for a 12.2-metre pipe) during a 9.5-hour construction shift.

This non-welded jointing technology has eliminated almost 600 welds a day, though construction laying rates vary by terrain profile.

“Most watermains in Australia are designed to a maximum of a PN35 rated pipe limit,” Vahdani says. “Steel Mains’ unique Sintajoint RRJ technology offers up to 4.25 megapascal rated pressure.”

The company has supplied a 152-kilometre-long DN800 steel pipeline with pressures of up to 4.2 megapascal to a government water authority in the United Arab Emirates, a project commissioned in 2006 with no reported issues ever since.

Local manufacturing

Steel Mains has more than 70,000 tonnes of yearly capacity to support project owners and contractors across Australia through three world-class pipe production mills based in two locations

The company’s products are made from Australian steel and custom-built to specific project requirements.

Unlike most suppliers, Steel Mains products are not off-the-shelf, allowing the company to embrace and tackle bespoke project challenges.

“We offer supply of pipe and fittings, pipe design review, value engineering, manufacturability review and pipeline installation training,” Vahdani says.

“Steel Mains manufactures steel water pipes from DN100 to DN2500 with pressures up to 6.8 megapascal (68 Bar) depending on diameter.

“Our products are manufactured to Australian Standards under a StandardsMark Licence, and we hold a Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) product appraisal.”

They are also third party audited to the relevant quality, and environmental health and safety management systems, according to Vahdani.

An answer to every challenge

From a potable watermain in a regional area through to the hottest and most acidic bore water, Steel Mains has risen to the challenge by delivering a custom-built solution to suit specific project requirements.

Whether a solution requires Steel Mains to manage up to a 60 degrees Celsius temperature change in the Pilbara or a river crossing in a rocky mountain, the company prides itself in providing a unique solution.

When a 264-kilometre pipeline was required to resolve the issues of continuous water supply to the remote city of Broken Hill in less than 12 months, Steel Mains was able to mobilise both its manufacturing plants to provide the necessary supply to this time-sensitive delivery period.

The company is also experienced in supplying bespoke solutions for pipelines installed in parallel with a high voltage powerline, fuel line, road and rail line on mine sites, where minimum impact to cultural heritage sensitive areas and national parks are of key importance.

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