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Hydrofluoric acid (HF) is a very common chemical in all semiconductor facilities. New environmental protection laws in Singapore require now the removal of hydrofluoric acid from industrial waste water prior to its
treatment. A semiconductor manufacturer therefore had to transfer its waste streams from five different semiconductor production facilities to a new central wastewater pre-treatment plant. Due to time and cost
savings, this high-tech company and their main contractor opted for the AGRULINE piping system entirely made of HDPE for safe waste water transport.
AGRU’s distribution partner in Singapore is Agrutech. Together with The Plastics Experts from AGRU in Austria, they got involved into the project at an early stage. But first of all, the main contractor, who was planning the project and also the local installer had to be convinced of the benefits that polyethylene has to offer. For the harsh operating conditions of 2000 ppm hydrofluoric acid and the operating pressure of 6 bar, lined or coated steel pipes were also under discussion. Issues such as material resistance, pressure rating and the calculations on pipe routing in terms of pipe
support brackets and temperature expansion of the pipeline had to be clarified.
As a result it became clear, that it would be possible to realize substantial time and cost savings when using HDPE pipes in comparison to steel pipes. Since the heavy steel pipes are corrosion sensitive, only coated or lined steel pipes could have been used. High-density polyethylene is durable, corrosion resistant and lightweight. As a result, less pipe support brackets are required. Another advantage of the AGRULINE piping system is its ready availability. AGRULINE pipes are available in standard sizes, whereas steel / lined pipes would have to be manufactured according to the project specific demands. Last not least, hundreds of flange connections and all the problems and additional cost which comes with flanges could be saved with flexible high-density polyethylene pipes.
By analysing the advantages of flexible PE over coated steel pipes, it became clear, that in the demanding installation along a road not a single fitting would have to be used, since HDPE pipes are so flexible that they can be bend to follow the curvature of the road. Everybody liked the idea and ease of the pipe installation along the road and the fittings saved. Finally, the AGRULINE piping system was chosen due to its superiority in terms of resistance to media, unlimited installing options (indoor and outdoor due to UV resistance) and its flexibility to follow the difficult pipe routing. Because the pipes had to be installed on rooftops, on pipe bridges, in underground concrete channels and also along a busy road.
Quite a challenge was on-site logistics. It was required to have all the material ready on stand-by in warehouse to serve the various installation teams just-in-time. Since all five facilities are fully operational and very congested, the material had to be shipped to site in manageable quantities. Continuous site support and final check on welding joints by qualified persons was requested by the Installer. AGRU and their distributor Agrutech provided comprehensive technical & after sales support including just-in-time delivery and technical trainings for welding and installation.
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