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Ductile Iron is a very broad generic term: In some ways, Ductile Iron (DI) from here appears to be similar to DI from there.   CAVEAT. The DI from here has some different characteristics than the DI from there. It is these differences which make the VRS®-T system, manufactured by TRM GmbH in Austria, significantly superior to any other High Pressure DI system. These differences include:

  • Joint Design:  The VRS®-T system uses a soft and flexible K Gasket, rather than the hard inflexible Tyton gasket used in all other DI systems. With this flexible K Gasket: Pipe alignment is not as critical; less force is required to achieve complete insertion; and, no special tools are required to achieve this full insertion, or to achieve full installation of the lock restraint mechanisms – joggles. These are significant advantages, especially for steeper alpine terrain conditions.
  • Pipe Alignment: Pipe alignment is not as critical with the K gasket in the VRS®-T system, because of the flexibility of this K gasket. Any pipe misalignment which may occur is corrected by the flexibility of this K gasket. This is a significant advantage in all installation conditions, but especially for steeper alpine terrain conditions. Since 2006, PNP has installed 400,000+ feet of DI pipe in North America, using this VRS®-T  Only five (5) joint leakages have occurred during this period.
  • Reverse Leakage Mechanism:   If water ever is forced into a reverse flow condition, there is no leakage in the VRS®-T The outer section of the K gasket is forced against the inside surface of the coupling section of one piece of pipe in the joint; and, the inner section of the K gasket is forced against the exterior surface of the plain end piece of pipe in the joint. Seal closure is directly proportional to the operating pressure.   Higher operating pressures create tighter gasket seals. This feature is not available with the standard Tyton gasket, used in other DI systems.
  • Higher Pressure Support: With the VRS®-T system it is possible to support operating pressures of PN63 (913 psig) with all pipe diameters through DN500. DI pipe systems from other manufacturers cannot support operating pressures above PN63 with pipe sizes above DN300 (12 inches): and, in some cases, even DN300 pipe may not be able to support PN63 pressures.
  • Zinc Undercoat: All pipes in the VRS®-T system are coated with a zinc undercoat, with a minimum thickness of 200 gm/m2. The thickness of zinc coating on DI pipe from other sources ranges from 130 gm/m2 to 150 gm/m2.
  • Polyurethane Protective Coat: All pipes in the VRS®-T system have a Polyurethane (PUR) protective coating applied over the zinc undercoat. This PUR coating is applied to each pipe in a fusion bonded process, to ensure maximum adherence and uniform distribution. The thickness of this PUR protective coating is 70 µm. Some pipe from other suppliers has a zinc undercoat, but the zinc undercoat is covered by an asphaltic bitumen material, applied using a spray process..
  • High Alumina Interior Liner: In all pipes in the VRS®-T system, the interior surface is lined with High Alumina cement, which provides full protection, even against any toxic conditions which may develop.   PNP Supply is not aware of High Alumina cement beings used to line DI pipe from any other manufacturer. All other cement lined DI pipe is lined with standard or Portland cement, which will break down in toxic conditions. It is not expected that toxic conditions will occur in normal snowmaking pipe; but, the High Alumina cement liner provides additional insurance.
  • Easy and Fast Installation: The soft flexible K Gasket makes it possible to assemble the VRS®-T pipe by hand, using in-house personnel. No special training or certification is required to assemble/install the VRS®-T pipe; and, no special assembly equipment is required at any point through the assembly/installation process.
  • ANSI Specifications: All DI materials supplied by PNP Supply satisfy ANSI Specifications, for all flanged fittings and all threaded fittings. These characteristics are not available with High Pressure DI materials from any other European source.
  • North American Inventory: Beginning in 2015, PNP Supply has created a large inventory of fittings in North America. This inventory contains all fittings used in the VRS®-T system, in all sizes normally used, ranging from DN80 through DN400.
  • Experience: Finally, and simply, PNP Supply has sold and managed the design/assembly/installation of over 400,000 ft of High Pressure DI pipe and fittings since 2006. PNP Supply sells only High Pressure DI pipe and fittings, not other pipe systems, not snowmaking equipment, etc.  In these areas of design, assembly and installation, Engineers and technical staff at PNP Supply have a scope and depth of hands-on field experience unmatched in the NA Ski Industry. There are no manufacturers of HP – emphasize High Pressure – DI materials in NA; and, no other suppliers of HP DI pipe, with the scope and depth of field experience offered by Engineers and technical staff at PNP Supply.

In summary, the VRS®-T system from Austria offers benefits not available from other sources. PNP Supply has many clients with several years of hands-on experience with materials from theVRS®-T system from Austria. Many of these clients also have completed extensive research into the pros and cons of High Pressure DI systems from other European sources. If you would like to discuss these issues with any of these clients in more detail, we can supply contact information on request.