05 May 2022

Demand for STRAUB pipe couplings sees rapid expansion into Africa

Submitted by Mario Smit
Demand for STRAUB pipe couplings sees rapid expansion into Africa

Having proven itself the world over to be the best pipe-coupling product on the market available today, Straub couplings has seen a growing demand for its innovative couplings in Africa. “Straub pipe couplings have been used in more than 40 million pipe connections worldwide, and we are seeing a growing demand that necessitated new African partners joining our expanding network,” says Franscois Steenkamp, CEO of Mechanical Rotating Solutions (MRS) and appointed Straub distributor for Africa.

“Over the past few years we’ve seen an increase in orders especially from the mining industries in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.  Whilst The Democratic Republic of Congo is widely considered to be the richest country in the world regarding natural resources it makes sense for us to expand our business footprint into the two bordering states claimed to have more than 70% of the world’s cobalt reserves as well as a wealth of natural resources including copper, silver, uranium, lead, coal, zinc and gold.

STRAUB couplings are used to join virtually any plain end pipe or tube including steel, stainless steel, ductile iron, FRP, PVC, CPVC, C900, concrete pipe, copper and CuNi piping.  Recent projects in Africa has seen MRS install its innovative STRAUB-OPEN-FLEX 3 pipe coupling solution on the suction and discharge pipes on a number of volute pumps saving their clients not only time as no pipe ends preparation was needed, but also money as the pipe coupling is reusable and requires no special tools to install. The STRAUB couplings helps eliminate the vibration on pipe lines which in turn reduce the vibration on the pump and bearings as the coupling can absorb and permit controlled linear and angular movement, which can accommodate thermal expansion and contraction, deflection, seismic movement and vibration.

“Apart from the reduction in vibration one of the biggest advantages of installing a product such as the STRAUB-OPEN-FLEX 3 coupling is that only three bolts are needed to secure the coupling—as opposed to the multiple bolts that are required for each replaced flange.  With fewer bolts and only hand tools needed, installing the Straub coupling is up to six times faster to install than flanging.”

Available in diameters from 1" to 120" MRS demonstrated the ease of use of the Straub range when it successfully completed the installation and joining of a 1.7m diameter side scour pipeline at Goedertrouw Dam Kwa-Zulu Natal as well as the installation and joining of a 2.1m diameter side scour pipeline at Spioenkop dam, Kwa-Zulu Natal.

“The removal of a suction pipe for pump maintenance or repair usually requires that either the flange bolts are manually removed, which is highly time consuming, or are removed utilizing a cutting torch which entails acquiring the necessary permits to conduct welding, flame cutting, soldering and similar operations  in a plant. Utilising Straub couplings such as the Straub Open Flex cuts pipe disassembly down to 15 minutes!”

As the African agent of Straub products, Mechanical Rotating Solutions is able to procure, install and commission the right Straub connection, which will meet the project-specific requirements fully.  Straub Couplings come fully assembled and ready to install. Apart from the immense customer benefits of minimising downtime and ease of installation the STRAUB range of pipe couplings further offers a progressive sealing effect whereby when pressure in the pipe rises, the contact pressure on the sealing lips also increases due to the flow through the pressure equalisation channel. STRAUB pipe couplings are used in a wide variety of situations, industries and plants, such as: Construction, Water Supply, Waste Water, Industry/Mining, Shipbuilding/Offshore and Pipe Repair.

By joining new African partners, Mechanical Rotating Solutions will have a local footprint offering in these countries that will encompass the complete range of Straub pipe couplings. Our new venture will make sure we have the right coupling available enabling pipe connections for practically all conceivable pipe diameters, for the same or different types of pipe materials, various media and temperatures as well as for a wide range of the operating pressure values.