Polypropylene pipe major Aquatherm GmbH has moved its North American headquarters into a bigger facility where it held a grand opening on April 4 in Lindon, Utah.
Aquatherm, based in Attendorn, Germany, seriously entered the U.S. market in 2007 when it opened an office in Provo, Utah. That office also consolidated the former Canadian office in Cardston, Alberta, in 2009.
The company's first foray into the North American market occurred in 2005 when mechanical engineer Steve Clark started a distribution business for the PP pipe in Canada. Now Canadian subsidiary Aquatherm CA is based in Airdrie, Alberta.
The new facility in Lindon does not manufacture PP pipe or fittings, instead it imports product from its German parent and fabricates pipe into various configurations.
Barry Campbell, Aquatherm North America vice president of marketing, said in a phone interview that the company is the only one in North America offering a piping system that directly contributes to LEED v4 points for sustainability and environmentally low-impact construction. The Lindon facility was designed and built along LEED principles and all its piping systems are based on the firm's proprietary, heat-stabilized PP resin.
Campbell said Aquatherm does not compete head-to-head with high density polyethylene or PVC pipe, the stalwarts in outdoor plastic pipe systems. The company's main focus is on indoor applications such as conveying hot or chilled water throughout a building, transporting potable water, fire sprinkler systems and radiant heating systems.
It does supply PP pipe for some special outdoor use as in heating, venting and air conditioning systems.
“We are more highly engineered than PVC pipe and get a better joint through fusion,” Campbell said. “We are more likely to compete against metal.”
Aquatherm claims its pipe can handle liquids as hot as 180° F at pressure of 100 pounds per square inch. The PP pipe has numerous code approvals and the firm offers a ten-year, multi-million dollar warranty.
Aquatherm built an 82,000-square-foot facility in Lindon that includes design and fabrication, quality assurance laboratories, engineering, warehousing and offices. Many of the company's PP pipe applications require fabrication steps such as component insertion and insulation. Officials said at the grand opening that it will house one of the largest concentrations of PP piping in North America. It will stock PP pipe ranging from ½ to 24 inches in diameter.
“The building was constructed and designed to ensure the continued expansion and improvement of our fabrication and design abilities, which are a material benefit for those who support and use Aquatherm PP-R piping systems” said Aquatherm North America CEO Jordan Hardy in a news release.