Uponor had announced a new pipe joining technique to be presented at ISH. As it turns out it’s a “no tools needed”-fitting, a fitting with integrated press function. After cutting the pipe to length it is calibrated. When the pipe is inserted into the fitting a locking pin is released and pipe and fitting are then pressed together.
This fitting technology is not new. It has been originally designed for the automotive industry in Japan. The Spanish company Blansol had already shown a “no tools needed”-fitting under the name of ix-Press at Climatizacion Madrid in February 2009. According to the product literature the system works as follows: “After inserting the pipe into the fitting a barrier jumps out and the “ix…Press” fixing sleeve starts to compress the pipe completely tight onto the fitting.” The ix-Press is marketed as safer than conventional fittings and it is available for PE-X and for metal composite pipes.
For a brief period in summer of 2009 this fitting has been sold in Germany by Zewotherm (see KWD-SHK 1400, August 2009). Here it was called “automatically pressing push fit fitting” and described as follows: “While pushing the pipe into the fitting a metallic press ring inside the push fit fitting jumps out and presses the pipe completely tight and inseparable onto the supporting shell of the fitting.” It was offered by Zewotherm for metal composite pipes. However, Zewotherm removed this fitting from its list of products shortly after without comment.
But it’s nonetheless an interesting technology even though it hasn’t gained market acceptance in Germany yet. Uponor has further advanced this particular fitting technology and integrated in its range of products. The Uponor specific color coding system and compression labeling have been transferred to the integrated push fit fittings. As per Uponor, the interest in its new fitting has been significant, so it can be anticipated that it will play a bigger role in Germany soon.