Page 6 - MGMA MRM Issue 01 final
P. 6

                                                                                                                                                                                             Pic shows the cast iron process
            Cast Iron



            The popularity of cast iron has grown in
            recent years due to a greater trend towards
            conservation and sustainability by property
            managers and designers. Cast iron is used
            mainly on the more traditional new build
            properties and extensively in the refurbishment
            market for domestic properties, churches,
            industrial and municipal buildings.

            Cast iron is a popular choice for its traditional
            virtues of strength, reliability, versatility and
            sustainability. Cast iron rainwater goods are
            often manufactured from a mix of the following
            recycled materials; scrap iron, scrap steel
            pressings and scrap steel casting. The resultant
            cast iron products are themselves 100 per cent
            recyclable at the end of the product’s life cycle.
            There are thousands of existing profiles of
            cast iron gutter displayed on existing buildings
            and all of these can be replicated today using      hardness and abrasion/impact resistance,                           materials there is no plastic replica to cast iron
            the traditional fabrication and sand casting        and exceptional gloss and colour retention.                        that can remotely provide the durability, feel or
            techniques. The current manufactured stock          The coatings can be formulated for specific                        appearance of cast iron. At first glance, PVC
            ranges include Half Round, Beaded Half Round,       applications such as prolonged exposure to                         might seem like an economical solution however,
            Victorian Ogee, Notts OG, G46 Moulded, Deep         sunlight and the ability to survive in highly                      whole life cost comparisons prove that is not the
            Half Round and Box.
                                                                corrosive environments. All painting should be                     case.
            These profiles are available in a variety of        carried out in accordance with the manufacturer’s                  PVC does not have the strength, rigidity,
            sizes. Pipes are available in round, square and     guidelines.                                                        durability or colour fastness of metal rainwater
            rectangular sections. They come either ready        The sensitive restoration and maintenance                          systems. The ‘cast iron look-alike’ effect is
            primed for subsequent painting on site prior        of many of the United Kingdom’s cherished                          created by applying a textured paint or co-
            to installation or are now widely available pre-    buildings is vital to the preservation of the                      extrusion layer to the PVC substrate which
            painted with several manufacturers offering a       country’s architectural heritage with cast iron                    will in time fade, if not delaminate, and for that
            range of British Standard colours or RAL options    rainwater products being a key feature in many                     reason generally most of these products are only
            to suit end users, architects, and installers or to   of these old buildings. Ornamental rainwater                     guaranteed for 10 years.
            meet specific planning requirements.
                                                                heads, radius gutters, bespoke pipework and                        Cast iron is widely stocked at plumbing and
            Pre-painted products now offer the benefit of       special gutter profiles can all be matched                         building merchants across the UK, Ireland and
            mechanised coating application for uniform          using traditional sand casting methods. An                         Channel Islands and is also available to order
            thickness and superior finish quality, as well      extensive range of designs is available to                         online through a number of specialist suppliers.
            as allowing for more efficient installation by      order from manufacturers who hold tooling for                      Details of manufacturers can be found via the
            removing the time needed for manually applied       these items and specialist fabrication methods                     product matrix on the MGMA web site; this
            paint to dry to a sufficient thickness. If purchased   are also available for bespoke requirements.                    matrix has been designed to help specifiers
            in a primed finish for on-site painting, it is      Manufacturers can offer specialist advice on                       quickly find a suitable manufacturer for their
            important to paint each component individually      project requirements and their details are on the                  project and there is also an option to select
            before installation, ensuring that all the non-     MGMA web site.                                                     by product application namely, non-domestic,
            visible areas are painted and protected and also    There is controversy regarding the various plastic                 domestic, heritage, new build and refurbishment.
            ensure that the paint is fully dry (not just touch   ‘cast iron look-alike’ pipe and gutter systems
            dry) prior to installation, otherwise the silicone   that have entered the market, purporting to                       Cast iron rainwater systems are designed and
            sealant may react with the un-cured paint finish.   offer the same durability, feel or appearance                      manufactured to give many years of reliable
            Powder coated finishes are becoming                 as the genuine cast iron product at a lower                        service and detailed guidance is available on the
                                                                                                                                   MGMA web site at
            increasingly popular as they offer excellent        cost. Despite the latest technology and modern

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