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News

Borealis PP chosen for pipe installation in opera house refit

Borealis A/S : 06 December, 2004  (Application Story)
Spectators at Italy's world-famous La Scala opera house will be kept in more comfort than ever before, thanks in part to the installation of a new heating and air conditioning system that uses plastic pipes and fittings made from Borealis polypropylene (PP). The existing metal pipe installation has been entirely replaced.
Spectators at Italy's world-famous La Scala opera house will be kept in more comfort than ever before, thanks in part to the installation of a new heating and air conditioning system that uses plastic pipes and fittings made from Borealis polypropylene (PP). The existing metal pipe installation has been entirely replaced.

La Scala first opened in 1778. The EUR 60 million renovation will finally make it fit for the 21st century. The auditorium has been refurbished, the backstage completely rebuilt, and safety standards significantly improved. Antonio Salieri's opera ‘Europa Riconosciuta’ will inaugurate the 2004-2005 season on 7 December, just as it did La Scala's first season.

Plastic pipes and fittings for hot and cold water were produced in a Borealis PP random copolymer (PP-R) grade, RA130E-4352, by Aquatechnik SpA, a major Italian producer in Magnano, just outside Milan, and one of Borealis' most important customers in Italy. The grade was developed specifically for this type of application. Aquatechnik offers a wide range of PP-R pipes and fittings in its Fusio-technik range. The installation was done by CMF based in Meda, Italy.

According to Aquatechnik technical director Neos Peten, technicians from La Scala and CMF in charge of the renovation chose PP-R pipes and fittings for several key reasons: the reliability of the products, ease and speed of installation, adaptability of the system to the building's structure and last but not least the cost-competitiveness of the complete installation. 'I was invited to watch the installation, and can validate the choices made,' he said.

Several teams of technicians worked on the installation of the hot and cold pipe systems. Aquatechnik provided CMF personnel with special training on the use of PP-R systems at one of its three training and demonstration centres, in Busto Arsizio, west of Milan.

Cino Serrao, market development and sales manager for Borealis Italy in Monza, says the three companies worked together to present the PP-R pipe system's advantages to the engineers in charge of the La Scala renovation.

Borealis has a long history of developing plastics - polyethylenes as well as PP - for pipe systems, and is one of the leading providers of plastic solutions to the pipe world. Serrao says PP is extremely well suited for hot and cold water installations. Apart from the obvious advantage that it is corrosion-resistant, it is also more resistant than traditional materials to build-up of deposits.

Plastic pipe systems have long-term resistance to high internal pressures, they are completely water-tight and, because of the inherent elasticity of the material, they also provide much better noise damping - a quality of considerable importance for La Scala.

Plastic pipe systems have been used for hot and cold water for over 30 years, and now account for around 45% of the market in Europe.
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