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april 2011

The manifolds: choice and benefits

Why do you use a collector system? The use and choice of materials.

Why use a manifold?

The choice of a manifold inside a system generally allows to obtain a series of important advantages:
• Possibility of creating zone systems: it allows the distinction in more independent systems between them. As far as heating manifolds are concerned, this is important as it is possible to maintain the desired temperature and it allows to measure the heat consumed.

• Ease of application: the attacks are mechanical and, therefore, do not require the intervention of specialized personnel to create the conjunction.

• It avoids the use of joints: reducing the risk of leaks and avoiding the formation of damp spots and the occurrence of breaks.

• Greater ease in repairs: one can isolate the individual damaged parts and to intervene directly on these.
Two main categories can be distinguished: the manifolds for heating and the manifolds for water and the sanitary system.

Comparison between manifold systems and shunt systems

The advantages expressed with regard to the manifold systems certainly make them excellent in applications, even if at times there is still the presence of bypass plants. The manifolds are also called multiple derivation devices because they have on the main body from 2 to 4 derivations regulated by taps that allow a better management of the plant. They are usually stored in a compartment inside a wall and protected by a metal box that acts as a housing. The main problem may be the lack of space, especially in non-modern homes, where the manifold can be installed. In these cases, a derivation plant is used, which is certainly less cumbersome from the point of view of space, but has the technical limit which, in the event of failure, makes it difficult to identify the point to be repaired without breaking walls. Furthermore, if two users are open at the same time, the flow could decrease, creating inconveniences.

The use of heating manifolds

The heating manifolds are basic components for the distribution of thermal fluids inside homes, as they can power both radiators and underfloor heating systems. They allow the division of the thermal fluid and the balancing in the starting phase.
The use of manifolds for heating systems offers a number of advantages, in addition to the already mentioned ones, which cannot be ignored:
High thermal output of the heat emitters: at the same forward temperature, they allow the heating bodies to be kept at a higher temperature than the ring system, allowing the use of smaller and less expensive terminals.
Good operation of thermostatic valves: the valves are installed at an average height of 80-100 cm. The knobs are easily adjustable and the sensors work at a thermally significant height.
Uniformity in setting up the heating bodies and maintaining the ambient temperature: compared to ring systems, in which the fluid is sent in succession to the heating bodies and go to work at different times, with the presence of the manifolds the fluid is sent simultaneously and times for starting up are substantially the same.
One of the main limitations is given by the need to create independent circuits for each terminal and for this reason ring solutions are usually adopted in the case of renovations in which the flooring reconstruction is not envisaged. Another limit is given by the greater use required for building assistance, necessary to protect the pipes from various degradation problems.

The use of manifolds for water and for the sanitary system

The manifolds for water and for the sanitary system are a fundamental component to manage the water supply inside the houses, guaranteeing the connection to the water supply. 
Also for this type of manifolds there is a model characterized by the presence of a closing valve for each outlet. This type of manifolds is particularly useful in the event of a fault, as the inconvenience caused to the individual user is limited, without blocking the supply of water to the entire house. There is also a linear manifold, which does not have this advantage, but has a greater degree of compactness. An important aspect to talk about compactness is the interaxis between two threaded elements of these components:
there is the 35 mm version, which is certainly more compact but more difficult to assemble, and the 40 mm version, which is less compact but easier to assemble. The choice between the various types must be made on the basis of specific considerations relating to the plant concerned.
The manifolds are fundamental components for water systems, as they have significant advantages:
- They are particularly efficient systems: reduced pressure drops.
Maintenance is easier: no need for joints under the flooring and there is the possibility to close the various utilities individually, both in the event of a fault and in the event of routine maintenance.
- The connection points are in easily accessible areas: in this way it is possible to carry out the operations of connection to the water network in a practical and fast way.
- Each user has a distribution pipe: additional branches and connections are eliminated which can be both a problem for maintainability and for the losses caused.

One of the main problems is related to the cost of this plant, which is significantly higher, due to a greater amount of material required and a slightly higher installation time. Despite this, decreasing maintenance costs as mentioned, the balance can be favorable for this type of installation.

The choice of the material for the manifolds: brass

Among the materials most used in the world of hydraulics there are certainly stainless and carbon steels, but, above all, brass. This alloy is mainly composed of copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn), as well as other secondary elements that contribute to giving the properties to the material. Among the main characteristics are:
- Ductility and malleability: they improve the shaping of this material allowing the creation of components even with complex geometry and reducing the residual stresses in the material which can be an important problem in operation;
- Mechanical resistance: fundamental characteristic for the durability of the component over time;
- Corrosion resistance: essential for hydraulic applications in contact with the fluid;
- Resilience: in fact, impacts can cause breakages;
- It favors the yield and distribution of temperatures: this is a fundamental characteristic for the manifolds used in the heating field.
The most common brass for this type of applications is undoubtedly the chromed CW617N which has a great resistance to the dezincification phenomenon which, due to the high operating temperatures and the elements dissolved in water, can lead to deterioration of the properties over time causing failures and malfunctions. Applying chrome plating efficiently is essential to make the most of the characteristics of this formidable material.


See also
20/12/2017 Use the manifolds for heating for better distribution With the manifolds for heating there is a better distribution and balancing of the heat in the system

20/03/2021 Heating manifolds with stopcock The adjustable version of heating manifolds useful for correctly balancing installations

20/01/2015 Some virtues of brass manifolds Why use brass manifolds in heating and which advantages do they have

20/02/2014 The heating of a house is managed by a group of manifolds. Houses need a hydraulic management system which is controlled by heating manifolds

20/11/2018 Heating manifolds multiple derivation Combining heating manifolds together to obtain the right number of derivations

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