By William G. Beazley, PhD, PE
Piping designers and engineers who typically ignore the opportunities in the residential and commercial/mechanical market may not realize how complex these piping/plumbing systems have become. A residential house, for example, may handle five or six separate fluids with different properties, with pumps, exchangers, boilers, sensors, actuated valves and complex control systems. Piping materials range from black iron, cast iron, stainless, copper, brass, PVC, PEX, etc. Joining systems vary widely from threaded pipe, to flared tubing, glued, expanded and specialty systems. It’s simply short-sighted to dismiss residential and other building applications as, “plumbing.” Many of these systems were on display at the International Builder’s Show (IBS) in Orlando, FL, January, 2017.