How clay is re-emerging as the drainage material of choice in aggressive environments

Clay drainage is enjoying something of a renaissance as specifiers and contractors realise clay has many advantages as compared to flexible pipe systems:

Longevity - Clay has a proven longevity as a drainage material; clay pipes used as drainage over 2,000 years old have been dug up intact in Greece and Cyprus and still found to be in working condition.

Strength - Clay has extremely high crushing loads compared to plastic; as a rigid material, it will not  suffer from ovality if subject to high loads. The material retains its initial strength in service, unlike plastic materials which will lose 60-80% of their initial ring stiffness (strength) in the first 50 years of service.

Simple to lay - The strength of clay means that a limited amount or even no bedding material is required.

Flexible through joints With pipe lengths of 2 metres and regular joints that have an element of flexibility, a clay pipe system can easily handle poor installation and potential ground movement, for example in areas subject to subsidence.

Standard clay systems already have a enhanced degree of chemical resistance. As an extension of this, Naylor Drainage's Hathernware division also uses a high-grade ceramic mix to manufacture a specialist clay drainage system called Thermachem which is resistant to both thermal shock and aggressive chemicals. This range compares more favourably against other chemical drainage materials: specialist plastics have complex butt-fused joints and long lengths can be difficult to handle on site; even stainless steel is subject to corrosion when used underground without the addition of a pipe wrapping material such as Denso tape.

Clay remains a clear winner for use in aggressive environments where specialist products are required. It has longevity, strength, flexibility, is simple to install and usually has the lowest overall cost.

Naylor offers presentations to architects and engineers on specialist drainage systems which includes more details on material differences. For more information on a Naylor drainage presentation, Naylor's standard clay or specialist Thermachem drainage please contact Naylor on 01226 794056, or

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N.B. The information contained in this entry is provided by Naylor Drainage Ltd, and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

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