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Fired clay as water pipes?  RSS feed

 
Philippe Elskens
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I'm trying to figure out what to use best as water pipes. Would like to be as ecological and healthy as possible (so wherever possible avoid plastic) and cheap (so trying to avoid copper). Would it be possible to mold pipes out of clay and fire them (similar to Nader Khalili's ceramic houses=Geltaftan technique). I'm unsure how watertight this would be? I could probably use it to guide rainwater to plants where some leaking is not really bad? But could it even be good enough for pipes in the house, gutters, or even water reservoirs?
I was thinking of using a Fresnel lens to heat the clay...
 
David Livingston
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Drainage pipes I dug up in the UK were fired clay , salt glazed and unglazed ,.
Cost relative to plastic halted their production I think .
Not so sure how easy your lens idea would work .

David
 
Glenn Herbert
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A fresnel lens would have to be huge and focusing on a small, highly insulated zone to reach the 1800-2000F temperatures needed. It would also have to heat up and cool down slowly, over a matter of hours at least. Thus it would not be a practical method for firing clay, especially at the large quantities needed for water piping. A wood-fired kiln can be built anywhere there is an adequate supply of wood and clay, and *with experience* you can fire pottery, tiles or pipes in quantity.

It would cost much more than plastic pipe in today's economy, but the skill to do it would be a valuable thing to preserve for a future where plastic is no longer common.
 
Philippe Elskens
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Glenn Herbert wrote:A fresnel lens would have to be huge and focusing on a small, highly insulated zone to reach the 1800-2000F temperatures needed. It would also have to heat up and cool down slowly, over a matter of hours at least. Thus it would not be a practical method for firing clay, especially at the large quantities needed for water piping. A wood-fired kiln can be built anywhere there is an adequate supply of wood and clay, and *with experience* you can fire pottery, tiles or pipes in quantity.

It would cost much more than plastic pipe in today's economy, but the skill to do it would be a valuable thing to preserve for a future where plastic is no longer common.


I could probably use a rocket stove or so for the firing, but why I was thinking of the lens is that it might be possible to do that while they are already in place (despite problems you mentioned which might make the idea impossible). As apposed to baking in a fire, where the end product would be individual pipes. How to connect these watertight?:-s
 
David Livingston
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As for watertight I doubt the drainage pipes ever were .
I am sure some sort of rubber ring could help.
Just a thought how about concrete you just have to cast them no firing . Ok not as ecologically sound as clay but not that different when you consider it .

David
 
Glenn Herbert
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Ceramic materials being brittle, it is actually a benefit to have individual sections of pipe with joints; otherwise there would be guaranteed to be cracks in random places from settling or temperature changes, and possibly major leakage.
 
Jenna Ferresty
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We have clay pipes on our land that were probably part of the original construction. Some time of the last 50 years they have stopped being functional as pipes and have had to be dug up and replaced. We used plastic as a replacement, which is not ecologically friendly, but it is really hard to find clay pipes these days.
 
eric koperek
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TO: Philippe Elskens
FROM: Eric Koperek = erickoperek@gmail.com
SUBJECT: Clay Water Pipes
DATE: PM 7:33 Thursday 12 May 2016
TEXT:

(1) Salt glazed clay pipes make great water conduits. I grew up in a 400 year old house where water was delivered in stone and clay conduits.

(2) Commercial clay drainage tile (4 inches inside diameter) is your best bet. This is ideal for spring houses, cisterns, reservoirs, watering troughs, large stone sinks, and similar applications.

(3) If conducting water any distance watch your incline carefully. Slope above 4 degrees will cause too much water pressure which will burst your conduit. 2 degree slope is standard for most plumbing applications.

ERIC KOPEREK = erickoperek@gmail.com

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