Stainless Steel Over Copper

Why use Stainless Steel over Copper?

In the world of shower heat recovery, the use of copper as a material for construction is very commonplace. While this is driven by copper’s excellent thermal conductivity, there are a number of drawbacks to copper:

  1. Stainless steel is corrosion-proof

    Shower waste contains not just water, but shampoo, conditioner and occasionally drain cleaners. Hair products are usually acidic (as low as pH 4) and contain a variety of salts; drain cleaners are usually strongly alkali. Acids, alkalis and salinity ALL actively attack copper, corroding it to the point of loss of integrity. Pinhole corrosion is usually the first sign of weakness, where mains pressure water sprays straight from mains into the drain – needlessly and continuously wasting huge amounts of water.

    In contrast, the marine grade 316L Stainless Steel that our products are made from, will, by definition, never corrode in use. Instead it will remain shiny, effective and 100% robust for decades to come.

    Whilst currently $8,500/tonne, copper has ranged from $4,500 in 2020 to $10,500 in 2021 and 2022. Such volatility makes long-term pricing hard. By comparison, stainless steel is a much more stable material for construction.

  2. Copper is attractive to ‘light fingers’ on site.

    With even a single length of copper plumbing pipe selling for over £20, it is not surprising that copper can go ‘missing’ on site. The copper content alone of a shower heat recovery unit could be close to £100, and, as such, is very tempting to the unscrupulous. Stainless Steel does not have the same sort of attraction. For all these reasons, Zypho® has innovated the patented stainless steel vertical heat recovery unit. By clever design, we have increased the heat transfer area, thereby compensating for the lower thermal conductivity of stainless steel.

  3. Very volatile market pricing

    Whilst currently $8,500/tonne, copper has ranged from $4,500 in 2020 to $10,500 in 2021 and 2022. Such volatility makes long-term pricing hard. By comparison, stainless steel is a much more stable material for construction.

For all these reasons, Zypho® has innovated the patented stainless steel vertical heat recovery unit.

By clever design, we have increased the heat transfer area, thereby compensating for the lower thermal conductivity of stainless steel.

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