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Corrosion in radiators is an all-too common problem, causing many commercial premises to suffer from under-performing heating and then the disruption and expense of maintenance and repairs. Now, however, Zehnder has come up with a solution by introducing radiator components formed from polymers instead of metal. Unlike conventional, pressed steel radiators, the new Zehnder Zmart Flex distributes warmth via a polymer heating register and comprises a network of plastic tubes behind an aluminium front casing. This first-of-a-kind technology heralds a new era of lighter and longer-lasting radiators.
This is the biggest innovation in radiator design since bulky cast iron radiators were replaced by sleeker pressed steel models in the early 1970s, but the plumbing and heating industry has already been using polymer components, of course, for more than three decades. In pipes, pipe elbows, compression fittings, and connectors, polymers have proven capable of distributing hot water perfectly well. And now Zehnder’s research and development has proven that the hard-wearing polymer polybutane works just as well inside a radiator.
Polymer components became popular in plumbing, in comparison with the traditional copper alternative, because they are easier to install and maintain, less prone to pitting and lime-scale, totally resistant to corrosion, and more durable. Those same advantages are true when polymer is used instead of steel for the heating register inside a radiator. Even when installed within a system with poor water quality, the performance is not impaired.
As well as being unrivalled in its corrosion-resistance, the Zmart Flex is 60% lighter than steel alternatives, which means it can be more easily transported and lifted, and can be positioned and installed by a single person. With the added advantage of patented 360⁰ flexible flow and return tubes that connect to any valve arrangement and give the freedom to fit wherever there’s pipework, the Zmart has been shown to consistently reduce installation times by 30%.