Twenty-five years of Recyfix
For 25 years, a lightweight recycled composite channel has ensured reliable surface drainage
1995: A novelty from Hauraton causes furore in the industry. Alongside typical drainage systems made of fibre-reinforced concrete, the Baden-based company developed a first ever break-proof and considerably lighter structure made of recycled composite - a sensation which has been successfully making history ever since.
The talk is about Recyfix, the product that celebrates a proud 25th anniversary in 2020. To commemorate the anniversary, it is worth taking a look back at its consistent performance and many further developments.
Entrepreneurial courage leads a new material to success
Can recycled composite compete with concrete? On the part of Hauraton, this meant the following: “We want to try out new things and come up with ideas!” Nowadays, drainage channels made of recycled composite are an established fixture within gardening and landscaping, amongst other areas. Recyfix channels from Hauraton are established as reliable products and have also been used in many other sectors for a long time, such as civil engineering and the construction of sports venues regarding the drainage of surfaces. What initially appeared to be a new alternative to traditional concrete channels 25 years ago can now be found in a wide range of modern drainage systems. Recyfix channels are especially used in heavily-trafficked areas and they can handle more demanding hydraulic requirements due to a large drainage cross-section.
The decision to develop recycled composite as a new material for drainage systems was a courageous step from Hauraton in the middle of the 1990s. Reason for the introduction: the construction industry wanted a high-performance material that was easier to handle than concrete. “We’ve now known for a long time that Recyfix channels offer far more benefits: They can be easily adapted on site and remain aesthetically pleasing for a long time. The material does not corrode and is extremely resistant to breakage - combined with the low weight of the product, it makes transportation much easier”, says Rüdiger Simonis, Senior Export Manager at Hauraton. “These features of recycled composite channels have opened up more potential for us in international markets. At the same time the range and scope of delivery of drainage systems have evolved to handle the requirements of various international market requirements - from Argentina to New Zealand. In addition, aspects such as environmental compatibility and resource conservation have become increasingly important worldwide. From the beginning, the aim for the Recyfix material was to satisfy such requirements – and now the channels are certified by the “Blue Angel” (Blauer Engel) standard. Quite simply, it’s been a success story”, summarises Simonis.
Example 1: Recyfix Pro channels with safety as standard
When erecting modern areas and spaces, the consistently high safety requirements of individual elements is always in focus. They should require as little maintenance as possible whilst still looking visually appealing. Depending on the application, particular features may also be requested. For example, drainage channels must be able to withstand winter salting without being damaged. That’s where Hauraton’s Recyfix Pro channels have made their name. Rust is not an issue even years after installation.
A particular highlight of the product range is the inimitable Fibretec slotted grating made out of a high-performance granulate: a great example of the rapid developments made in these drainage systems over the last few years. Dr. Bernd Schiller, Head of Research at Hauraton, also noted: “The new material from Hauraton allows for styling which makes the product aesthetically independent. Durability and optimised hydraulic performance are other important components.” Meanwhile, the colour is also a key part of this grating. The Fibretec slotted grating is available in Sand, Fern, Stone, and Black versions.
In addition, Recyfix Pro channels can be used in areas with particularly stringent safety requirements. For example, when building railway platforms and bus stops, all live elements must be earthed accordingly. If, on the other hand, non-conductive elements such as Recyfix Pro channels are used then this can save a great deal of time and effort on the construction site.
Example 2: Recyfix NC for heavily-trafficked areas
Drainage systems made of recycled composite were previously not used for areas with heavy traffic. Traditionally, heavily used areas were candidates for solid concrete. However, Hauraton’s Recyfix NC is a recycled composite channel that can also withstand the heaviest loads: making it ideal for areas that have high wheel loads.
Recyfix NC channels can be ideally combined with products from the Recyfix Pro range and provide an intelligent addition to the existing range. The drainage system in areas such as driveways, loading and unloading areas, or receiving departments allows for greater loads to be handled flexibly.
As is the case with all Recyfix drainage systems, NC channels satisfy all EN 1433 requirements and ensure the highest levels of safety. The channels can handle loads up to class E 600. Including the grating, a channel with a nominal width of 100 weighs around eleven kilograms - a genuine lightweight!
Example 3: Recyfix Monotec for tough uses
The Recyfix Monotec high-performance drainage system is specially designed for traffic areas, parks, and commercial spaces. Car parks, landscaped areas or large sealed areas that require effective drainage of surface water are preferred areas of use for the Recyfix Monotec. Strong, robust, simple to install - those are the features which set this high-performance channel apart. The tongue and groove elements on the channels enable simple assembly of moulded parts whilst also making alignment of the channel simpler, reducing the installation time for contractors.
The whole unit consists of tough, practically unbreakable polypropylene (PP). It is extremely resistant against daily changes in temperature from frosty conditions to bright sunshine. Furthermore, PP is naturally resistant to gritting salt. It gains its UV resistance via the use of a suitable stabiliser - the structural integrity of the material is not affected whilst its appearance remains uniform.