Australian choice for Vietnamese cold store

An Australian-manufactured electrical and safety conduit with halogen-free flame retardant properties has been selected for use in the most advanced cold storage facility in Vietnam.

The tough flexible CalAir HFT conduit — which is many times lighter and easier to install than metal conduit — has been used by Vietnamese mechanical, electrical and erection contracting specialist HCM at the Swire Pacific Cold Storage’s (SPCS) facility 15km from Ho Chi Minh City.

The job has involved more than 1200 metres of the conduit, which is used in this application to carry electrical cabling but which can also be used within safety equipment such as aspiration systems and air sampling systems that to protect against smoke and toxicity.

Swire Cold Store Project Manager Luong Ngoc Thinh says the CalAir conduit was used in the freezer room of the fully racked Swire facility, which offers 3,000,000 cubic feet of refrigerated space, 12,500 pallet locations, two seafood inspection rooms and a fully equipped micro-biological laboratory to serve the growing domestic and export oriented Vietnamese perishable food industries.

“We used it because it is quick and simple to install in the freezer room, where temperatures go down to -25 deg C,” Thinh says. “Installed under the insulation panel rooftop, the HFT conduit has the capacity to withstand low temperatures while being much lighter and easier to use than galvanized iron alternatives.”

CalAir’s HFT conduit was introduced as an Australian-made alternative to imported types typically costing more than twice as much. About 2.6km of the product has already been used by the United Group on the Epping-to-Chatswood rail link in Sydney, but the Swire project is the first major export application of the product.

CalAir Managing Director John McNab says the use of the conduit by HCM on the Swire project is a breakthrough into a new and potentially large market for the product.

SPCS is one of the Swire Groups’ 60 cold storage facilities in the United States, Australia and Asia. SPCS is a founding member of Vietnam Cold Chain Group and an active participant in the development and education of those involved in refrigerated food handling and distribution in Vietnam.

SPCS also offers 4,500 pallet positions of air-conditioned storage tailored for the document storage industry, pharmaceutical, chocolate and wine storage.

Now available in diameters from 20 — 110mm in response to demand in Australia and New Zealand, CalAir’s HFT conduit is especially formulated to meet high fire safety requirements in surface and sub-surface applications.

Producing no corrosive or toxic flue gases in the event of a fire, the flame-retardant, low toxicity HFT range of polymer conduit is designed for use in situations where there are high concentrations of people, high concentrations of assets or risk of high costs due to production interruption.

Applications include advanced technology industrial plants, mines, tunnels, airports, subway systems, power plants, oil refineries, lifts, emergency plants, ships, aircraft, trains, computer and telecommunication installations. It can also be used in hospitals, schools, hotels, museums, theatres, shopping centres and conference centres.

Mr McNab says the new conduit is the result of an extensive research and development programme designed to overcome hurdles in producing flame-retardant pipe and conduit without degrading their overall performance, including impact resistance or pressure capability.

The HFT conduit is complemented by both standard glued type fittings or high performance IP67 fittings

CalAir expanded conduit system is designed for radically simplified erection, disassembly and recycling within a fraction of the time taken to construct and change traditional metal alternative conduits.

“Weighing just one eighth the weight of galvanised steel, for example, it can be easily installed with far fewer OHS issues than heavier materials,” McNab says.

“Also, its flexibility enables it to confirm readily to irregular contours, such as those encountered in tunnels and trenches. This flexibility and ease of installation can produce considerable savings.”

Properties of the new HFT range include:

• No fire transmission or fire propagation

• Low density and minimal formation of flue gases in the event of a fire

• Low smoke, zero halogen (LSZH)

• High temperature resistance

• Low toxicity, non corrosive

• High impact properties and stiffness

• Excellent electrical and dielectrical properties

• Available in sizes 20-110mm

The range is manufactured to the same standards of durability and quality as CalAir gas and liquid pipe systems used in 6,500 applications in Australia and internationally.

For more information about CalAir Pipe Systems please contact Mr John S. McNab, 6 Edwards Road, Dural, NSW 2158, Australia, Ph 1 300 304 246, website, email

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