Taking a look at VIP Polymers

Taking a look at VIP Polymers

If there’s one company that can seal the deal for tradespeople its VIP Polymers. Professional Builder’s Lee Jones charts the manufacturer’s heritage and its extensive current range.

VIP Polymers has called its current Huntingdon manufacturing and distribution site home for 40 years, but the business has much deeper roots in the industry. In fact, 2023 marked the 100th anniversary of its inception as the Victualic Company, together with a separate rubber making division known as Victualic Industrial Polymers. Since then, the pipe seal and gaskets expert has accrued a century of experience in the field, and the result is the extensive VIPSeal range of solutions.

Pipe technology is moving apace, with changes to materials, dimensions, and designs. Professional Builder was recently privileged to an insightful behind the scenes view of what VIPSeal is doing to keep abreast of that progress, maintain a market-leading position, and produce products that perform.

At its Cambridgeshire facility an in-house development and quality department sees the chemists behind the VIPSeal brand utilise the highest quality raw materials in devising new formulas. The company provides products for drinking water solutions, as well as the sewer and waste sector, and it is that diversity that demands a range of different materials and technologies, each of which must suit the application and relevant regulations. It is here that what rolls from the production line is also tested to ensure a consistent finish, whilst compounds with bespoke features and dimensions can be fabricated for specific clients.

Indeed one of VIP-Polymers strengths is that it works hard to conform to the various product and water approval schemes Worldwide. What that demands is a continuous regime of testing, carried out on both the natural and synthetic rubber compounds it produces, as well as the finished products.

Last year VIP Polymers celebrated 100 years in business

The VIP-Polymers production facility is an extensive industrial environment that covers an area of more than six football pitches. Over 60 tonnes of rubber are consumed each and every week and what emerges is a product range that extends to up to 10,000 individual variations. It is here that an 80-strong workforce manufactures gaskets for pipes of practically any material or dimension from 12mm to 3000mm+ – with the larger diameters made to order for what is typically a next day delivery. That’s a service and output that is maintained by considerable investment, with the recent addition of three of the latest and most advanced injection moulding machines totalling £1.8million alone.

VIPSeal Standard Coupling (VSC)

Ease of installation is uppermost in the development process of all of VIPSeal’s solutions, and its couplings are a case in point. Designed for the joining and repairing of low pressure and non pressure pipes, VIPSeal Standard Couplings (VSCs) can withstand up to 2.5 bar. A robust EPDM rubber and stainless steel construction is complemented by a flexibility in application, with a range that will fit on pipes from 50mm – 620mm.

The fitting itself is a very straightforward process. Firstly, it’s simply a matter of cutting and removing the section of damaged pipe. In order to ensure even coverage of the seal across the joints it’s then necessary to measure the width of the coupling and mark half a coupling width on each pipe and the repair section. Next, loosen the tension and shear band and slide the couplings fully onto each section of the existing pipe. Position the new section of pipe and centre the coupling over the repair joint using the marks you previously made.

Once in place tighten the tension bands followed by the shear band on each joint. Once all worm drive bolts have been checked with a torque wrench and tightened to the recommended torque which is displayed on the labelling of each coupling – you’ll be left with a completely watertight repair.

VIPSeal Plumb

The VIPSeal Plumb Plumbing Range is similarly installer friendly. Indeed, all that’s typically needed to make use of this multipurpose range of couplers, adaptors, elbows, tees, and end caps is a torque wrench, screwdriver, nut driver or socket. If you find yourself in a tight spot – under a basin, sink, bath, for example – these products will equally be your friend.

Designed for connecting pipes of any materials with differing outside diameters, VIPSeal Plumb has flexibility as its guiding principle. The EPDM units will connect plain ended pipes of the same or different diameters and – in common with the aforementioned VSC solution – damaged pipework can be repaired by using short sections of pipe together with the VIPSeal Plumb EPDM fittings – with a watertight seal the result.

VIP Polymers has remained at the forefront in sectors where failure is not an option. Its solutions combine versatility with user friendliness for the installer and the range is extensive.

For further information on the VIPSeal Standard Couplings visit VSC Standard Couplings – 50mm – 620mm (vipseal.co.uk).

For further information on the VIPSeal Plumb range visit VIPSealPlumb – Plumbing Range – VIPseal.

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