Five decades after Swedish engineer Gunnar Larsson first unveiled the advantages of pressfitting connection technology, Geberit Mapress, the market-leading pressfitting system, celebrates its golden anniversary.
As it marks the 50th anniversary since its conception, Geberit Mapress is today the preferred pipework conncetion system for installers working on projects large and small, and both new build and retro-fit. With a pressing procedure that has changed very little over time, Geberit Mapress was and still very much is an innovative and revolutionary connection method for metal pipework, but it is only now that the many benefits of pressfitting technology are fully being realised.
In 1963, the original product range comprised various pressfittings for copper, steel and stainless steel pipes with diameters from 6 to 28 mm as well as a hydraulic pressing tool and diverse pressing jaws. The very first generation of pressfittings already had a pleated end containing a seal ring. The fittings were pushed over a deburred metal pipe by hand and could then be pressed using the pressing tool. The pressing sequence deformed the fitting and pipe slightly, which created a lengthways non-positive connection. At the same time, the pleated end with the seal ring was crimped snugly on the pipe, thereby ensuring a permanently sealed joint. To this day, the procedure is essentially the same.
But it wasnt until the German corporation Mannesmann AG acquired the rights to manufacture and sell pressfittings and after a long series of tests confirmed that stainless steel pipes and pressfittings were suitable for drinking water supply lines that Mapress pressing technology began to get the credit it was due.
With continual product development and expansion Mapress carbon and stainless steel piping systems were increasingly used for more than simple domestic installations and the system quickly won the trust of engineers working in plant engineering and shipbuilding too.
The dawn of the new millennium brought with it the introduction of the contour seal, with a pressure test easily determining whether any joints had been left unpressed during installation. This, coupled with the introduction of copper Mapress systems, saw what began as a simple innovation from the mind of Larsson nearly 40 years before, finally begin to take off, even in traditional copper markets such as the UK.
As a company that has introduced revolutionary pre-wall technology to the sanitary world, Geberit was keen to offer installers a piping system designed for tight space restrictions behind the wall. Geberit Mepla was launched in 1990, offering multilayer pipes with an aluminium core that could be bent by hand and featuring pressfitting technology to make them very simple to work with.
The successful introduction of Mepla, led Geberit to acquire the Mapress business in 2004, in order to offer a seamless piping product range in all dimensions, suitable for all applications. Using compatible adapters, the two piping systems can even be easily connected to one another.
Five years later, the innovative pressing indicator was added to the system, further simplifying the installers work by visibly ensuring that the whole system has been pressed and is leak-free. Fifty years after the pressfitting concept came into being, it is now fast becoming the preferred option for plumbers and heating engineers up and down the land.