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What you need to know about Metal Press Connections

Within this article, Uponor investigate whether you can trust the joint security of a metal press connection


Key takeaways from this article on MLC Press Connections

• Expensive X-ray technology is the only way to ensure a metal press system has been correctly installed
• In order to overcome this issue, the Uponor MLC system comes equipped with a joint inspection window for full reviewing capabilities
• Uponor recently implemented an MLC system in the iconic Strand Palace Hotel in London, UK.


Whether you are a building owner or an installer, it is imperative to know that a plumbing system has been installed correctly and that there are no nasty surprises hiding around the corner, such as a pipe detaching from its connection. As you can imagine, this could lead to flooding and unprecedented damage to a building- very costly indeed!
This type of connection failure is caused by the pipe not being installed to the correct depth.
MLC and copper

The perils of full bore detachment

With metal press fitting systems, these types of failures, commonly known as ‘full bore detachment’ failures, are impossible to predict without the use of X-ray technology. Conducting an X-ray of pipes not only adds costs on to a project, but also means that no work can take place for up to 2-3 days.

Traditional metal press systems completely rely on the installing engineer following an exact process, which includes the use of measuring gauges and calibrated equipment to ensure installation failures are eliminated. When looking at a major residential or commercial project which includes hundreds of connections, it is easy to see how installation errors occur when the process is not followed with 100% accuracy. 

These "errors" are "ticking time bombs", as the pipe could become detached at any time from the fitting. We already know what the consequences of this can be!

What are the alternatives?

Recognising the issues surrounding metal press connections, Uponor have developed an alternative way to create a secure joint that can be easily be reviewed following an installation. We call it our Multi-Layer Composite Pipe (MLCP) system, which comes equipped with a joint inspection window for peace of mind (see above).

As an additional point of security, the foil surrounding the fittings will peel away once a secure joint has been made. So there is no need to leave the site in two minds.  

The MLCP system offers the best of both worlds, as the plastic outer core ensures greater flexibility in tight installation spots and the aluminium core provides a form stable base.

Learn more about the MLCP System

Visit our new dedicated landing page before your next project to learn more about:

1) MLCP and the S-Press Plus range
2) How copper press connections compare to MLCP
3) MLCP supporting literature
4) Projects where MLCP has been used

And if you would like to discuss how the MLCP solution can be included on your next project, please email 
strand london

Strand Palace Hotel, London

Built in 1907, the iconic Strand Palace Hotel required a refurb to its plumbing system. The aim was implement a solution which would provide long term joint security and no risk of leakages.

After early engagement with the M&E Contractor (Working Environments), Uponor delivered an MLCP solution to provide hot and cold water to each room. The MLCP solution was chosen due to many different reasons- joint security technology, minimal number of connections and its immunity to the ravages of corrosion.

The project is due to be finished in 2020 and you can read more about it below. We hope to work with Working Environments across many different projects in the coming years