Industry News

Time saving analysis for Supertube

Nick Hayler, Technical and Product QA Manager from Marshall-Tufflex explains to apprentices how its MT Supertube is helping contractors speed up installation times and reduce costs.

There’s a saying amongst installers that’s worth repeating; “electrical systems are only as reliable as the conduit systems that protects them”. It’s totally true; without the proper protection electrical systems can become exposed in extreme circumstances. This can cause serious problems, leading to fires and structural damage that can cost untold amounts to fix. That’s why it’s essential that apprentices know the importance of fitting an effective conduit system that provides the necessary resistance to extreme temperatures and chemicals.

The problem with steel

Apprentices should be aware that historically industrial strength conduit systems have been manufactured from galvanised steel. Whilst extremely strong, steel conduit systems are inflexible and are difficult to bend into shape. As a result, installers need to use multiple fittings to hold the system into place. However, having to install several fittings is a time-consuming endeavour. What’s more, as steel conduit systems are only available in specific lengths, installers have to make several cuts to trim them. This means there is often a lot of waste material, which represents a further unnecessary cost.

For many years, there was no real alternative for installers. Instead, attempts to reduce costs were made by speeding up installation times. Unfortunately, this has been a dangerous endeavour as it can make installations less reliable. Fortunately, there is now an alternative that is making installations quicker and less expensive, which apprentices stand to benefit from. Marshall-Tufflex’s MT Supertube is a three layer heavy duty conduit, comprising of a continuous aluminium tube plus internal and external layers of polyethylene. The product has excellent EMI screening properties and can be installed on average three times as fast as steel alternatives.

Getting to know MT Supertube

The ability to safely install conduit systems quicker than before is helping firms to reduce contractor costs. On large projects, this can be a significant saving. In fact, on most large jobs shifting to MT Supertube can reduce installation costs by more than 50%. Similarly, as the MT Supertube can be bent into position using only hands there is no need for additional specialist equipment, or products. Additionally, unlike steel systems, the product can be supplied in continuous lengths of up to 100 metres, meaning it requires fewer fittings per installation and results in minimal waste.

Despite being quicker to install, MT Supertube provides the same resistance as galvanised steel alternatives. This is due to the system’s innovative three-layer Low Smoke Zero Halogen (LS0H) polyethylene and aluminium construction. As a result, the MT Supertube offers extremely good EMI cable protection and resistance to extremes of temperature and chemicals. This high level of performance ensures the product confirms with the EMC directive in regard to EMI shielding. Furthermore, once laid, the solution does not require any further maintenance throughout its lifecycle.

Additional benefits of MT Supertube

Thanks to the material’s reduced weight it can also be supplied to site in coils, which facilitates easy movement without the need for hoists. Furthermore, despite featuring minimal metal, the system can be buried in concrete and detected by a CAT detector.

Whether you’re a time-served veteran, or an apprentice that’s just getting started in the installation industry it’s important to know about conduit system alternatives like Marshall-Tufflex’s MT Supertube. Despite being relatively new, the system is already changing how many firms go about installing effective conduit systems. When product and labour costs are taken into account, the new system is far more cost-effective than galvanised steel alternatives and far easier to transport.

To find out more about Marshall-Tufflex’s extensive range of solutions, including the MT Supertube, please visit