The choice for those who want the best.
Market statistics clearly show two things:
1) Pressfitting technology is widely used in the richest and most technologically advanced European countries (Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Scandinavian countries, etc.).
2) Sales data is continuously increasing and in the next few years the trend is destined to grow even more.
Experts in the HVAC sector know that within the wide range of products and solutions for heating and plumbing systems, the metal pressfitting is the most reliable choice. This conclusion comes from long-term experience. Introduced on the market 40 years ago, we can now see the durability of the system over time and the absence of critical issues.
Pressfitting technology combined with steel is the state of the art in plumbing.
Comparison with other materials
Whether assembled by polyfusion, tightening, or the push-fit technique, Polypropylene (PPR) pipes and fittings have the advantage of costing less, weighing less, and being easily recyclable, but at the expense of poor hygienic performance (risk of release of pollutants into the transported fluid), lower durability, sensitivity to temperature changes, and less structural strength.
Although it is a very old technique, threaded iron is still widely used by Italian plumbers, both out of habit and because the material is cheap. Although it offers a longer service life than plastic, the installation time is much longer, which has a significant impact on the total cost calculation. Plus, the material is very heavy and demanding to handle. Threading is a challenging operation and not without risks for the operator.
Welded copper is still widely used, especially for GAS systems. Although it is a noble material with excellent resistance to corrosion and is recyclable, welding significantly increases installation time and costs and requires expert labour. The use of open flames lowers the health and safety of the workplace. PRESSED copper is undoubtedly an excellent solution, but Stainless Steel is more exemplary from a hygiene point of view, more structurally solid, and often more convenient from the economic point of view (since copper is subject to unpredictable market fluctuations).
Multi-layer (Pex-Al-Pex) is a material that combines plastic with an aluminium core. Some types of pressed multi-layer end up costing even more than Stainless Steel. In general, this is a valid solution whose advantages include lightness, simplicity in working, and speed of installation. On the other hand: it is not ecological since it is very complex to recycle; it can release pollutants; it has technical limits regarding thermal expansion and pressure drop; and it has a limited range of diameters (generally up to 75mm). All aspects which clearly show the superiority of stainless steel.