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Maestrini, modular innovation for marine use

italian yacht accessories
italian yacht products
Alberto Schenone, Technical Quality Engineer at Maestrini

Unions, strainers, flanges, valves and a complete range of marine products, designed and made in various materials, both constantly available from an over-2,500 items-strong catalogue, and custom-built. A broad product offering flanked by a careful support service that makes Maestrini a well-qualified and reliable partner where tradition and innovation form a natural and winning synergy. Confirming this is the international customer portfolio that is constantly increasing and can benefit from the added value that comes from the continuing investments, that allow the company to satisfy an increasingly competitive market through intense research and development, leading to the launch of new high-performance products.

Not least among these is the first marine valve completely designed and manufactured internally, developed at the headquarters in Quarona Sesia (VC) and presented to the trade about a year ago, followed by a number of other different and no less important innovations, introduced quietly but nevertheless worth mentioning.

New Maestrini’s valve, a modular product

We wish to remember and underline,” says engineer Alberto Schenone, Technical Quality Engineer at Maestrini, “the sense of achievement that the launch of the new valve on the market gave us, together with the awareness that it was both a milestone for the company and the first step towards the completion of a broad and ambitious project.”

Once the project is completed, the sea valve developed by Maestrini will be a modular product that can satisfy the needs of customers ranging from the yachtsmen looking for a superior quality product specifically designed for nautical use, to international shipbuilders who will benefit from a product designed with a careful eye on all the regulations, extremely versatile and ready for use in complex and advanced monitoring and remote control systems.

We’ll return in greater detail in the future on the modular systems we are developing,” says Schenone. “At this point it is worth mentioning the polymer ball in the valve, because during its development we devised an improvement of the union with the operating shaft that could increase the overall reliability of the valve.”

A very interesting and important improvement, and the company has applied for a patent. “A further improvement which,” says Schenone, “in addition to the repositionable lever, means the Maestrini ball valve enters the market with two patented innovative details.”

Continuous innovation, from valves to strainer baskets

maestrini strainer
Strainer basket in PP

Still talking of the introduction of new materials, the company has also enlarged the range of strainer baskets in polypropylene for in-line and bracket-mounted strainers.

We began rather quietly,” says Schenone, “to introduce filter cartridges in HDPE for the smaller strainers in the “Pisa” and “Amalfi” families. Our aim was to replace the traditional stainless steel mesh with a material with higher resistance to corrosion, since in the smaller strainers the cartridges could not be fitted with a sacrificial anode in zinc.”

The results were very encouraging, showing no adverse side effects on strainer flow rates. “For this reason,” says Schenone, “we saw the opportunity to replace the stainless steel baskets also on the more popular “Genova” and “Venezia” strainers, proceeding carefully model by model in order to be sure through flow rate tests that the baskets in PP were fully interchangeable with the previous ones in stainless steel.”

The main advantage of this interchangeability is the elimination of all the issues of basket corrosion, with the additional feature that the colour-coded handles identify the basket size, making it much easier to get the correct spare parts.

Complete closure without seepage at extremely low pressure

To complete the overview on the introduction of new materials, Maestrini has also worked on the siphon break valves.

Thanks to the suppport of our rubber compounds suppliers,” says Schenone, “we identified a silicon rubber compound for the ball of the traditional siphon break valve that makes it possible to have the valve completely closed without seeping at differential pressure as low as 0.3 bar.”

maestrini accessories
Also available in CR brass, the siphon break valves are reliable in all operating conditions

The siphon break valve is meant to open and let air in when the internal pressure in a pipe drops below that of the surrounding environment, to avoid backflow due to the siphon effect. Obviously the valve must remain closed in the reverse case, when pressure in the pipe is greater than outside. “However, ” says Schenone, “while the internal pressure is mounting there may be seepage through the valve until the pressure differential is high enough to close it tight. The lower the pressure required to close the valve the less water seeps through“.

To satisfy the needs of particular users who work with very low pressures and/or cannot accept even a transient seepage, Maestrini also developed a siphon break valve with a silicon rubber lip-shaped plug that can close the valve tight at just 0.1 bar. Last, but not least, all half-inch siphon break valves and their installation accessories are now available also in CR brass.

The company has also introduced some new products in the through-hull fittings range. “The new installation tools,” says Schenone, “represent a complement of our through-hull fittings range up to 4”; coming in three models, the first covers sizes from 1/2” to 2”, the second from 2”1/2 to 3” and the third is for 4” fittings”.

These simple and effective tools in nickel-plated steel can simplify installation considerably, and they are suitable for both amateur and professional use.

To complete this overview of new products,” says Schenone, “let me mention the intake strainers and through-hull outlets in CR brass with a built-in hexagon in the shaft for easier installation, especially dedicated to do-it-yourself enthusiasts.