Arkema's Rilsan® PA11-a high performance polymer of 100% renewable non food-crop origin-is the first high performance polyamide to be allowed in the USA for high pressure natural gas distribution pipelines, in replacement of steel, the company release said. The US Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has allowed Arkema's petitions to increase the Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure for Rilsan® PA11 gas distribution piping to up to 200 psig. Rilsan® PA11 can be used in gas distribution systems for construction projects for 2009, in diameters up to 4-inch without the need for special permits. Arkema's Rilsan® PA11 is now the first High Performance Polyamide to be approved in the USA for pipelines conveying high pressure natural gas in regulated distribution markets with high safety requirements.
As per the company, the approval comes after more than 10 years of extensive laboratory research and testing, including US Department of Transportation supervised field trials under special permits with gas companies in seven states. The company says Rilsan® PA11 pipes offer all the advantages of conventional polyethylene pipes at the operating pressures of steel, and the same cost benefits, including coiled pipe that can be plowed or planted, joining by butt fusion and electrofusion, and ability to squeeze off. Corrosion-free pipes made from Rilsan® PA11 have been stated to be a cost-efficient solution to replace older steel and cast-iron mains and service lines.