HDPE pressure pipes have been in use in Europe for decades and there are new grades of materials from companies such as SABIC, but the construction industry is very conservative and testing must be extensive before a new product is adopted. Egeplast Wener Strumann has a new high pressure pipe from polyethylene. Univation Technologies has a new single-reactor bimodal PE 100 HDPE. PVC formulations are changing in line with European guidelines and there are new stabilisation systems. Shin-Etsu PVC has looked at pipes produced with these new materials.
Pipe construction is becoming more complex to provide the very high performance needed for some applications. The Flemish Water Company (VMW) has a pipe network of 30,600 km: it has been testing a new large diameter pressure pipe and fittings system and found a solution. Radius Systems has a skinned pipe to give higher strength and UV resistance and Aliaxis has been ageing multilayer pipe in water containing chlorine dioxide. Reinforced pipe is used extensively in the Middle East region to overcome challenges; Firat Plastik Kaucuk has developed thick, long fibre-reinforced HDPE pressure pipes. PVC can be molecularly oriented to give a new range of pipes – Molecor has developed the production technology for big diameter, high pressure applications. Cincinnati Extrusion has a complete system for energy-efficient large diameter pressure pipe production.
Chemical resistance is important in some water pipes and industrial plant. Bodycote Testing Group has been looking at methods of testing the chlorine resistance of different polyolefins. PVC has natural chemical resistance, which can give advantages in plastic pressure pipes according to Solvin. Non-destructive testing (NDT) is a useful tool, particularly on site. RWTH Aachen University has developed a method using mobile NMR.
Besides domestic supply, plastic pipe is being used in oilfield applications. Wellstream International has an unbonded flexible pipe for offshore use.
Lifetime predictions are critical for the pipeline industry where failure must be avoided. Kiwa Gas Technology has developed a quantitative model for physical ageing of PVC gas pipes. Hessel Ingenieurtechnik has looked at designs using PE 100-RC in water and gas pipelines to calculate a minimum service life of 100 years. Plastic Pressure Pipes 2009 takes place just before Sewerage & Drainage Pipe 2009 at the same venue to enable plastics pipe experts to attend both events at minimal cost. What developments are going to have an impact on the market? What are the latest issues for the pipeline industry? Research is expensive – find out what has already been done and learn from top experts. From new build to rehabilitation of existing pipelines, plastics pipes are making inroads across the globe.
The second AMI international conference on Plastic Pressure Pipes takes place from 5-7 October 2009 at the Maritim Hotel in Cologne , Germany , bringing together leading experts in pipeline technology.