Subterranean pipes are subjected to extensive environmental effects both during and after installation, from the potential for damage during handling to the pressure and abrasion of soil in situ. In addition, the pipe contents may exert both pressure and chemical effects depending on the application. Due to these issues, there is extensive international regulation of pipes from gas mains to drinking water. AMI's Plastics in Underground Pipes 2009 conference provides a forum to debate the latest innovations in plastic pipe technology for buried applications. It takes place May 6-7, 2009 at the Radisson Resort Orlando in the sunshine state of Florida.
Plastics have now been in use for over 50 years and long-term performance can be more accurately tested and predicted. The University of Illinois and the Polymer Competence Center Leoben have both carried out work on lifetime prediction of plastic pipes. Very large diameter plastic pipes are now in regular use in regions such as Scandinavia and are penetrating North American markets, pioneered by KWH Pipe. Pipe Coil Technology has new equipment for coiling larger diameter pipes.
PVC technology is advancing with fusible grades and new pipe production methods to cut costs and improve properties.
Pipe rehabilitation technologies utilize plastics in many forms, including replacement pipe which can be pulled into place (such as Performance Pipe), and liners of thermoplastic or thermoset. Ultraliner and Insituform Technologies have worked on trenchless technologies including water mains. The Plastic Pipe Institute has focused on research into polyolefin pipes in this field.
Plastics have been used in open-pit nickel mines with some success, a project assisted by LyondellBasell. Other research on pipe polymers includes a new bimodal HDPE from Univation Technologies and improvements in stabilizers from Albemarle. Cincinnati is a leader in extrusion machinery.
PVC pipe manufacturing is advancing, with direct calcium carbonate addition from Omya, and molecular orientation production from Molecor. Pipe joining is also developing, with solvent systems from IPS Corp. and the latest fusible PVC from Underground Solutions.
Tri/Environmental has produced highway drainage pipes using recycled material, giving a double benefit.
Plastic pipe in water resource management is a key application for Isco Industries. Many manufacturers, such as Polypipe, have expertise in design of pipe systems.
The construction industry is in a state of flux and it is important to keep up to date with the latest market trends to accurately target business goals. Plastics in Underground Pipes 2009 provides a unique opportunity for civil engineers, pipe manufacturers and the supply chain to get together and debate the latest technology and market trends