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A recent presentation given on behalf of PVC4Pipes to an International Congress hosted by CEOCOR in Florence has demonstrated evidence of the long term behavior of PVC pipe systems. Joel Fumire, a Belgian expert in plastic pipe design, explained that PVC oriented pipe systems provide improved impact strength and higher pressure resistance.

“The enhanced mechanical properties of the oriented variety allow a reduction in wall thickness. This means a weight reduction of more than 40 percent alongside a decrease in pipe cost and its environmental impact,” he stated.  

Attended by representatives from technical institutes, water, gas and oil distribution companies, the congress was informed about the various processes for making molecularly oriented systems.  Fumire also compared the long term pressure resistance of these pipe systems with standard PVC-U. “PVC pipes have been in service for more than seventy years and some may even continue performing well for another seventy years. They neither corrode nor require protection that is needed by metal pipes.”  

“And if you look at the burst pressure curves from testing different grades of PVC-O pipes, their tough qualities become evident. These qualities are now recognized in major European water and gas distribution markets where acceptance of this new generation of plastic pipes is leading to replacement and renovation of aged steel pipe networks.”  

Fumire also noted that chemical resistance to normal additives such as oxidizing agents added to the drinking water was an advantage for both types of PVC pipe materials. “Resistance to chemicals and particularly acids such as H2S and H2SO4 is similarly a very important requirement for sewer pipes. Testing according to ISO/TR 10358 has already confirmed that PVC is highly resistant to these acids.”

Further environmental benefits were derived from PVC foam core pipes. “These non-pressure pipes can be made lighter through co-extrusion of a foam layer between the thin compact layers. Foams in pipes have a density of approx. 0.7 g/cm³ (compared with 1.4 g/cm³ for standard PVC). This means that the environmental impact is lower and even further reduced by incorporating significant levels of recycled material in the central layer of the pipe.”

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