PVC piping systems show a good balance between stiffness and flexibility
Due to their flexibility PVC pipelines can accommodate minor ground movements and seismic forces. This means they will not break or leak in service.
PVC piping systems are very light yet strong
This makes them easy to handle on site during installation, but highly durable in use.
PVC piping systems are easy to transport
It is possible to carry 8 times as many PVC sewer pipes on a single lorry than concrete pipes, so taking PVC pipes to the site has a lower environmental impact.
PVC piping systems are easy to install
The lightweight of PVC pipes makes them very easy to handle; for small diameter pipes, no cranes are needed on site.
PVC piping systems can last up to 100 years without losing their properties
Independent studies on PVC pipes excavated after 60 years in service have shown that their major mechanical and physical properties are as good as new; service lives of 100 years or more are predicted on the basis of these and other publicly available results.
PVC piping systems offer an unmatched value for money
Excellent cost-price performance comes as a result of relevant aspects such as optimised production, low transport costs, long-term durability and excellent life cycle performance.
PVC pipes can be used for numerous purposes
These include the delivery of safe drinking water, the removal of waste (sewage), for collecting rainwater, for underground drainage and for the protection of electrical cables.
PVC piping systems are eco-friendly
The environmental impact of the manufacture of a product can be assessed using Life Cycle Analysis (LCA). LCA studies of PVC pipes used for providing drinking water, the removal of sewage and other waste products have shown PVC systems to have a lower environmental impact than non-plastics systems used for the same purpose.
PVC piping systems can be recycled
PVC is a thermoplastic material which can be reground then re-processed to produce new PVC products. This is in contrast to other non-metallic materials which can only be broken up for re-use as rubble hard-core. In 2012, in Europe, PVC recycling reached over 360,000 tonnes per annum, avoiding the need to send this material to landfill. For more detailed information on PVC recycling, go to VinylPlus.
PVC piping systems are ideal design and construction tools
PVC piping systems are available in diameters ranging from 10 mm to 1200 mm, making them suitable for almost any construction project. There is also an extensive range of PVC fittings enabling adaptation to most designs. Pipes and fittings are standardized, so that PVC pipe systems from different manufacturers are interchangeable, guaranteeing water tight seals when using products supplied by different manufacturers.
PVC piping systems still suffer from an unjustified reputation
PVC piping systems are subjected to the same criticisms that have been levelled at the whole PVC industry for many years – that they are toxic, damaging to the environment and should not be used. Like many other materials, the manufacture of PVC involves the use of potentially hazardous chemicals. Such manufacturing methods are very closely regulated. In the case of PVC, the potentially hazardous chemicals are converted into non-hazardous ones (e.g. chlorine is converted into PVC) or they are disposed of in a safe and controlled manner as a part of the manufacturing process. In any event, no hazardous chemicals remain in the PVC powder which is subsequently used to make PVC piping systems. Today, PVC is probably the world’s most researched plastic/polymer. Extremely strict guidelines govern PVC manufacture and workers’ exposure. A substantial volume of research and over 50 years of experience supports the fact that PVC can be safely used even in the most sensitive of applications (such as medical devices and drinking water). PVC is one of the most recyclable of polymers but can be disposed of, if required, quite safely.
PVC pipes require very little maintenance
PVC pipes have smooth internal surfaces, giving excellent flow characteristics. They do not suffer from corrosion in high humidity or salt atmospheres and have excellent chemical resistance against aggressive fluids internally and soil (acids, alkalis and contamination) externally. As a result, they do not slime up or become blocked and therefore require little maintenance throughout their long service lives.
PVC pipes’ quality, performance and consistency are unmatched
PVC pipes made by reputable manufacturers must meet stringent quality standards, such as EN 1401, EN 1329 and EN 1452 and are subject to third party quality assessment procedures. Together, these assure that the pipes are of an extremely high level of quality, performance and consistency which in turn guarantees a long service life provided that pipes are correctly installed and commissioned. See the Standards section for a list of relevant EN and ISO standards.