The Plastic Pipes XX conference was originally scheduled to take place in September 2020 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, but due to the coronavirus pandemic it was postponed to 6-8 September 2021. Continuing restrictions in the Netherlands mean the physical conference is limited to 120 attendees, with options to follow the event online.
For the PVC piping industry, Day 1 of PPXX provided many new insights. General Manager Ludo Debever from TEPPFA presented the voluntary commitments by TEPPFA member companies to increase uptake of recycled PVC material in new pipes, in line with the EU Circular Economy Action Plan and European Green Deal.
Next, Stefan Fokken from additive producer Baerlocher presented how Europe led the way to replace lead with sustainable Ca-Zn stabiliser systems for PVC pipes. This happened voluntarily through Vinyl 2010 and later VinylPlus. Now, China and India are following in the footsteps of Europe.
Due to Covid19 restrictions Andrew White from FP-Pigments in the UK was unable to attend in person. His pre-recorded presentation announced a new generation of high opacity pigments able to partly replace conventional TiO2 in PVC pipe formulation. According to Andrew White, using the new pigments allow reducing the cost and carbon footprints of the formulation.
Dr. Enrico Boccaleri from Università del Piemonte Orientale (Italy) presented novel research on nanostructured materials as additives for PVC water and sewer pipes. According to Dr. Boccaleri the most striking improvements were observed in the mechanical performances, where an enhancement in rigidity and a simultaneous increase in tensile strength and elongation (i.e. nanoreinforcement) were found at low concentrations of nanoparticles.
Andreas Frank from The Polymer Competence Center Leoben in Austria concluded the day. His paper focused on slow crack growth of reprocessed PVC. In the study PVC-U pipe compounds with three different K values were manufactured and characterized. These compounds were repeatedly shredded and remanufactured up to ten times and tested after every reprocessing step. The SCG failure curves showed that even after ten reprocessing steps the SCG resistance was not influenced significantly, confirming the high recyclability of the compounds.