PVC piping applications

PVC is currently used in a wide spectrum of piping applications, all helping to meet modern infrastructure needs.

Water applications

PVC piping systems are used in several areas for the transport of water - from delivery of drinking water over the removal of sewage or waste products to drainage of water from the ground or roof.

Drinking water

Pipes and fittings for the distribution of water under pressure. The main application is the distribution of drinking water. The diameters are of medium size (generally between 75 mm and 250 mm). The main characteristic of these pipes is the long term resistance to pressure (assessed according to ISO 9080) which is expressed as the MRS (Minimum Required Stress, see also in FAQ).

The pipes for irrigation have similar geometrical and mechanical characteristics.

Main European Standard: EN-ISO 1452

PVC-O pipes (molecularly oriented PVC) are also available on the market for this application and are covered by ISO 16422.

Soil and waste

Pipes and fittings for the evacuation of waste water without pressure inside the buildings (generally vertical). These are usually of medium diameters (< 160 mm). They can be made of compact PVC or have structured walls (foam core).

Main European Standards: EN 1329 and EN 1453

C-PVC pipes are also available on the market for this application, and covered by EN 1566-1.

Sewage and underground drainage

Pipes and fittings for the collection and evacuation of waste water without pressure and intended to be buried in the ground (horizontally). These are usually of large diameter (160 mm and up to 630 mm). They can be made of compact PVC or have structured walls (foam core or twin wall with a corrugated layer).

Main European Standards: EN 1401 and EN 13476

Rainwater

Above ground rainwater products, such as gutter and downpipes are available in a wide range of diameters (50 – 160 mm) to suit both domestic and industrial uses. Both gutters and downpipes are designed for outdoor use.

Main European Standards: EN 607 and EN 12200

Buried rainwater evacuation pipes have similar mechanical characteristics to sewage pipes but are more related to storm management (large diameters).

Hot and cold

Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (C-PVC) pipes and fittings may be used for the distribution of hot and cold water and for heating system installations. Their size range usually covers diameters from DN16 to DN160. The main characteristic of these pipes is the long term resistance to hot water pressure (assessed according to ISO 9080).

Main European Standard: EN 15877

Other applications

The transport of fluids is far from the only application that PVC piping systems are used for.

Cable protection

Pipes for protection of electrical cables mainly inside buildings. The pipes can be corrugated or smooth and generally of small diameter (< 25 mm). Larger pipes for cable protection underground (50 – 100mm) are usually made of compact PVC.

Main European Standard: EN 61386-4

Fittings

Virtually anything is possible with modern PVC pipes and fittings. Because of the comprehensive range of pipes, fittings and valves that are available in a huge range of diameters and designs, it is possible to make connections almost without any limits. As well as straight pipes, there are bends, branches, tees, reducers, clips and brackets. Jointing is easy using either push-fit or solvent cementing, thus providing a versatile system without any gaps that is simple and easy to install.

PVC pipe fittings have been developed that can be used to create high performance piping systems not just from PVC components but that can also easily and efficiently connect new sections using modern materials with older legacy systems made from traditional materials to update pipe networks whilst maintaining complete system integrity.

Industrial

PVC piping systems have been used widely for many years in industrial applications for everything from process cooling water to the transport of hazardous chemicals, due to the high corrosion resistance of PVC. The harsh environment within chemical plants and the conveyance of chemicals places high demands on the piping systems in terms of safety, economic factors and subsequent maintenance, which PVC can meet.

Fire sprinklers

C-PVC piping systems are used frequently for fire sprinkler systems installed in public spaces, such as libraries, museums and theatres, as well as in offices, hotels and other high-rise buildings.

These systems offer a lightweight and easy fabrication in the field and they do not corrode or scale up in service.