Institute issues warning about PVC pipes
The Irving, Texas-based Plastic Pipe Institute (PPI) has issued a warning on rapid crack propagation (RCP) in fusible PVC pipes. RCP has been connected to a number of recent water pipeline failures, such as the May collapse of a 36-inch water main in Naples, Fla., PPI Executive Director Tony Radoszewski said in a statement.
Fusible PVC pipe is a relatively new technology used in trenchless, directional drilling applications. RCP may be caused by defects in the pipe or damage caused during production or shipping, or by hot tapping or rock impingement, Radoszewski said. The base resin and thin wall of fusible PVC pipe also may be factors, and because the pipes are melded into one structure, the cracking can spread along the entire length of the pipe. “Fusing together lengths of [high density polyethylene] HDPE pipe is a time-proven method, and the PPI has spent decades researching and evaluating fusion techniques of HDPE to earn the confidence of the underground utility industry,” Radoszewski said. “However, this long history of proven performance does not necessarily translate to new materials. Employing fusion techniques developed for HDPE to other materials, without extensive, industry-wide testing, is risky.”
PPI will host a free Webinar on the subject on July 17. To register, go to www.plasticpipe.org/concerns.html.