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PVC Pipe Industry News

PVC Industry News from Think Pipes Think PVC

Nigel Jones is Market Development Manager at Australian Vinyls. He has over 21 years experience in the PVC industry in research and development and manufacturing of PVC and PVC products


 

Trenchless Construction Options - Pipe Bursting

Trenchless Construction Options - Pipe Bursting

The diameter of pipe being burst typically ranges from DN50 to DN375, although pipes of larger diameters can be burst. Pipe bursting is commonly performed size-forsize or one size upsize above the diameter of the existing pipe. Larger upsize (up to three pipe sizes) has been
successful, but the larger the pipe upsizing, the greater the force required to burst the existing pipe and to pull the new pipe and the greater the potential for ground movement (upheave) and damage to other nearby pipelines.

This is another rehabilitation method of replacing both pressure and gravity lines with new pipe and involves the breaking of an existing pipeline by brittle fracture, using mechanically applied force from within. While the deteriorated pipe fragments are forced into the surrounding ground, a new pipe of the same or larger diameter is pulled in to replace the original pipe. Pipe  bursting is performed by the insertion of a conically shapedbursting head, into a deteriorated pipe and causing it to shatter by pneumatic or hydraulic action.

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Outdated Iron Pipe Systems are Corroding Australian Water Quality

Outdated Iron Pipe Systems are Corroding Australian Water Quality

Iron corrosion is one of the most complicated and costly problems facing Australian water utilities and Government authorities.
Corrosion is the degradation of metal and is caused by oxidation or chemical action. If corrosion occurs in water distribution pipelines, valves and fixtures, it can cause the degradation of the quality of drinking water.

Iron and sulphur bacteria contribute to the corrosion of iron and steel bore pipes and drinking water mains.

Australian guidelines seek to ensure that drinking water is free of microorganisms that can cause disease.

The appearance, taste, odour, and ‘feel’ of water determine what people experience when they drink or use water and how they rate its quality; other physical characteristics can suggest whether corrosion and encrustation are likely to be significant problems in pipes or fittings.

PVC pipe is a proven and extremely durable alternative to traditional corrosion-prone pipe materials. Unlike metal piping, PVC won’t rust or corrode over time because it does not react with air and water. This eliminates the need to specify corrosion protection methods that have become standard procedure for piping.

With PVC, long-term durability is not compromised.

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Trenchless Construction Options - Horizontal Directional Drilling

Trenchless Construction Options - Horizontal Directional Drilling

Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) is the most commonly used trenchless process for installing water pipe.

Traditionally these applications were reserved for only roadway and river crossings. Today, HDD is
employed for a myriad of other applications where the benefits of trenchless installation can be derived.

In recent years, developments in the precision of HDD machinery, specifically the ability to monitor and steer the
pilot bore with high levels of accuracy that maintain line and grade, has also enabled the installation of gravity
sewer pipes.

HDD is performed with a drilling rig and involves three essential steps. First a pilot bore is created, covering the
distance over which the pipe is to be installed. Highly sophisticated electronics enable the drilling rods to be
carefully guided and its direction of travel to be monitored. Reamers are then pulled back to obtain a diameter
large enough to accommodate the diameter of the pipe. Simultaneously, drilling mud is pumped into the bore
to stabilise the boring and to prevent soil collapse. In the final step, the new pipe to be installed is pulled back
through the bore.

The greater hydraulic capacity of PVC pipes potentially allows a smaller hole to be drilled, allowing savings
in drilling time and cost. PVC’s higher strength compared to Polyethylene allows longer shot lengths for HDD
installations, with single lengths of over 2km having been achieved.

Restraint joint and Fusible PVC pipelines are both ideal for HDD projects

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Top 10 advantages of PVC pipes for trenchless applications

Top 10 advantages of PVC pipes for trenchless applications

PVC pipe is the ideal pipiing material for trenchless water infrastructure projects. Here are 10 advantages of using PVC pipes for trenchless pipelines.

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PVC Pipes trenchless construction options

PVC Pipes trenchless construction options

PVC pipe are a superior choice for trenchless installations in capital improvement projects as well as rehabilitation. PVC pipe is manufactured in sizes compatible with cast and ductile iron pipes, thus facilitating its connection to existing pipelines.

PVC pipes offer installers of trenchless pipelines the widest range of piping options in trenchless technology including Fusible PVC, restraint joint, close fit liners, spiral winding and jacking.

The below table summarises the common trenchless methods, their applications, the reference standard and the corresponding PVC pipe products that are available.

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PVC Pipes triple threat advantage- Lower cost, proven durability and corrosion resistant

PVC Pipes triple threat advantage- Lower cost, proven durability and corrosion resistant

Lower cost, proven long term durability and resistance to corrosion make PVC pipes the ideal pipeline solution for water transfer.

Economic benefits of PVC Pipes

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First Environmental Product Declaration for Water and Sewer Pipes Verified

First Environmental Product Declaration for Water and Sewer Pipes Verified

Think Pipes Think PVC North American colleagues, Uni-Bell PVC Pipe Association, have published the first North American industry-wide environmental product declaration (EPD) for water and sewer piping, and it has been verified by NSF Sustainability, a division of global public health organization NSF International.

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PVC pipes resistance to Urban Stream Syndrome

PVC pipes resistance to Urban Stream Syndrome

Poorly managed stormwater can cause problems on and off site through erosion and the transportation of nutrients, chemical pollutants, litter and sediments to waterways. Unlike sewage, stormwater is generally not treated before being discharged to waterways and the sea.

New generation material efficient PVC pipes are the ideal pipe for stormwater transfer, their inherent properties and benefits meaning that stormwater can be transferred or discharged quicker and cleaner.

Several studies and reports have concluded that concrete pipes have a greater negative effect on water chemistry than PVC Pipes for certain chemical attributes. It is commonly known as the urban stream syndrome, where the streams and rivers are being polluted not just from the waste that is being carried in the water, but by the concrete pipes and pipeline infrastructure carrying the water.[1]

The challenge for those within the urban water profession is both to protect both water quality and the ecological health of urban environment [2]. The study found that at a catchment scale, concrete pipes, as a conduit for stormwater, have a greater negative effect on water chemistry than PVC Pipes for certain chemical attributes.

The downstream environmental benefits of reduced stormwater pollution [3] are:

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PVC pipes - 50 Years of Service in Australia and still flowing strong

PVC pipes -  50  Years of Service in Australia and still flowing strong

PVC is an important material of choice for pressure pipeline applications throughout the world, and technological advancements have introduced different use PVC pipes to the Australian market – PVC-M and PVC-O.

Unplastisicised PVC (PVC-U) was first developed in the 1930's and came to be used in pressure pipelines from the 1950's, firstly in Europe, followed by the United States and then Australia since the 1960's. The product has a well-known and respected performance history in pipeline applications.[1]

More recently technological advancements in PVC pipes have led to the subsequent development of Modified PVC (PVC-M) and Oriented PVC pipes (PVC-O). Australian was an early adopter of PVC-O pipe with local manufacturing commencing in 1984. Australia has continued to be at the forefront of significant advances for PVC-O pipe when local manufacturers developed the process that would significantly increase the output of PVC-O pipe. From this work came the in-line orientation process, where a feedstock pipe from the extruder is stretched over a mandrel or plug under tightly controlled conditions to produce a bioriented PVC pipe. More recently, an alternative process has been developed that orients feedstock pipe by inflating with pressurised hot air. These processes havebecome the standards for production of PVC-O pipes around the world. Australia continues to have the largest PVC-O pipe manufacturing capacity in the world.

As the original PVC pipes installed across Australia start to exceed 50 years’ service, there is no reason to assume these pipes are no longer providing good service. Several analytical studies have estimated that PVC pipe can have a useful life of over 100 years.

Late last year, pipe manufacturer Iplex Pipelines opened a PVC recycling centre at their Sydney factory in response to customer enquiries. However as noted by the Plastics Industry Pipe Association of Australia Limited (PIPA), “As PVC pipe has an anticipated service life in excess of 100 years, research conducted by Iplex and the Plastics Industry Pipes Association of Australia has revealed very little waste PVC pipe product from demolition sites is finding its way to landfill. In the decades ahead, this situation may change but for now most PVC pipe entering the waste stream is short offcut pieces and surplus unused new product.

“The resin used in the manufacture of PVC pipe and fittings is 100% recyclable and a valuable resource that deserves a second life.”

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Top 10 Benefits of PVC Pipes

Top 10 Benefits of PVC Pipes
  1. Corrosion Resistance
    Escalating deterioration of water pipelines due to corrosion in old iron pipes threatens our ability to provide safe drinking water and is a complicated and costly problem across many regions of the world, including Australia.

    PVC pipes are invulnerable to underground external corrosion as well as internal pipe corrosion. So while certain pipe manufacturers continue to explore “solutions” to corrosion – because their materials are affected by it - PVC remains indisputably resistant to it.

    Corrosion in old technology pipes is also the number one reason for burst water mains – a problem that plagues most Councils across Australia. Not a day goes by that the morning radio doesn’t announce traffic diversions and road closures in place as a result of burst water mains and their impact on the surrounding area.  Last year even saw the report of sinkholes developing from burst water mains swallowing cars and property.

    PVC pipe has been proven to have the lowest pipe break rate when compared to cast iron, ductile iron, concrete, steel and asbestos cement pipes.

  2. Chemical resistance
    PVC pipes exhibit excellent resistance to a wide range of chemical reagents and disinfectant chemicals.

    With low risk of materials eating through the pipe, PVC pipes are highly suitable for most water infrastructure projects as they can convey most strong acids, alkalis and aqueous solutions (except those which are strongly oxidising), aliphatic hydrocarbons, fluorides, photographic and plating solutions, brine, mineral oils, fats and alcohols.

  3. Reduced Failures and Blockages in Wastewater Pipelines
    A major concern within any pipeline system is pipe blockages, a costly and complicated problem that can cause untold damage and hours of repairs.

    Slow flowing water through a pipeline creates more opportunity for potential blockages and failures in a system with many connections.

    The extremely smooth lining of PVC pipe - when compared to a copper, clay or concrete pipe - reduces water flow resistance and ensures that water reaches its intended destination with proper pressure.

    PVC piping allows water to flow freely and maximises water pressure. The increase flow of PVC pipes also prevents build up in sewage and waste water systems.

  4. Quicker Installation time
    The results of a recent The European Plastic Pipes and Fittings Association (TEPPFA) field test found that PVC pipe installation was over 30% faster (3 hours and 19 minutes vs 5 hours and 12 minutes) than the same size concrete pipe

    That’s a time saving of 1 hour and 53 minutes on a sewer PVC pipe installation of two chamber trench 90 metres long, 2 metres deep with a diameter of 300mm. View the testing video and download the full report here.

  5. Smooth bore allows high flow rates for water transfer
    PVC pipes should be considered for water supply pipeline projects because they outperform alternative materials in performance and cost effectiveness. Their smooth bore allows high flow rates, reducing the potential for blockage and failures.

    PVC pipes have a proven track record of excellent long-term performance and offer extended, trouble free service life.

  6. Leak free joints
    PVC pipe’s ultra-smooth surface reduces pumping costs and its leak-free joints eliminate water loss – which can be up to 40 per cent in some old-technology and corrosion-prone piping networks.

    Elastomeric seals allow PVC pipes to be quickly and easily joined, without the need for electricity or protection from the weather.

  7. Long service life
    PVC Pipes have a proven performance record of over 50 years in Australia, while overseas studies show the life expectancy of PVC pipes to be over 100 years.

    A new 2014 international water pipe study, which included testing on Australian PVC pressure pipes, has demonstrated the longevity. The combination of pipe examination and testing date in conjunction with previous pipe break studies and dig-up reports of pipes in service support PVC's longevity and performance in excess of 100 years.

    A major finding of the PVC Pipe Longevity Report is that water utilities can reduce water main breaks and operations and maintenance costs by including corrosion-proof PVC piping in their replacement programs. Earlier research by USU showed that corrosion of iron piping is a major problem for water systems and newer metallic pipes are experiencing failures more rapidly than older types because of their thinner walls.

  8. Lower cost
    PVC pipes offer significant cost savings for projects, even more so when installation, low breakage rates and life cycle costs are taken into consideration. The longevity of PVC pipes also means the pipes function more efficiently, reducing maintenance and ongoing work to the pipe making it more affordable over time.

    These lower material costs are coupled with lower installation costs because of increased productivity, the product's low weight and cheaper transportation expenses.

  9. PVC Pipes - Best pipeline choice for pipe under load
    PVC pipes are extremely flexible and can flex without breaking when loaded externally from soil weight and heavy duty traffic. Rigid pipes, such as those made of concrete, clay or ceramic are unable to flex when loaded and will experience wall crushing and collapse when their load limit is reached.

    When a PVC pipe encounters external loading, its diameter will begin to deflect. If the pipe is buried in the right supportive soil conditions, the stiffness of the soil combined with the pipe stiffness will resist the deflection.  Download report here

  10. Tree Root Intrusion Resistance
    Some pipe materials are more resistant to root intrusion than others. PVC pipe is more resistant to root intrusion because it has fewer joints. Because of their flexibility, the tightly fitting PVC joints are less likely to leak as a result of settlement of backfill around the pipe.

    Vitrified clay pipe is easily penetrated and damaged by tree roots. Concrete pipes also allow root intrusions to a lesser extent than vitrified clay pipe.
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Why updating our aging water infrastructure is essential?

Why updating our aging water infrastructure is essential?

As buried water pipeline assets age, their failure rates increase and they incur higher cost consequences. In Australia, asbestos cement pipes are among the oldest assets in many networks and, consequently, they exhibit the highest failure rates.[1] Australia’s wide network of cast and ductile iron pipes are also a major concern for high failure rates and burst water mains.

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Spotlight on PVC-O Pipes

PVC pipes have a number of inherent advantages for water pipeline projects over alternatives pipes such as PE, Concrete and Ductile Iron. These advantages include resistance to corrosion and chemical attack including water disinfectants, effect on water quality, smooth bore, excellent balance between strength, stiffness and flexibility, ease of installation, cost effectiveness, and recyclability.

The advent of PVC-O pipe has only enhanced these advantages. Australia has been at the forefront of these significant advances and has the largest PVC-O pipe manufacturing capacity in the world.

Numerous studies from around the world have demonstrated the superior properties and benefits of PVC-O pipe compared to all other pressure pipe options.

By realigning the PVC molecules through a process of biaxial orientation, the wall thickness of PVC-O pipes can be reduced by up to 50% while maintaining the same pressure as that of the traditional PVC pipe.

The orientation process imparts high strength at maximum material efficiency. The result is that PVC-O pipes are around twice the strength and possess ten times the impact resistance when compared to traditional PVC-U material.

The reduction in wall thickness of PVC-O also means PVC-O pipes will have significantly larger bore. This enables PVC-O pipe to have the highest flow capacity of all pressure pipes, allowing it to move more water faster than alternate piping systems. The greater hydraulic capacity represents a potential saving in energy consumption in transporting water when using PVC-O pipe, further enhancing its environmental credentials.

PVC-O pipe is manufactured with significantly less embodied energy and is more material efficient compared to other pipe options. It is the most eco-friendly pipe system in the world as it requires less energy to produce than conventional PVC-U and other pipe materials. It also uses less energy in service than all other pipe types.

Considering their relative low weight, PVC-O pipes are strong and durable. It stays strong through a range of temperatures, resulting in fewer burst pipes and other maintenance issues.

David Chasis, editor of Sustainable Piping Systems, applauds the significant development that PVC-O brings to the international piping industry.

“There has not been a more significant development in the North American piping industry in the last 10 years than the advent of biaxially oriented PVC. Whether one considers quality, installed costs or an environmentally light footprint, no other piping system can quite compare to super pipe – PVCO.”

PVC-O pipe has a number of technical, performance, commercial and environmental advantages over competing pressure pipes such as ductile iron and PE. From a sustainability perspective, it is a clear winner.

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Face the challenge of sewer and water infrastructure rehabilitation with trenchless PVC Pipelines

Face the challenge of sewer and water infrastructure rehabilitation with trenchless PVC Pipelines

The range of useful properties afforded by PVC pipes makes it the most versatile of all pipe materials, a fact attested to by the variety of applications and markets served by PVC pipes. Trenchless PVC Pipes offer engineers and specifiers the most efficient pipe to move water coupled with overall cost savings thanks to reduced installation costs due to lightweight pipes and reduced overall pipe dimensions.

Minimise pipeline construction disruption
While open-cut installations continue to be the standard method of construction for new projects where access is readily available, for projects in developed urban areas various trenchless technologies are making no dig options more economically viable and appealing. For rehabilitation of our cities aging pipelines, trenchless technologies make it possible to restore the structural integrity and fluid velocity of the pipeline whilst minimising the financial and social costs.

Major cost savings over other pipeline technology - stretch your capital works budget further
PVC pipe is very competitive with when compared to other pipe materials, even more so when installation and life cycle operating costs are taken into consideration. These lower material costs are coupled with lower installation costs because of increased productivity, the product's low weight and cheaper transportation expenses.

Rehabilitate aging pipelines without digging up the entire pipe system
Trenchless technology has the advantage of smaller excavations with the overall installation being completed using pre-drilled holes or by bursting or relining an existing pipeline. Trenchless technology also makes it possible to rehabilitate aging pipelines without digging up the entire pipe system, often restoring both the structural integrity and flow speed of the pipe, thus greatly minimising the social costs associated with the disruption to traffic, pedestrians, businesses and customers.

PVC pipes offer the widest range of options for trenchless projects
The PVC pipe industry has developed solutions for the common types of trenchless installations including Sliplining, Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD), Pipe Bursting, Tight Fit Structural Liner, Jacking and Microtunnelling. Many of these technologies are well established and have been successfully used for many years.

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Trenchless PVC pipe wins plastics award


At the recent New Zealand Plastics Industry Design Awards, trenchless PVC pipes manufacturer, Iplex Pipelines NZ Ltd was recognised for two local horizontal directional drilling projects using Fusible PVC™ pipe systems. The biennial awards acknowledge and promote excellence in the creation, design, production, manufacture, and marketing of plastic products or components.

One of the trenchless PVC pipeline projects recognised for the award was the Hingaia Peninsula Trunk Sewer Project in Papakura, part of Auckland City. The highlight of the Project was its record-breaking pull of 1,050 m of Fusible PVC™ Pipe, the longest pull back of a single, continuous thermoplastic pipe-string installed via horizontal directional drilling.

Numerous challenges were faced and overcome on the Hingaia project. The superior tensile strength and hydraulic capacity of relatively thin-walled Fusible PVC™ pipe reduced construction risks and provided economic benefits.

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PVC - Review of available technologies for Trenchless Pipeline Applications. New Paper Available

The use of trenchless pipeline installation technology is expected to grow as the need to rehabilitate or replace existing sewer and water pipeline infrastructure increases in importance.

For rehabilitation of our cities aging pipelines located in densely urbanised areas, trenchless PVC technologies make it possible to restore the structural integrity and fluid velocity of the pipeline whilst minimising the financial and social costs.Trenchless PVC technology

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New study finds 30% ‘installation time’ saving when using a PVC sewer system


At the 17th Plastic Pipes Conference, 2014, Chicago, Illinois, USA, The European Plastic Pipes and Fittings Association (TEPPFA) presented a paper using previous scientific papers as the starting point to prove by a non-scientific (field test) study that contractors can save installation time by using thermoplastic sewer pipes and fittings.

The previous studies reviewed were the SMP project, EPD Studies and Lifetime expectancy studies all carried out by TEPPFA

Assumptions made in these previous research studies about the speed of installation were: “It has long been clear that installing a plastic sewer system can save time over the installation of a concrete sewer system”, but never investigated. These studies were not focused on the installation time during their research.

The results of the field testing found that the PVC pipe installation was over 30% faster (3 hours and 19 minutes vs 5 hours and 12 minutes) than the same size concrete.

That’s a time saving of 1 hour and 53 minutes on a sewer PVC pipe installation of two chamber trench 90 metres long, 2 metres deep with a diameter of 300mm.

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PVC Pipe sustainability

PVC is one of the most sustainable products on earth. PVC pipe requires less energy and fewer resources to manufacture than old-technology materials, and its production creates virtually no waste. Production of PVC pipe requires one-fourth the energy of concrete pipe and half that of iron pipe. PVC pipe manufacturing is also extremely efficient, with virtually 100 percent of the PVC compound being used.

Moreover, PVC pipe’s ultra-smooth interior surface reduces pumping costs and its leak-free joints eliminate water loss – which can be Sustainabilityup to 40 percent in corrosion-prone piping networks. But PVC pipe’s greatest environmental attribute is perhaps its exceptional durability and corrosion resistance – leading to less waste, better water quality and conservation, and lower costs for system maintenance and repair.

PVC leads all other piping materials in sustainability. Its durability, soundness, clean and energy efficient manufacture and transportation have made it the material of choice for water and wastewater applications.

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Concrete Pipes – The new threat to water pollution

The challenge for those within the urban water profession is both to protect both water quality and the ecological health of urban waterways (Aplin 2002)1.

Several studies and reports have concluded that concrete pipes have a greater negative effect on water chemistry than PVC Pipes for certain chemical attributes. It is commonly known as the urban stream syndrome, where the streams and rivers are being polluted not just from the waste that is being carried in the water, but by the concrete pipes and pipeline infrastructure carrying the water.concretepipes

A common factor that contributes is contamination from sewage which seeps into the waterways via cracked concrete pipes and joints, termed “exfiltration”. This escapee sewage can constantly flow into soil and local streams.

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Tree Roots and their impact on concrete pipes

Pipes can be cracked in a number of ways. Tree roots are a common source of obstruction, particularly in leafy suburbs where pipes can be choked by clumps of tree roots, resulting in large overflows of stormwater.

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Water pipe projects should consider PVC for renewal of aging water pipe infrastructure

PVC pipes should be considered for water supply pipeline projects because they outperform alternative materials in performance and cost effectiveness. Their smooth bore allows high flow rates. They are corrosion proof and easy to handle, transport and install. PVC pipes have a proven track record of excellent long-term performance and offer extended, trouble free service life. 

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