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.