- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
PVC Industry News from Think Pipes Think PVC