Plastics Pipe Institute Issues Cautionary Advisory on Fusible PVC(TM)
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Rapid Crack Propagation Can Plague Fused PVC Pipelines IRVING, Texas--(Business Wire)-- The Plastics Pipe Institute (PPI) today issued a cautionary advisory regarding the integrity of fusible polyvinyl chloride (fusible PVC) pipe. The focus is the pipe's susceptibility to rapid crack propagation (RCP), which has led to a number of recent water pipeline failures. RCP can be caused by various reasons including defects in the pipe, damage incurred during production and shipping, in-service damage from third party impact, hot tapping or rock impingement. Other variables may include the base resin and thin wall of the fusible PVC pipe that is being promoted for trenchless applications. Once a crack forms in a fused PVC system it can continue unabated at up to 1,900 feet a second and can affect the entire length of the pipeline due to its monolithic structure. Traditionally, PVC pipe sections have been joined by using a bell and spigot. "Recent failures of new water lines using this novel fusible PVC material and its fusion method have exposed a critical problem to the industry," stated Tony Radoszewski, executive director, PPI, the non-profit trade association for the plastic piping industry. "Because pipe made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), however, has a high resistance to rapid crack propagation, RCP is not a significant issue for HDPE pipe installations." "Fusing together lengths of 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. However, this long history of proven performance does not necessarily translate to new materials. Employing HDPE fusion techniques for other materials, without extensive, industry-wide testing is risky. The potential for injury, and loss of natural and economic resources requires pipe system specifiers, engineers and owners to take a cautious approach." PPI will host an educational webinar about the subject on July 17. There is no charge, but registration is requested at www.plasticpipe.org/concerns.html. HDPE pipe is manufactured and installed in accordance with numerous industry standards from organizations such as AWWA, ASTM, CSA, IAPMO, API, NSF, and FM. "By including an AWWA standard in its print line," Radoszewski remarked, "the manufacturer is assuring customers that the pipe product complies with the requirements of the standard, including physical properties, joining, and installation methods. "I'm concerned by reports indicating AWWA standards are appearing on the fusible PVC print string because the thermal joining or butt-fusing of PVC pipe is not covered by AWWA C900, C905 and C605. "We hope the industry will join our webinar to explore these and other issues relating to fusible PVC and to discuss the long-term benefits of HDPE pipe," Radoszewski said. "Our goal is to educate the market and assist with the proper selection of products." For additional information about HDPE pipe visit www.plasticpipe.org. SCA Communications, Inc. Steve Cooper, 516-623-7615 email@example.com or The Plastics Pipe Institute Tony Radoszewski, 469-499-1046 firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright Business Wire 2008