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Published Wed, Jul 17th 2019

Studies show PVC pipes have 100+-year expected service life

Underground PVC-U and PVC-Hi pressure pipe systems for water and natural gas supply have been shown to have an expected service life of at least 100 years, according to a new joint position paper by PVC4Pipes and TEPPFA.

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Underground PVC-U and PVC-Hi pressure pipe systems for water and natural gas supply have been shown to have an expected service life of at least 100 years, according to a new joint position paper by PVC4Pipes and TEPPFA.

Durability is crucial for underground piping systems due to the high cost of installing and replacing pipes buried in the ground. The position paper explains the difference between the predicted design point at 20C/50 years and the expected lifetime of PVC-U and PVC-Hi pressure pipe systems.

Research, extrapolation studies and examination of dug-up pipes in service for decades show no significant degradation of the material. Further analyses on these test samples confirm an expected service life of more than 100 years.

The paper highlights how the 50-year design basis, which estimates the stress that a thermostatic pipe is able to withstand for 50 years at 20C, must not be confused with the actual lifespan of a plastic pipe system. In reality, the service life is expected to be more than 100 years due to a number of reasons; mainly the lower real pressure levels experienced by the pipe over its lifetime, the lower real average ground temperatures, the always positive wall thickness tolerances and the safety factors applied at the design stages.

Vincent Stone, PVC4Pipes Project Manager comments: “There is ample evidence that underground PVC-U and PVC-Hi pressure pipes for water and natural gas supply are fit for service for 100 years or more. The utility companies critically depend on highly durable and reliable piping systems and the position paper clearly demonstrates that PVC piping systems can deliver outstanding performance in various operation conditions.”

Being highly durable and able to be recycled multiple times without losing their long term mechanical performances, PVC pipes are a cost-efficient, safe and sustainable choice for transporting drinking water and natural gas, through the whole life-cycle of the distribution networks.

About PVC4Pipes
PVC4Pipes is the European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers’ (ECVM) platform dedicated to the PVC pipes value chain, promoting the acceptance and utilisation of PVC in piping systems. ECVM represents the six leading European PVC resin manufacturers, accounting for around 75% of the PVC resins manufactured in Europe. As founding member of VinylPlus®, ECVM is committed to sustainable development and to addressing and promoting health, safety and environmental best practices over the PVC life cycle.

Contact information

Vincent Stone
PVC4Pipes
Avenue de Cortenberg 71

Brussels
1000
+32 (0) 2 329 51 06
www.pvc4pipes.com

PVC4Pipes is the European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers’ (ECVM) platform dedicated to the PVC pipes value chain, promoting the acceptance and utilisation of PVC in piping systems. ECVM represents the six leading European PVC resin manufacturers, accounting for around 75% of the PVC resins manufactured in Europe.

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