High Density Polyethylene Pipe (HDPE) is a thermoplastic pipe made from material that can be melted and reformed. It is rugged, flexible, and durable. It has outstanding chemical and environmental stress crack resistance.
Relative to existing infrastructure, like ductile iron, concrete or PVC, HDPE seems like a new product. In reality, it has been successfully used in a wide variety of piping applications for over 50 years.
The outstanding physical and performance benefits of HDPE pipe make it the perfect choice for your piping systems.
Corrosion is one of the most costly problems associated with metal piping systems. It occurs both inside and outside the pipe and affects hydraulic efficiency. Many cities treat their water to help slow rust and pitting that is inevitable with metal pipes. Others choose costly cathodic protection, plastic coating, or sleeving to try and extend the service life of the pipe.
Unlike traditional metal infrastructure products, HDPE pipe does not rust, rot or corrode. It is resistant to biological growth. This means an extended service life and long term cost savings.
HDPE pipe is flexible and ductile, not rigid. It has outstanding resistance to fatigue. Unlike other plastic pipes, it is designed and pressure rated to handle the kind of occasional and recurring surge events that are common in water distribution systems.
In many instances, this will enable you to utilize a thinner wall HDPE pipe as compared to other types of plastic piping.
Extended Service Life
HDPE pipe is a safe and durable product ideal for your piping infrastructure. The service life of HDPE is estimated to be between 50 to 100 years, depending on application, design and installation.
An independent study reports that municipalities in 43 states average a water loss of 16% due to leaking joints. Some report water losses as high as 50%.
Traditional infrastructure piping is joined with bell and spigot or mechanical type joints and all acknowledge a specified leakage factor. Not only is our most precious resource being lost, but leaking pipes are costing our cities money. HDPE piping systems can be joined with heat fusion to produce permanent leak free joints.
HDPE piping systems can be joined with heat fusion welds. Heat fusion involves the heating of two HDPE surfaces then bringing them together to form a permanent, monolithic, leak-free system.
Unlike the fusion process developed for other plastics pipes, the fusion process for HDPE is proven and has been used by the natural gas industry for over 40 years. Approximately 95% of all gas distribution piping in the United States is polyethylene pipe joined by heat fusion.
Fusing HDPE pipe is not difficult and personnel can be trained in the process.
In addition to joining HDPE with heat fusion, HDPE pipe can also be joined with Stab or Mechanical Fittings.
There are a wide range of these fittings available, specific to your pipe size and application.
HDPE pipe can easily be transitioned to and from non-HDPE piping systems utilizing Mechanical Joint adapters (MJ’s), Stab fittings and Mechanical and Flanged Connections.
Traditional piping systems are installed by open cut (digging a ditch), resulting in traffic and environmental disruption. HDPE can be installed using this traditional open-cut method or by utilizing eco-friendly trenchless technology.
For trenchless installation, a horizontal directional machine bores a continuous hole beneath the ground. When the drilling head reaches the end of the bore, the pipe is attached and pulled back through the hole.
The flexibility of HDPE, combined with its outstanding tensile strength and abrasion resistance, make it the preferred and proven choice for trenchless installation technology.
HDPE pipe can be installed utilizing trenchless technology under creeks, rivers, lakes, roads, or right-of-ways with minimal environmental and public disruption.
When compared to a non-plastic pipe installed using the open-cut method, a leak-free HDPE system installed utilizing less invasive trenchless technology is more cost effective.
Trenchless technologies are also used to rehabilitate old, failing pipelines with HDPE. There are several technologies to choose from when rehabilitating old pipelines. These technologies include slip lining and pipe bursting. Both are excellent techniques for cities to revitalize or replace and upsize older existing infrastructure.
In addition to its outstanding physical characteristics, HDPE is recognized for its minimal impact on the environment:
• It takes less energy to manufacture HDPE than non-plastic pipes.
• HDPE is lightweight and is often more cost effective to transport than metal pipes.
• The flexibility of HDPE, combined with the use of heat fusion to join the pipe, means fewer fittings are required.
• In trenchless installations, the physical characteristics of HDPE pipe enables you to use a smaller pipe, resulting in less ground disruption than when installing other fusible products.
• HDPE pipe joined with heat fusion provides leak free connections.
• HDPE does not emit potentially hazardous levels of toxins into the air during production, during fusion or into the ground or water during use.
• HDPE pipe can be recycled back into non-pressure piping applications.