Plastic pipes application area and properties

Plastic pipes Field of application and characteristicsPipes made of plastic are becoming increasingly popular - even in areas in which they were previously only slightly represented. This is related to their advantages and special properties of certain plastics. Read in this post everything that you should know about plastic pipes.

Basic advantages of plastic pipes

There are two main characteristics of plastic for the use of plastic pipes: plastics are not prone to corrosion and are much lighter than metal pipes.

In addition, some other properties also play a role, such as the high resistance of plastics to many chemicals, the smooth surface, and that they are hygienically flawless. The low thermal conductivity compared to metals and the low electrical conductivity are further advantages.

Disadvantages of plastic pipes

The disadvantage of plastic pipes compared to metal pipes is the high elongation at higher temperatures or when heated. The linear expansion of plastic pipes is almost ten times that of copper.

Under the influence of UV light (sunlight), plastic pipes can sometimes become brittle and brittle very quickly. Of course this is not a problem in the area of ​​installation inside the wall.

In the case of drinking water pipelines, pressure testing of plastic pipes is significantly more complicated than with metal pipes.

Types of plastics

For the production of pipes various plastics are used, each with very special properties. By selecting the plastic pipes can be specifically produced with very specific properties.

Plastic pipes can be divided into three main groups:

  • Thermoplastics (mainly used in sanitary areas)
  • thermosets
  • elastomers

Thermoplastics are characterized by their high temperature resistance (up to about 120° C, depending on the plastic).

Thermosets are very hard, glassy plastics, called polymers. Unlike thermoplastics, they can not be melted when cured. These plastics are mainly used for housings or cable trays and laying pipes. The Trabi is made of duroplastic plastic.

Elastomers are plastics that are very elastic. They can easily deform and then return to their original shape. An example of elastomers are rubber rings. However, they are rarely used for pipe and hose lines.

The most important thermoplastics in pipes in the household

Thermoplastics are used almost exclusively for pipelines used in households. The most important are:

  • PVC (polyvinyl chloride)
  • PE (polyethylene)
  • PB (polybutene)
  • PP (polypropylene)

PE pipes for water supply

PE pipes are mainly used in the field of drinking water supply. They offer an excellent compromise between ductility and ring stiffness. This makes them even suitable for underground installation.

Their weight is particularly low and they are resistant to many harsh chemicals.

Higher quality pipes are the PE-RT pipes, which are more temperature resistant than ordinary PE pipes. They can be operated with up to 10 bar pressure. Crosslinked polyethylene pipes are called PEX. They can be designed as multilayer composite pipes with an aluminum core and an inner and outer envelope made of PEX.

Video Board: Beginner Tutorial Cut and Assemble PVC Pipe