The Evolution of the Plastic Pipe: Types and Uses
The plastic pipe is commonly used as an alternative for the metal pipe due to its light weight, affordability, cost effectiveness and resistance to corrosion, abrasion, temperature, and chemical damage.
Today, the copper pipe is still most commonly used in domestic water systems. However, the plastic pipe is slowly replacing copper in many newer residential and commercial buildings. It is even being used for cost-effective mining and industrial piping applications.
Uses of the Plastic Pipe
- Drainage systems – It is used in many domestic and commercial drainage systems, sewers, and waste management applications.
- Venting systems – It can also be found in residential and commercial building venting systems as a means to ensure the proper inflow and outflow of air.
- Water transport – Although the most popular piping material is copper, there is an increasing use of plastic in many buildings today. Some pipe systems can even be used for both hot and cold water conveyance.
- Swimming pool piping – Swimming pools usually transport warm water through its piping system. In fact, since the water can be chlorinated, it requires a non-corrosive material like plastic.
- Heating systems – Some heating systems make use of temperature-resistant plastic pipe to conduct heat through the floor or the walls of a room.
- Fire sprinkler system – Conventional sprinkler systems make use of metal piping. However, there is an increasing demand for the use of plastic in many fire sprinkler systems today.
Common Uses of the Pipe
Polyvinyl Chloride or PVC is the most common plastic pipe. It is an excellent alternative to traditional pipes because it is lightweight, affordable, and corrosion resistant. In many residential and commercial buildings, PVC is used in the water delivery system. It can also be commonly seen in the drainage and sewer systems.
Polypropylene or PP is most commonly used in water purifying stations, pharmaceutical labs, and chemical industries. The material is suitable for the transport of pure water, chemicals and food stuff.
Cross-linked high density polyethylene or PEX is perhaps the most useful type of plastic pipe for industrial and mining applications. The technology used in the production of the pipe gives it many distinct and useful features. It is highly resistant to pressure, temperature, chemical corrosion, abrasion, thermal and stress deformation, and the like.
Due to the extremely unique characteristics of the plastic pipe, it can be used for heavy duty transport. For example, it can be used for slurry transport in the mining industry, and it can also be used for the transport of high salinity water.
The use of plastic has come a long way to provide useful benefits in today’s residential, commercial, and industrial applications. Without the use of plastic systems, industries today may still be spending a lot of money on the use of expensive metal piping, which is not often a viable choice.
Thankfully, the plastic pipe has evolved into a highly useful and flexible material. It can be used in almost any type of application due to its unique properties.