Plumbing has been around for centuries and piping materials have undergone many changes. For decades, metal and ceramic have been the most common pipe materials. Today, these pipes, although still in use, have given way to plastic pipes.
This change is because of the merits of plastic pipes. It is easier to work with different types of plastic water and sewer pipes than with copper.
However, there is more than one type of plastic used in the manufacture of pipes.
This article will walk you through the different plastics that you can use for your property plumbing. Importance and benefits of plastic pipes:
Plastic pipe offers many advantages to users, which has led to its rapid growth over the last few decades. One such advantage is cost. Indeed, plastic pipes are less rigid than metal, which means that they can often be bent in a radius without the need for fittings and joints. As a result, installation time and costs are not significant.
According to plastic pipe manufacturers, the assembly and installation time is more reasonable than with metal.
Also, except for applications that require steam, plastic pipes can be used in all applications where metal is used, including potable and chilled water systems.
Besides, because plastic pipes do not have copper’s scrap value, pipe theft on job sites is reduced significantly.
Plastic pipe technology is also used in conjunction with metal systems to get the best performance from both materials.
Plastic compression fittings also provide a secure connection that is visually inspectable. With iron and copper systems, you can’t be sure of the fittings until they have been pressure tested.
5 types of plastic pipes used in building construction
Here is a range of plastic pipes you can use to make your property plumbing system durable, reliable, and secure.
1- Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride
Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) is a type of PVC pipe that has been treated with chlorine.
CPVC is more durable at higher pressures and temperatures than PVC per se and is common in industrial plumbing.
In homes, it is perfect for transporting drinking water, and for handling hot water. CPVC is also more flexible. However, it cracks when it freezes.
CPVC pipes serve to transport water at ordinary temperatures up to 120 degrees Celsius. As a result, these have become the go-to pipes used to supply hot water and higher temperature applications in industrial installations. These are also preferred for fire extinguishing piping in both residential and light commercial applications.
For most applications, CPVC remains more economical than metal pipes.
If you’re looking to use it, you need to work with plastic products manufacturing companies in the UAE or an industry expert in your part of the world.
2- Polyvinyl chloride
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or vinyl is undoubtedly the best-known plastic for pipes and fittings in construction today.
It serves many functions in a household, apart from plumbing. Most water mains originate from PVC.
It is not as flexible as other types of plastic. Because it does not withstand high temperatures (precisely over 60 degrees Celsius), it is not wise to use it as hot-water pipes or kitchens.
PVC offers users one of the best balances between tensile strength and economy since it has many applications, both underground and on the ground.
Among other applications, it is generally used for electrical lines, commercial drains, process lines, underground municipal piping such as water and sewer lines, and irrigation lines.
Other everyday uses of PVC as a material include manufacturing it into flooring, siding, patio furniture, medical tubing, and small items such as credit cards.
3- Cross-linked polyethylene
Cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) use is widespread in domestic plumbing systems because of its several advantages.
PEX pipes are useful for both cold and hot water applications. These also are the perfect pipes to convey water in bathrooms and kitchens.
PEX is very flexible, so it fits most spaces and is inexpensive and easy to use. It is available in various colors, making it easy for plumbers to identify hot and cold water pipes for future work. However, these pipes need support (usually with plastic or metals straps) because of their flexibility.
Polyethylene (PE) is perhaps the most common plastic for everyday use.
PE is derived 100% from ethylene, and it is the absence of chlorine in the material that makes it more flexible than vinyl.
In the home, PE applications range from service or drinking water pipes to natural gas distribution to lawn sprinklers.
Note that PE materials are generally resistant to the most common chemicals.
Polyethylene is best to use at low temperatures in certain applications such as radiant floor heating or even snow melting.
One of the most popular derivatives of PE is high-density polyethylene, known as HDPE plastic.
HDPE is a denser version of polyethylene used to make water and drain pipes because of its rigidity and crystal structure.
Here is a complete list of its benefits:
- It is cost-effective.
- It can withstand temperatures from -100 to 80 degrees Celsius.
- It is UV resistant.
- It is dishwasher safe.
There are a number of HDPE pipe suppliers in the UAE that can help you with your property requirements.
5- Polypropylene random
Polypropylene random (PPR) is a common item for everyday plastics that is a little more specialized for piping. It is very similar to PE but offers improved chemical and thermal resistance.
Their capacities are quite significant and range from water supply to hot water piping systems to air conditioning pipes.
Hot water engineering is usually tied directly to PPR pipe fittings, which are safer, more comfortable to set up, and more economical.
The second most popular application of PPR today is the transportation of high-purity water, such as deionized water.
There are various plastic pipes that you can use when building your property to ensure your plumbing system is made of quality piping material.
Most of these pipes have applications that focus on transmitting fluid without it having any effect on their appearance and functionality. With this in mind, it’s important to note that some pipes are better suited for specific purposes, while others have a broader and more general structural use.