What methods can be used to assemble a PE pipe network?
PE pipe can be assembled into a pipeline network by means of fusion or mechanical assembly techniques. Fusion of PE pipe and fittings may be by either Butt Fusion or Electrofusion. Other techniques are available (socket fusion and induction fusion) but are not commonly available and will not be considered here.
Fusion comprises applying heat and pressure for a specified time to the mating surfaces to be joined. The application of heat and pressure under the correct conditions allows the molecular chains to flow and mix with each other creating a joint as strong as the pipe itself.
More: Butt Fusion | Electrofusion
Mechanical assembly techniques utilise fittings that incorporate a compression component, usually an elastomeric sealing ring, to provide for pressure integrity, leak tightness and resistance to end loads.
More: Mechanical assembly
Range of fittings (Ineos Polyolefins, Borealis)
Mechanical assembly requires the use of fittings, generally working on the compression principle, to join different materials together. It is most commonly used with PE for joining the PE to a pipe or fitting of a different material, or in circumstances where fusion is not feasible. Mechanical fittings generally include a stiffener which is placed inside the pipe or fitting to ensure stability when the fitting is compressed. These stiffeners are also designed to withstand end loading where...