Our site uses cookies necessary for its proper functioning. To improve your experience, other cookies may be used: you can choose to disable them. This can be changed at any time via the Cookies link at the bottom of the page.

PE technical guidance
HDPE Pipe technical guidance (High quality Polyethylene Pipes)

What is SDR pipe and how does it influence the pressure rating of the pipe?

Quick access

SDR pipe : "Standard Dimensional Ratio"

The SDR pipe is the "Standard Dimensional Ratio" and refers to the geometry of the pipe. SDR is defined as the ratio of the nominal outside diameter to the nominal wall thickness.

SDR = dn/en

Where dn is the nominal outside diameter of the pipe and en is the nominal (minimum) wall thickness of the pipe.

Therefore a higher SDR indicates a thinner-walled pipe at any given diameter.

The relationship between the SDR and the pressure rating is given by Lames formula for the hoop stress in thick wall cylinders:

s = P(dn - en) / 2 en

This can be rearranged as;

s = P (SDR - 1) / 2

Where s is the maximum hoop stress P is the internal pipe pressure.

The hoop stress is the design stress for the material, which is the (MRS) divided by the overall service (design) coefficient C.

MRS/C = P (SDR - 1) / 2

or rearranging;

P = 2 MRS / C (SDR - 1)

This pressure ‘P' is then defined as the ‘Maximum Operating Pressure' MOP, or the pressure rating of the pipe.

MOP = 2 MRS / C (SDR - 1)

Where MRS and MOP are in MPa


MOP = 20 MRS / C (SDR - 1)

Where MRS is in MPa and MOP is in bar.

Example : What is the MOP or pressure rating of an SDR11 PE100 water pipe?

For PE100 the MRS = 10 MPa. For water applications the minimum recommended service design coefficient ‘C' is 1.25.

Hence :

MOP = 20 * 10 / 1.25 (11 - 1)

MOP = 16 bar

The following Table shows the range of available SDRs in PE100 pipe.

SDR Available to Order Readily Commercially Available
7.4 tick  
9 tick  
13.6 tick  
21 tick  
41 tick  
Last update Monday 22 January 2024

How to use the calculator ? Select the External pipe diameter, MRS, C and either the SDR OR a value for the MOP. If you select the SDR, the MOP is calculated or if you enter a MOP value, the SDR is...

Members of the Association

BOREALISBOROUGEFormosa Plastics CorporationHanwha TotalEnergiesINEOS O&PIRPCKorea Petrochemical IND. Co., LTD (KPIC)LyondellBasellORLEN UnipetrolPetroChina Dushanzi Petrochemical CompanyPRIME POLYMERSABICSCG Chemicals & Thai PolyethyleneSinopecTASNEE