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

Is PE more easily damaged than other pipe materials?

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Damage to underground pipes most commonly occurs from external impact on the wall of the pipeline during costruction or operation, and from progressive corrosion during operation. PE pipe does not suffer from progressive deterioration such as corrosion so the primary risk is third party external damage. Any damage to PE pipe is immediately apparent and can be immediately repaired.

The degree of damage depends on the nature and the force of the impact. If it causes through-wall penetration this results in immediate fluid loss and immediate repair needs to be carried out. During routine handling operations, due to its light weight, PE suffers little damage and where potential damage has occurred, for instance from scratches and scoring, guidelines are available from manufacturers to determine its fitness for purpose. PE pipe does not have any coating that can be easily damaged leading to future corrosion.

However damage to steel and iron pipes tends to damage the external pipe coating and only in extreme circumstances results in through-wall penetration. In such cases damage may not be apparent and the pipeline may subsequently fail and need repairing at some point in the future incurring higher costs and disruption with little chance of identifying the third party offender and with the costs being borne by the pipeline operator.


Last update Wednesday 27 March 2024

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