The PE100+ Association’s principal objectives are :
- guaranteeing consistent quality at the highest level in both the production and usage of PE 100+ pipe materials;
- creating a marketing platform to promote the use of polyethylene (‘PE’) piping in general;
- maintaining a focused communication effort towards pipe installers and end-users to promote the use of PE piping in general.
Quality of PE pipes is highly dependent on a few critical parameters:
- creep rupture strength,
- stress crack resistance,
- arrest of rapid crack propagation.
Network engineers rely on these parameters for increasing the use of PE in gas and water distribution networks. The PE 100+ Association aims to set for these critical properties higher performance standards than those founded in CEN/ISO.
Durability under pressure is determined by both the creep rupture strength and stress crack resistance. PE 100+ piping demonstrates significant improvement in the creep rupture strength, which is an important factor in ultimately determining the lifetime of a material. Stress crack resistance of PE 100+ piping products is also clearly improved. This ensures a longer, safer operational life for the pipe. Notched pipe testing is an accelerated method of assessing high stress crack resistance. As in all materials for pressure applications, including steel, engineers want to minimise the risk of rapid crack propagation. As PE 100+ materials are highly ductile, this risk is very low.
The internationally-standardised S4 test is used to assess the performance of PE100+ materials and demonstrates performance well beyond the operational pressure of such materials. By measuring all three properties on the same pipe at a higher level and on a regular basis, the pipe materials listed by the PE 100+ Association deliver continuous, outstanding performance.