Headford, Hill, Wilson
# 2004 Milan
The United Kingdom is the most highly developed PE pressure pipe market in the world. Following pioneering work done in the USA and Germany, it was the UK that was first to adopt PE on a large scale for gas, and then for water distribution. The 100% PE policy of British Gas, and wide range of sizes used (at low pressure), provided the platform for development of a complete system, even in large sizes, that could be emulated for water. Undoubtedly this was, at least in part, driven forward into the water industry by a favourable fiscal regime following privatisation of the UK utility industries (very different now). This environment provided for a sound engineering approach to system design, with excellent controls and high performance expectations across the entire size range. The complete story is more than can be written in a short paper, so here we have concentrated on those key elements still of interest for other developing markets. These cover a brief history of development of the product and manufacturing methods, leading to key performance factors and the current state of the art as seen from an UK perspective.