Fundamentals # 1982 York
Consumption data for the UK pipe markets for PVC, LDPE, HDPE and PP are detailed together with comments on their relative importance to each polymer. Historical growth and market developments are discussed and comment is offered on the future of the UK plastics pipe industry with reference to market penetration, new market developments and the level of general economic activity expected during the 1980's.
The transport of materials by pipeline is not a recent development. The ancient aqueducts which are still seen in many parts of the world are one of several examples.
Some Of the earliest materials used for pipe manufacture were wood and clay. With the industrial revolution came iron and steel pipe together with concrete. Pipelines were used to transport a variety of products at steadily increasing pressures and the pipeline industry grew and developed to meet the increasing demand and performance required.
Pipe manufactured from the polyolefin family and PVC that are referred to in this paper has only been in use Over the last 30 years but the materials have brought their inherent advantages to bear and have penetrated several markets.
Today the UK pipe market for plumbing, waste water, gas, water pressure, sewerage and drainage is estimated at about £600m with a plastics share of £240m. Although not all the pipe markets are potential ones for the current range of plastics pipes this paper does make comments on the likely future developments for plastic pipes as well as detailing the current market situation.
Transportation by pipeline is one of the cheapest methods of product transportation (1), and this advantage should be fully utilised by the industry in seeking and developing new markets.