Gas Industry # 1972 Southampton
Plastics pipes have been used for a variety of applications since the mid-1950s, but they have not been considered very seriously by the Gas Industry until fairly recently. Until 1965, the majority of fuel gas in the UK was 'towns gas' with a high content of liquid aromatic hydrocarbons. This 'wet' gas attacked pipes of plastics materials causing swelling and weakening of the walls. Today 'clean' natural gas and 'dry' manufactured (reformed) gas have removed this problem, and with it the major obstacle to the use of plastics pipes for gas transmission.
This does not mean that pkstics pipes will automatically be specified for gas distribution; technical and commercial advantages must accrue from the use of such a pipe system. Let us first look at the basic requirements for a gas distribution pipe system, and then consider the materials available so that a choice can be attempted.