Robert J Lawrence
Papers # 2014 Chicago
In the Middle East the environment is exceptionally aggressive for all pipe systems due to the high temperatures, the high groundwater table and the very saline soils. This obviously makes metallic pipes and cement based pipes high risk options but it also poses challenges for polyolefin (PO). In this paper the author examines the challenges to the introduction of PO pipes over the last two decades and what can be done to improve future prospects.
One example from the UAE is sulphide corrosion of the Asbestos Cement sewer system which became a major engineering problem. Most of these pipes were replaced by Fibre Reinforced Polyester but these are now also starting to show problems. This creates an opportunity for the introduction of large diameter PP non pressure pipes but for PP to be accepted we have to overcome a number of barriers as we did with PE pressure pipes following their introduction in the early 1990’s.
Success will require regional agreement on basic design criteria. In the paper the author shows how the adoption of simple guidelines can ease this task. For example the acceptance of the simpler TEPPFA approach rather than the more complex Spangler models. The existing standards will also need to be addressed, for although ISO standards are generally accepted in the region the current ones do not always adequately cover all the concerns of the engineers. In the paper we review some of the concerns and make some suggestions which will help local engineers increase their trust in PO systems. Finally the need for a Quality Mark, which has been advocated by the GPPA for some time, is addressed and suggestions are made on how to push this program forward.