System Experience & Training # 1998 Gothenburg
Polyethylene has now been successfully used as a pipe material for around 50 years. During this time, knowledge has been gained of the three main factors that influence the lifetime of the pipe system; material factors, environmental factors and loading factors, fig. 1. It is quite clear that today's PE pipe systems will be able to give dependable service for well over 50 years. So the obvious next question is; Will they last for 100 years?
There are now well-established test methods for predicting the technical lifetime of a polyethylene pipe. In ref. 2 a study to predict the lifetime of PE pipe material was conducted, which identified the parameters that limit service life. The study's conclusion was that the expected service life will exceed 100 years. Some of the criteria in ref. 2 are valid for PE as a pipe material and will be referred to in this paper.
This paper takes as its subject those criteria which need to be fulfilled for a water pipe system made of PEI 00, installed in accordance with recognised good practice, in order to demonstrate an expected service lifetime of more than 100 years .
The conclusion is reached that it is very likely that such a PE 100 pipe system will have trouble free operation for this period of time.