Gard, Stamm, Schmidt
Hot Water # 2006 Washington DC
Plastics materials are rapidly replacing copper pipes and fittings in domestic plumbing and heating systems throughout the world. Over the last 20 years pressure pipe systems made from Polypropylene Random Copolymers (PP-R) have been widely adopted by the plumbing and heating industry in numerous countries around the world. However, while over that period system components have been progressively improved, the basic plastic used has remained essentially the same. This is now set to change with the recently developed new generation of materials using a special “β-nucleation” process, namely PP-RCT. This process enhances the crystalline structure which enables pipes produced from the material to operate at higher stresses at elevated temperatures. Pressure tests on pipes manufactured from PP-RCT materials demonstrate a 50 year strength at 70ºC (158°F) of 5 MPa (725 psi), compared to the 3.2 MPa (464 psi) for standard PP-R materials. Offering more than a 50% improvement in long-term strength, PP-RCT enables designers to select thinner walled pipes and in some situations also smaller diameter pipes can be used. This results in higher pipe hydraulic capacity or the possibility to apply higher pressure than with standard PP-R The paper describes the characteristics and properties of the material and illustrates the benefits it offers to the complete value chain.