Workshop # 1998 Gothenburg
This presentation is written from the perspective of the water industry and is therefore mostly concerned with pressure pipes for potable water as this is far and away the biggest area of use of plastic pipe systems.
The Water Industry has been constructing its pipe network for over 150 years and it has been estimated that the current UK network length is around 315,000km. Of this approximately 85% are 300mm nominal bore or less, so it can be seen that the vast majority of the assets consist of the small diameter mains which directly supply the customers.
As any distribution engineer will tell you, the performance of these pipes are the basis on which his company is judged by both the Regulators and the customers. Accordingly, pipeline engineers have become increasingly rigorous in the performance requirements they set for new and replacement pipe systems, as there is no wish to repeat the problems now being experienced with the old iron pipes.
Modern plastic piping systems, especially polyethelene, have gone a long way to satisfy these demands and are now first choice for many companies. Set out below is a brief analysis of the factors involved together with some of the questions still to be resolved that researchers, manufacturers and installers should start to concentrate on.