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Plastic pipework for gas in buildings and the consequences of fire



Plastic Pipes Conference Association # 2012 Barcelona

Hella J.M.Rijpkema, Hendrik J.Roebers, Marco C.A.Mekes

The application of plastic pipework for gas inside buildings is still restricted by national laws or local regulations in many countries, while other countries allow this application. The exclusion of plastics is in the main based on the supposed fear of the impact of a fire on the pipework and the escape of unburned gas with all its consequences. Supporting data based on incident statistics will help to pave the road to more favourable legislation for plastic pipework inside buildings. In many countries over the world gas incident data of gas installations have been collected for many years. In some of these countries incident data are confidential while in other they are published and may be used freely. The causes of incidents with pipework vary widely. Not only material failure and third party involvement are well known causes but also manipulation or suicide actions. It is obvious that the later two mentioned causes have to be removed from statistics because these are not material related. In view of statistical data, critical pipe failure due to fire impact are extremely seldom. As a result a corrected overview of incidents will be presented and field experiences from The Netherlands will be reported. In this country the use of multilayer pipe in domestic pipework is very common for more than ten years. The conclusion is that the incident rate (excluding manipulation and suicide) is very low and plastic pipework for gas in buildings does not contribute to an increase in failure statistics. The experiences with working with plastic installation pipework are excellent. Especially the tightness of the pipework has been mentioned as an advantage. As soon as the road has been paved, the application of plastic pipework can be rolled out worldwide! National and international regulations have to be modified in favour of Multilayer(ML) domestic gas pipework.

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