Stress cracking in uPVC and high impact pipes in the natural gas distribution network

 

Utilities distribution # 1974 Southampton

Fig, 1 gives the last known figures (1-1-73) of materials used in the Dutch gas network at 8 bar and lower (under supervision of the gas boards).

The figure shows that during the last 18 years more than 20,000 km of uPVC pipes have been laid, and that since 1966 about 3,200 km of high impact PVC have been applied. The allowable pressure in the pipe lines of these materials is limited up to 0.2 bar.
The high impact PVC that has been applied is a mixture of PVC and chlorinated polyethylene, known as CPE (1).

From a world-wide IGU-inquiry (IGU = International Gas Union) that was held in 1972 for the IGU Symposium 1973 in Nice, it is learned that by Ist January 1972 in the United States 36,000 km of PVC gas mains had been installed, while the figure for the Netherlands on the same date was some 16,000 km. The total length of PVC gas mains in the 14 countries that participated in the inquiry came up to some 56,000 km.

In view of these figures it is clear that the Netherlands next to the USA has the most experience in the use of PVC pipe lines for gas. As for the general experiences with plastics in our country“we refer to the literature 1)2)3)4),

In this paper we deal only with one aspect of PVC gas mains, the stress cracking phenomenon.

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