Papers # 2016 Berlin
PVC pipes for buried applications for water, sewer and gas, has developed an excellent track record. PVC is very inert, has a high resistance against permeation of soil contaminations and gas components and meanwhile has a long proven lifetime. Next to that, the lifecycle costs of buried PVC pipe systems are amongst the lowest due to its easy installation, low operational costs and the excellent ability to be recycled and used again in new pipes with another functional lifetime of at least another 50 years in all kind of applications.
This paper reports on the excellent experience with PVC pipes in various applications, varying from water supply, gas distribution to sewage collection and transport.
First applications were seen in Berlin, Germany around 1930 (Lit. 1) . A real boost in the use of this material was created in the middle fifties after a water company in The Netherlands started to use the material on large scale for water supply, followed by the use for gas distribution and for sewer applications as well. The paper will highlight on these developments and illustrate its track record. The use of PVC pipes for water supply is one of the main contributors to the excellent performance characteristics of the Dutch water industry, which is amongst the best in the world. Dutch water statistics are used to illustrate this further.
PVC Pipes were also the first flexible pipes used for sewer applications. Research in the performance and durability of buried flexible pipes, carried out by Wavin, KOMO, TEPPFA, TNO and others are referred too for this purpose. Also the first structured wall pipes were designed in PVC. The first type was called Wavihol (1978) followed by multilayer pipes, Ultra-rib and twin wall PVC pipes. The performance of those buried pipes will be briefly discussed as well.
It is concluded that PVC pipes for buried applications and being used now for more than 80 years, have an excellent track record. Developments over the years have resulted in even more robust and cost effective solutions in PVC in all buried pipe applications.
Over the years many improvements have been achieved in raw material and processing which resulted in products with excellent performance in various applications. In the eighties a start was made to recycle all kind of materials in order to minimize on one hand the waste and at the same time to lower the need for consuming more new resources from the earth. Now already a long and positive track record exists in recycling of PVC materials, contributing to a society moving towards a more cyclic economy in which materials are no longer wasted after use, but are prepared for their next function.