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Technical details and importance of the new method of determining “resistance to occasional freeze-thaw cycling of pex” and “environmental abuse”

 

Papers # 2016 Berlin

In an effort to better understand the different demand upon environmental impact including prolonged and unexpected cold weather patterns, there is a need for the piping system to meet a degree of freeze and thaw resistance. The freeze and thaw cycling test protocol, Water Quality Association (WQA) ORD 1502, is developed in partnership with the Uponor Technology Group (UTG) and Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs)/Accredited Testing and Certification Agencies. WQA ORD 1502 is referenced within the Canadian Construction Materials Commission (CCMC) report issued by National Research Council (NRC) of Canada recognizing the importance and needs for assuring environmental impact on plastic pipes. This study discusses the preliminary test method developed and freeze-thaw cycle data obtained for PEX pipes.

Cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) piping system has been widely used for the residential plumbing and floor heating applications for over 50 years worldwide. Especially within the last decade the use of PEX piping system has grown its acceptance within “commercial” construction where typically engineers are involved in planning, design and supervision of installation and maintenance in both Canada and the U.S.

Understanding the different demand upon environmental impact including prolonged and unexpected cold weather patterns, there is a need for the piping system to meet a degree of freeze and thaw resistance. The Freeze and Thaw Cycling of PEX was developed in partnership with the Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs). The test protocol WQA ORD 1502 is supported by the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada and they are including reference within the Canadian Construction Materials Commission (CCMC) report.

Also, potential abuse based on the way of handling the piping system may result in undesired impact on overall performance; therefore, having in-depth understanding of performance of such piping system is required when meeting the minimum performance requirements per applicable codes and standards are not sufficient. The test condition has been modified upon extending the duration or degree of exposure so that the limitation on such piping system can be defined. The testing included external notches of both 10% and 20%. This cycle was repeated five times and a burst test was conducted on the exposed sample assembly.

Related keywords : Freeze and thaw cycling of PEX pipes, Environmental impact, Cold Weather installations, Construction materials, plastic tubing, thermocycling.
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