# 1972 Southampton
The last year has seen one of the most depressing periods since the war in the history of the plastics industry. This has applied to both the manufacturers of the polymeric materials and also to the fabricator. Not only has the general level of business activity been very much lower than forecast, but new capital investment has produced a very high surplus of production capacity, so that many manufacturers have fallen to the temptation to take business at uneconomic price levels. This situation has not been limited to the UK; it has been world-wide. Under such conditions it is not unnatural that companies engaged in highly technical activities should go through a period of retrenchment and attempt to restore their profit margins by reducing their costs. It is of course always the research and development activities which come under immediate review, and this has been more severe during the past year than at any time since the war. It is with some considerable trepidation that under these conditions we should attempt to make predictions of developments which we anticipate will take place in the manufacture of plastics pipes.
Undoubtedly the present cost of plastics pipe material as compared with conventional systems has given the main impetus to the present usage; prices of plastics have been falling, and with the advantages of cheaper apd quicker installation techniques the opportunities have extended dramatically, and the pipe producers have not been slow to seize the initiative. Corrosion resistance, particularly in difficult locations, is becoming a significant factor, although it is astounding that it has taken so long to convince maintenance engineers that the continuing periodic replacement of corroding pipework does not make economic sense.