PE100+ Association celebrates its 15th anniversary & 10 successful years of Plastic Pipes conferences at Plastic Pipes XVII in Chicago
The Plastic Pipes Conference Association (PPCA) was formed over 10 years ago to take over the organisation of the Plastic Pipes series of International Conferences. During that time there have been five very successful conferences and the sixth will be Plastic Pipes XVII in Chicago on 22-24th September 2014.
The PE100+ Association, this year also celebrating its 15th anniversary, is a founding member of the PPCA and as well as holding a seat on the Board has a number of active members on the Conference Organising Committee. As Robin Bresser, co-founding director of the PPCA and previous President of the PE100+ Association says: "It is great to see the Plastics Pipes Conferences going from strength to strength and I am sure that the Chicago event will be equally successful. The PPCA have certainly achieved their original objective and the surplus income from previous conferences have been well used, helping international presenters to speak at conferences in places such as China and the Middle East. I am sure that this has widened the scope of these local conferences and will help the local plastic pipe industry to develop."
"The PE100+ Association itself was founded 15 years ago to support the market development of PE100 pipes and fittings," adds current PE100+ president Pierre Belloir "and it is satisfying to witness the tremendous progress that has been achieved in this time and the upcoming conference in Chicago will feature many papers highlighting the success of PE pipes around the world."
Raw material developments are still extremely important to support continued market development and customer satisfaction. New chlorine resistant PE100 grades are described by Mark Boerakke and William Gauthier in their conference papers. One recent major step forward was the development of high stress crack resistant PE100 materials, which are being increasingly used for demanding installation conditions. However a reliable short term test technique is still being sought and some of the possible contenders are presented in a paper by Ernst van der Stok. An alternative radical new test technique will also be presented by Dominique Gueugnaut from a project supported by the PE100+ Association.
Today PE100 pressure pipes are being manufactured up to 2,500mm in diameter and often they are towed halfway around the world to the installation sites. Design engineers are gaining ever increasing confidence in these systems and as Roger Jepson will describe in the Middle East they are now being accepted in industrial applications previously reserved for steel or GRP products. In Australia, Gerald Beckton describes how a rapidly installed 4km 1600mm PE100 pipeline averted a major electrical power outage in the state of Victoria. This pipeline was used to divert the Morwell River, which had broken through a levee flooding an open cast mine which supplied the coal to the Yallourn power station.
Installation benefits also favour PE100 systems especially where trenchless techniques can be employed. Alan Whittle describes the rapid growth in the coal seam gas industry in Australia and their need to install 50,000 km of PE100 pipes in some of the most difficult conditions in the world to connect over 30,000 wells to gas compressor stations and water treatment plants over the next 5-7 years. This has led to the development of new techniques for "ploughing in" larger diameter pipes than has previously been achieved, including twin 315mm and single 610mm diameter pipes to depths of up to 2m.
Trenchless installation is also being used to renovate old leaking water systems in crowded urban environments in many parts of Asia. Prashant Nikhade will illustrate the example of Nagpur, India, where Orange City Water a joint venture between Veolia and a local contractor are making the maximum use of the horizontal directional drilling (HDD) technique. This will help them achieve their plan to connect up to 350,000 houses in the city to the water distribution network over the next five years with the minimum of disturbance. Another example shows the renovation of an old cast iron water main that was corroded and leaking in the congested city of Shanghai. This large diameter conduit was relined using "close-fit" insertion with a folded PE100 pipe. This enabled further leakage to be prevented without disturbing the foundations of a bridge which carried an important high speed rail link.
Another good reason to choose PE100 pipelines is the remarkable toughness of welded PE systems, even under the extreme levels of earth movement experienced in earthquake conditions. Christchurch in New Zealand experienced a number of devastating earthquakes from 2010 to 2012 and Frank O'Callaghan of Iplex Pipelines reports on the some of the lessons learned and the implications for the buried infrastructure.
The development of well grounded specifications has been fundamental to the growth in the use of PE100 pipes. The PE100+ Association has strongly supported this trend since its inception, as Pierre Belloir explains: "We firmly believe that strong specifications and standardisation give the end users confidence in PE pipe systems as well as the confidence to try new products and new techniques. In a paper with Steve Beech and Christophe Salles I will explain how Standardisation has been an important tool that has helped bring the success we have seen in the PE100 pipe market. We hope that you will be there to listen to our paper as well as some of the other 130 papers that will be presented at the conference."
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