It is widely agreed nowadays that plastic pipes are a much better option than metal pipes. There are various reasons why this is the case. Firstly, plastic is a lot cheaper. Not only is this in terms of the cost of the production but also the fact that it is cheaper to install, transport and replacements and repairs will not be required as frequently. If that was not enough, plastic does not corrode as metal does, it is not as reactive and it boasts a low heat conductivity. When you take all of this into account it is not difficult to see why plastic is the obvious choice. Nonetheless, what a lot of people do not realise is that there are many different types of plastic to choose from when it comes to your pipe system. Keeping that in mind, read on to discover all about the various types of plastic and what applications they are best suited to…
What are the different types of plastic pipework?
There is only one place to begin and this is with PVC, which is, of course, the most commonly used material. This material is widely used in both non-pressure and pressure applications in the field of low-pressure gas, waste, soil and sewers. There are actually various variants of PVC that are in use as well. MPVC is utilised in applications that are highly demanding, since the material has a high fracture resistance. You then have QPVC, which offers extra impact resistance and very high strength. One of the most common types of PVC variants in terms of pipework utilisation is CPVC. This is utilised for hot water supply systems for indoor applications. Did you know that PVC can actually have a life span of 100 years?
Are you looking for the most versatile pipework?
When it comes to versatility you will struggle to find a better plastic than PP for your home. It has been used in pipework systems for several decades now, since the 70s to be precise. There are a few characteristics of PP that make it one of the most versatile and obvious options for many different applications. It boasts a great chemical resistance and an excellent stiffness. As a result of this, you will often find that PP pipes are used for many sewer applications.
PE is another type of plastic that is worth considering
The next type of plastic that is definitely worth a mention is PE. PE is also used in a broad scope of applications. It is a unique type of plastic because it is flexible, lightweight and easy to wield. They also have the added benefit of exceptional flow characteristics thanks to the smooth interior finish. You will find that they are utilised in trench-less and lining technologies. They also have a predicate life span of more than 50 years.
Finally, you should also consider PEX plastic
Last but not least, the final plastic we are going to mention is PEX. This type of plastic has to be touched upon, since it is the obvious choice for transporting materials that are of an exceptionally high temperature, since it is a thermoplastic material. Similarly to PP, this is a type of plastic that has been used in pipework systems since the 1950s. It has the benefit of being able to be led around structures minus fittings, since it is incredibly flexible. From boiling temperatures to temperatures below freezing, this plastic can handle it all, which is why it is great for ceiling cooling, de-icing, underfloor heating, radiator, and cold water and hot water applications.
No matter what sort of pipework you decide to go for in the end, you need to make sure that you choose a professional service. You may also need to prepare the area in advance as well. For example, if you are having pipework fitted in your crawl space, you may need to have this dried out beforehand. You can read this guide on how to dry out crawl space quickly for more information. If you are unsure as to whether you need to prepare the area, this is something that your plumber will be able to advise on and they may even offer this as part of the service depending on what is required.
So there you have it – an insight into the various different types of plastic used in pipework systems today. If you are purchasing plastic pipes it is imperative to keep this in mind so that you purchase the correct type for your requirements.
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