Both ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) and PVC (polyvinyl chloride) pipe are generally used for pressure liquid applications and potable water. UPVC pipe (unplasticised polyvinyl chloride) is generally used for pressure liquid applications and potable water although, with the numerous benefits associated with using plastic pipe as opposed to traditional metal pipework, their uses are increasing throughout a variety of industries.
Light-weight and easy to handle, plastic pipes can be installed faster than their metal counterparts in addition to being made of non-hazardous material. With the current focus on sustainability, plastic pipe provides an alternative that is cleaner to produce and uses fewer raw materials. Additionally, when plastic pipe has come to the end of its lifecycle it can be recycled into children’s toys, bin bags and furniture (amongst other things). Even plastic that cannot be recycled can be used as industrial fuel due to the extensive amount of heat that is produced from relatively small amounts of material.
Easy to install push-fit and solvent-weld joints have made the installation of pipework easier and faster, eliminating the need for specialist tools and skilled workers to do the job (which is a distinct benefit given the current skills shortage in the construction sector). There are additional health and safety benefits due to the reduced risk of a potential fire as the result of cutting and welding on-site.
Old buildings often contain highly flammable materials and in many cases specialist permits are required before cutting and welding of metal piping can begin which delays progress and increases costs. With plastic piping, complex configurations can be pre-assembled off-site and can be delivered, ready for immediate installation. See our installation manuals.
Once installed, plastic pipes can be extremely reliable for many years with no rust associated problems like there are with metal (such as re-painting) which generate significant costs over the lifetime of the product. Damaged components can be replaced with more ease than with metal, and plastic piping is not prone to a build up of scale in hard water areas.
Additionally, the sound of materials travelling through the pipe is considerably reduced and can be practically eliminated with the use of specialist plastic piping in multi-occupancy buildings.
Finally, a major problem facing those working within the construction industry in recent years focuses around the increasing price of scrap metal. Organised gangs are targeting construction sites for metals to melt down and sell. Once again plastic eliminates this problem and can only be described as the clear winner wherever there is a choice of suitable materials.