High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pipe is a flexible piping solution used for various projects. HDPE is made from thermoplastic, which is made with polymer resin. HDPE piping is mainly used for conveying fluid as well gas at low temperatures. This includes hazardous wastes, slurry, and also stormwater. This is why HDPE has a distinguished and long service history in the oil, mining, gas, and water industries, among others.

What is High-Density Polyethylene Pipe Used For?

Although it has been around for ages, recently many developments and construction companies are choosing the HDPE option over the long-standing, standard PVC piping option. High-density polyethylene pipe has specific features that makes it easily identifiable and also useful. These key features of HDPE pipes are what make them beneficial, from being easier to carry around on-site to the fewer fittings that are required in the assembly and installation processes, which makes them less labor-intensive.

Types of HDPE Pipes

The three types of HDPE pipes to choose from include:

  • Single-wall polyethylene pipes – Single-wall pipes of different diameters can be used at pressures between two and forty bars.
  • Double-wall polyethylene pipes – Double-wall polyethylene piping is also known as corrugated polyethylene piping. They have two walls with the outer layer being corrugated and the inner layer which is smoother allowing for the easier flow of fluids through the piping. The corrugation of the outer layer makes the pipe a lot more resistant to pressure and impact while still allowing for the flexibility of the pipe.
  • Spiral polyethylene pipes – Spiral polyethylene pipes are very similar to double-wall pipes, the main difference coming in the production of the pipes. The spiral piping has a corrugated outer layer but can withstand slightly higher pressures. Spiral corrugated pipes are generally connected with extrusion attachments.

Uses of HDPE Pipes

This innovative piping is used in infrastructure construction. HDPE pipes are used as or in:

  • High-pressure pipelines
  • Water mains
  • Gas mains
  • Sewer mains
  • Slurry transfer lines
  • Rural irrigation
  • Fire system supply lines
  • Electrical conduit
  • Communications conducting
  • Stormwater pipes
  • Drainage pipes

Advantages and Disadvantages of HDPE Pipes

The use of HDPE High-Density Polyethylene piping systems is becoming more of a first choice for people in the industrial sector and construction industry. People are including the use of HDPE pipes because it has incredible benefits.

HDPE pipes are of high quality, which makes them an extremely reliable piping option. Fittings for HDPE are readily available and easily attached to the piping making it easier for the setup of the system. HDPE pipes are also flexible, so they allow for easy installation of the piping systems for contractors, making installation simpler and thereby quicker.

Being lightweight, DDPE pipes are also easier to load, transport, offload and move around for various projects as well as installations on site. Polyethylene pipes are also made to have a bending radius which allows for the piping to have good resistance to pressure and impact at low temperatures. One of the most important benefits of HDPE pipes is that they are very resistant to different chemicals especially acidic ones, but of course only at lower temperatures.

Advantages of HDPE Pipes

In addition to being impact and chemical resistant, as well as durable in low-temperatures, other advantages include:

  • Cheaper than other piping solutions
  • Preserving the safety and quality of potable (drinking) water
  • Long-term reliability
  • Resistant to corrosion, tuberculation, and deposits
  • Freeze damage resistant in colder climates
  • Low value, making them pointless to steal from construction sites
  • Durable and hardy which increases their cost-effectiveness
  • Flameless joining of sections and fittings
  • Made from eco-friendly, recyclable material
  • Heat fusible ensuring a virtually leak-free performance
  • Erosion resistant so good for transporting liquids containing non-soluble elements
  • Lightweight, especially compared to concrete as well as steel pipes. Therefore, lowering labor requirements.
  • Able to withstand compressive stress as well as tension stress.
  • Resistant to fluids and gases at lower temperatures
  • Flexibility makes elbows and also bends redundant

Disadvantages of HDPE Pipes

Though there are not many disadvantages of HDPE pipes, they are certainly important to be familiar with. The disadvantages include:

  • High thermal expansion
  • Low weather resistance
  • Vulnerable to stress cracking
  • Tricky to bond
  • Flammable
  • Poor high-temperature conduction
  • Low strength/stiffness

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