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PPI releases recycled resin HDPE performance study

PPI releases recycled resin HDPE performance study

PPI has released a paper from researchers at Villanova University examining a study into the performance of high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe containing recycled HDPE resin.

The three-year study, which commenced in October 2013, involved the evaluation of two 30 inch (762 mm) diameter pipes that were installed underneath a main commuter rail line near Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

The first of the large diameter pipes comprised 100 per cent virgin materials, while the second contained 49 per cent post-consumer recycled content.

Regular rail traffic operated over the installed pipes during the following three years, and a detailed field analysis showed that there were no noticeable differences between the pipes.

A long-term performance test to measure fatigue and stress cracking was conducted in laboratory conditions, and the results indicated that both pipes should have a service life of 100 years or more.

“The railroad industry is reliant on drainage infrastructure materials that are sustainable and resilient and offer a long service life relative to the cyclical live loading conditions typical in these applications,” said the Author of the study Dr Michael Pluimer.

“Since pipes manufactured with recycled materials can be more sustainable and cost-effective than those manufactured with 100 percent virgin materials, it was important to compare the performance and durability of the pipes in these applications.”

Plastics Pipe Institute (PPI) President Tony Radoszewski said the study made an important contribution to the development of sustainable infrastructure systems.

“The transportation industry, just like many other areas, is seeking to incorporate more sustainable and cost-effective engineering materials and practices into their infrastructure systems,” said Mr Radoszewski.

“This has prompted research into new products that can be manufactured with more sustainable materials, such as those incorporating recycled content.

“The incorporation of recycled materials into products used in transportation infrastructure offers both economic and environmental benefits.”

PPI Corrugated Plastic Pipe Division Director of Engineering Daniel Currence said the history of the use of HDPE pipe in the rail industry, namely its durability and sustainability, is part of what makes it ideal for use in tough environments.

“For more than 50 years, HDPE pipe has been known to stand up to tough environments including toxic waste and high pH levels,” said Mr Currence.

“Its projected 100-year service life has been documented by independent studies and state and federal government agencies, including the US Departments of Transportation.

“HDPE pipe is favored by the railroad industry for its durability and environmental sustainability, ensuring the pipe will serve generations to come.

“Strong, durable, light-weight and flexible, this pipe requires significantly less energy to fabricate, transport and install than metal or concrete alternatives.

“With superior resistance to corrosion and abrasion, plastic piping systems also supply long service life, excellent joint performance and offer leak free protection – all adding up to exceptional value.

“Additionally, pipe made from HDPE can be recycled into many products including pipe, which is exactly what was used and validated in this study.”

For more information visit the PPI website.

If you have news you would like featured in Trenchless International contact Editor Nick Lovering at nlovering@gs-press.com.au

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