Pipe Issues Blog

Welcome to the Pipe Issues Blog

Welcome to my blog.

North America's underground infrastructure is crumbling at an alarming rate, so smarter, more cost-effective and sustainable practices are needed.

Broader use of PVC pipe would solve this problem and enable municipalities to spend taxpayer dollars more wisely. To do this, local governments and utilities need to modernize outdated procurement practices that ignore corrosion-proof PVC pipe.

Explore our web site and visit my blog to learn about the exceptional performance and environmental attributes of PVC pipe, and why it should be included in every bid for water and wastewater infrastructure. To connect to my blog, bookmark this page or link our Pipe Issues Blog to your RSS feed program.

Industry expert and Uni-Bell PVC Pipe Association President & CEO Bruce Hollands shares the facts.

Bruce Hollands

PVC and Fiberglass Gravity Sewer Pipes: Material Comparison

Posted By Bruce Hollands on Oct 15, 2015

PVC sewer pipe is manufactured and tested per ASTM standard F679 and is now available in sizes up to 60 inches. Fiberglass sewer pipe is manufactured per ASTM standard D3262 and is available in diameters of 24 inches and larger.

The Truth About Pipe Stiffness and Pipe Deflection

Some fiberglass documents try to distinguish between PVC's pipe stiffness (PS) and FRP's nominal stiffness (SN), alleging that PVC needs to have higher pipe stiffness than fiberglass. However, science does not support fiberglass's contentions: the truth is that the same loadings applied to pipes with the same stiffness will result in the same deflections.

  • 46 psi PS for PVC equals 46 psi SN for fiberglass → same stiffness = same pipe deflection
  • 75 psi PS for PVC approximately equals 72 psi SN for fiberglass → same stiffness = same deflection

Science says that not only are fiberglass allegations unfounded, in reality the opposite is true: since PVC provides greater allowable pipe deflections, it is often the case that fiberglass is the material that requires higher pipe stiffness.

Comparison Shows PVC Advantage

For projects from 18- to 60-inch, PVC is the clear product of choice as shown by a direct comparison of the two materials. Click here for the PVC/Fiberglass Material Comparison Sheet.

Need Assistance with Your Large-Diameter Sewer Project?

If you are planning a large-diameter gravity sewer project, consider PVC instead of alternatives. PVC brings the same set of attributes to larger diameters that have made it the material of choice for smaller diameters for over 60 years. For assistance, call the PVC Pipe Association's engineering team at 972-243-3902 or email info@uni-bell.org.