Pipe Issues Blog

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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 To do this, local governments and utilities need to modernize outdated procurement practices that ignore corrosion-proof PVC pipe.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

Understanding Your Options – PVC Pipe Material Comparison Sheets

Posted By Bruce Hollands on May 25, 2021

Utilities and designers have many pipe material options today. To help decision-makers with the complexities of the selection process, the Uni-Bell PVC Pipe Association has developed pipe material comparison sheets. Each document:

  • Compares PVC pipe to one competitive product for one application
  • Presents engineering-based data, focusing on important design considerations

PVC vs Ductile Iron (DI) for Water

  • History: both PVC and ductile iron (DI) have been available since the 1950's.
  • Primary reasons for PVC usage compared to DI:
    • PVC's longevity of 100+ years
    • DI's susceptibility to both internal and external corrosion

Click here to access the comparison sheet for PVC vs. Ductile Iron pressure pipe.

PVC vs Fiberglass (FRP) for Gravity Sewer

  • History: PVC has a 60+ year history of usage, with fiberglass considerably less.
  • Primary reasons for PVC usage compared to FRP:
    • PVC's ability to accommodate strain from higher deflections
    • FRP's susceptibility to strain-related corrosion

Click here for the sheet comparing PVC vs. Fiberglass gravity sewer pipe.

PVC vs High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) for Water

  • History: The usage of HDPE has been primarily limited to trenchless applications, while PVC has seen use in both trenchless and open-cut installations.
  • Primary reasons for PVC usage compared to HDPE:
    • PVC's superior chemical resistance
    • HDPE's decreased flow capacity due to smaller inside diameters

Click here for the PVC vs. HDPE pressure pipe comparison.

Additional Comparisons Are Available

Three engineering-based comparisons for PVC pipe vs. competitive materials sheets are highlighted above, but more are available. For additional pipe comparison documents, click here.