PVC pipes in gas distribution: still going strong!

Rene Hermkens, Mannes Wolters, Jeroen Weller, Roy Visser

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionProfessional

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In the Netherlands (impact-modified) PVC is the preferred material for low-pressure (30 and 100 mbar) gas distribution systems. More than 50% of the total length (about 122,000 km) of this system is rigid PVC or impact-modified PVC. The installation of rigid PVC (uPVC) pipelines started about 50 years ago. Presently, about 22,500 km of rigid PVC is still in operation. In this paper the good experiences with rigid PVC gas distribution systems in the Netherlands will be illustrated by results of regular leak surveys and test results on pipe samples taken from the gas grid. It will be shown that the leakage rate of uPVC pipe systems is very low and about equal to that of PE and steel pipe systems. Impact tests show no significant decrease in ductility with respect to time of use. Furthermore, the ductility of the PVC pipeline materials which have been in use for many years is shown to be mainly dependent on the (initial) quality (degree of gelation). The good performance of PVC gas pipeline systems is also proven by modelling studies. It will be shown that the long-term failure behaviour of uPVC is determined by the ability to yield. Failure will occur if a certain critical value of the plastic strain is surpassed. Using this model the long-term behaviour under internal pressure of rigid PVC pipes can be predicted quantitatively.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings Plastic Pipes Symposium XIV
EditorsZ. Davidovski, P. Belloir, J. Fumire
Place of PublicationBudapest, Hungary
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sep 2008
Event14th International Plastic Pipes Conference 2008 - Budapest, Hungary
Duration: 21 Sep 200824 Sep 2008
Conference number: 14


Conference14th International Plastic Pipes Conference 2008
Abbreviated titlePlastic Pipes XIV


  • METIS-255176
  • IR-70504


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