From municipal governments to businesses to homeowners, many people are choosing polyethylene (PE) pipe based on the distinct advantages it offers over traditional materials like steel, ductile iron, concrete, clay, and PVC:
Toughness and Durability for Long Life Expectancy
Polyethylene offers easy, worry-free handling and installation and resistance to a wide variety of harsh materials. It can also offer excellent resistance to slow crack growth (SCG) and rapid crack propagation (RCP) - critical properties to potentially save time and money and improve the life expectancy of a pipeline system.
Virtually No Leaks - One Continuous Homogeneous System
Pipe made with polyethylene can be fused together to produce a continuous length of virtually leak-free pipe. In addition, PE pipe does not require mechanical fittings or gaskets, which may corrode or leak over the lifetime of the pipeline.
Lightweight and Flexible
Because of its light weight, polyethylene pipe is easier to handle than concrete and steel, and a greater number of pipe lengths can be transported at once, reducing transportation costs. The flexibility of PE pipe allows smaller diameter pipes to be coiled, which also improves handling and transportation efficiency.
Chemical and Corrosion Resistance
Polyethylene can resist some of the harshest materials and environmental factors. From abrasive slurries; to corrosive acids, bases, and salts; to fungi occurring in the most aggressive soils, polyethylene typically outlasts more costly, traditional materials.
Excellent Hydraulic Properties
Pipe extruded from polyethylene offers smoother surfaces than traditional materials, allowing for the potential to transport larger volumes of liquid with less drag and turbulence at high flow rates, plus a greater resistance to scaling and biological buildup commonly found in pipes made from concrete, ductile iron, and steel. These excellent hydraulic fluid flow properties last throughout the lifetime of the PE pipeline.
Low Thermal Conductivity
Polyethylene makes it possible to maintain more uniform temperatures throughout the pipeline system - greatly reducing the need for insulation and allowing for consistent performance.
Depending on the type of material used, polyethylene can also offer performance across a wide temperature range, while maintaining its SCG and RCP resistance properties.
Lightweight and Flexible
Hills and valleys are less of a concern during installation, because PE pipe can follow the curves of the land. This minimizes the use of fittings and makes for a much more economical and efficient installation process. And, polyethylene is ideal for trenchless installation methods. Its flexibility allows for smaller entry pits, creating minimal social disruption.1
Leading the Way with Advanced Technology
Dow's industry-leading portfolio of PE resins for Pipe and Irrigation offers opportunities for advantaged long-term performance, efficient processing and installation, and — in many cases — reduced overall costs. With a lineup that features both proven materials and the latest innovations, we offer a host of advanced solutions for Natural Gas Distribution Pipe, Municipal Water Pipe, Hot & Cold Water Pipe for Plumbing, Micro Irrigation, and Energy Pipe Systems.
Our solutions, however, go far beyond the manufacture and delivery of quality PE resins. We work closely with customers to develop solid answers to their specific needs. Our dedicated Pipe team offers technical service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And The Dow Pipe Technology Center in Freeport, Texas offers hands-on assistance with evaluation, testing, and analysis. Combined with our global reach and ongoing commitment to R&D and innovation, these features help demonstrate the value Dow can offer you as a leading-edge Pipe and Irrigation solutions provider.
1Always follow current applicable industry standards and legal requirements for the dimensions and safe entry of entry pits.