HDPE pipe is a type of plastic pipe used for the transportation of fluids and gases. HDPE pipe (high-density polyethylene pipe) has many advantages: it is corrosion resistant, flexible, has a high durability, has leak-free joints, and highly adaptable, includes trenchless installation, can be used for pipeline rehabilitation, and is eco-friendly.
Unlike other piping systems HDPE pipe does not rot, rust, or corrode over time. It is resistant to chemicals and biological growth, which means the pipe has a long service life and saves money on repairs and replacement in the long run. Water does not need to be treated when using HDPE pipe to help slow the rust and pitting that is inevitable with metal pipes.
HDPE pipe was once said to last 50 years, but the true-life expectancy can range from 50 to 100 years, depending on the application, design, and installation.
As polyethylene is smoother than steel, cast iron, ductile iron, or concrete, a smaller PE pipe with the same pressure can carry an equivalent volumetric flow rate. At high flow, it has less drag and a lower tendency for turbulence. Its superior chemical resistance and "non-stick" surface work together to virtually eliminate scaling and pitting while preserving the pipe's excellent hydraulic characteristics throughout its service life.
Butt welding, electrofusion welding, socket welding, and extrusion welding can all be used to join HDPE pipe. These welds form a homogeneous joint that is at least as strong as (if not stronger than) the existing pipe, eliminating the need for rubber seals or jointing chemicals (such as is needed with PVC pipe). As a result, HDPE pipe is more eco-friendly, has a longer lifespan, and is less susceptible to root intrusion.
The environmental impact of HDPE pipe is lower than that of other types of plastic pipes. HDPE pipe requires less energy to manufacture than non-plastic pipes. HDPE is lighter and less expensive to transport than metal pipes. Fewer fittings are required due to the flexibility of HDPE and the use of heat fusion joints. Smaller pipe can be used during trenchless installation, resulting in less ground disruption. HDPE pipe joints eliminate hazardous leaks, and HDPE does not emit toxins into the environment during production or use. For all of these reasons, HDPE is known for having a low environmental impact.
Traditionally, piping systems are installed by digging a ditch, which causes disruptions to pedestrians, traffic, and the environment. HDPE pipe can be installed in an open-cut method or with environmentally friendly trenchless technology. This technology can also be used to install HDPE pipes beneath creeks, rivers, lakes, and roads while causing the least amount of environmental disruption.