European standard for structured wall sewer pipes and fittings
Feb 28, 2007
The European Standard for the plastic structured wall sewer pipes and fittings has been approved.
Plastic structured wall pipes and fittings have been used in Europe for over thirty years. As their name suggests, these pipes are differentiated by a pipe wall that has a structured external profile or are composed of different layers to give an improved performance and to meet the stringent requirements of a drainage and sewer system.
PVC structured wall pipes were introduced in the 1970's. Their lightweight, compared to traditional materials, toughness and excellent resistance to chemicals make them particularly suitable for sewer applications. More recently, structured wall pipes and fittings made from Polypropylene (PP) and Polyethylene (PE) have been introduced.
Structured wall pipes have enabled manufacturers to make systems that meet the requirements of the user. One example is a multi-layered PVC sewer pipe that makes use of recycled material in the intermediate layer. These pipes offer excellent performance with virgin materials being used for the internal and the external layer of the pipe wall, whilst using the recyclate for the intermediate layer of the pipe wall.
The industry has been working together to harmonise views on what are the common requirements for these pipes. One issue was that there were many different types of pipe. There are over 20 different types of these pipes in service covering a whole range of non-pressure applications, some of which are very specialised.
The Standard is expected to be published by CEN later this year and this will be followed in the UK, for example, by BS EN 13476 and in France by Afnor EN 13476. The issue of the variety of types of pipe structure has been solved by enabling member countries to develop their own national foreword text to the Standard. Each Member State will offer a Third Party Certification scheme for their products.
An immediate change in the market is not expected but there will be some important consequences. "This is not about one pipe for Europe and Europe for one pipe!" says Smith. "For cultural and historical reasons, the demand for plastic pipes and fittings on a regional basis has always shaped the nature of the market. This Standard is underscored by technical and quality considerations. This harmonisation will open the door to greater community trading."
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