Australia’s plastic pipeline infrastructure is vital to the way we live today, delivering essential services and utilities to our homes and communities.
Plastic pipe systems distribute drinking water, gas and electricity. They protect the network of wires and cables that provide electricity, internet and telephone services. They are widely used in irrigation systems for food production. And they safely convey sewage and stormwater, protecting the health of our communities and waterways.
As a vital component of critical infrastructure, plastic pipes are engineered to last a very long time. Our industry has developed detailed Australian Standards and technical specifications, ensuring plastic pipe systems are designed and manufactured to perform safely, reliably and effectively for at least 100 years.
Across the infrastructure and construction industries, there is a strong focus on the sustainability of plastics pipes and fittings. As demand for recycled products increases, specifiers and procurers must understand the:
PIPA’s Discussion paper “The use of recycled material in plastic pipes” provides understanding and insights into these key areas.
PIPA’s Industry Technical Guideline POP208 defines the specification and testing requirements for recycled post-consumer and pre-consumer materials. It provides further guidance on the evaluation and use of these recycled materials in non-pressure pipe applications, providing a pathway for future Standards development.
This paper discusses key points on the use of recycle material in plastic pipes:
PIPA’s Industry Technical Guideline POP208 – Specification and testing guidelines for recycled materials suitable for non-pressure plastic pipe applications
The guideline defines the specification and testing requirements for recycled post-consumer or pre-consumer polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and rigid PVC materials for incorporation into non-pressure pipe and fittings applications covered by the Australian Standards.
Due to the critical role plastic pipes play in our everyday lives, delivering essential services and utilities, it is extremely important for them to be designed and manufactured to meet the required performance. The long-term performance of thermoplastic pipes is highly dependent upon using plastic materials that have the required physical, chemical, and rheological properties. These material properties along with correct pipe design will ensure that pipe performance criteria are met whether the pipe is made from 100% virgin material, or a combination of virgin and post-consumer or pre-consumer recycled thermoplastic materials.
Relevant AS/NZS Standards define material properties and pipe performance criteria. However, internationally a large amount of research and standard development has been undertaken on material characteristics and structured wall pipe performance criteria using recycled materials in non-pressure pipe and fittings
This guideline takes into consideration the work undertaken internationally and provides further guidance on the evaluation and use of post-consumer and pre-consumer recycled materials in non-pressure pipe applications, providing a pathway for future Standards development here in Australia.