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Industrial thermoplastic piping systems are now firmly established in a wide range of applications since their introduction over forty years ago. The intervening years have seen dramatic growth in the choice of piping materials, diversity of products, dimensions available and the development of manufacturing standards.

Today there is an enormous choice for the designer faced with the task of selecting the optimum piping system for a specific application. Factors such as corrosion resistance, thermal characteristics, installation technique and life expectancy are all essential criteria that require consideration during the early stages of planning the piping system.

The aim of this part of our website is to raise the awareness amongst consultants, designers, engineers, and installers of the features and benefits of industrial thermoplastic piping systems. Here you will find an introduction to the properties of the different piping materials, their respective installation techniques, pressure and temperature limits, and corrosion and chemical resistance performance.



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The use of synthetic materials has its roots in the first half of the 19 th Century, when inventors began to enhance the natural properties of rubber using additives and by vulcanization. Later that century, cellulose based plastics came into widespread use in the film industry and for man-made fabrics.

However since the middle of the last century the development of plastic materials for use in industry has accelerated beyond what would have been unimaginable for those early pioneers. Thermoplastics and plastic composites now replace metals in use for the most arduous applications. They are lightweight, incredibly strong, and resistant to corrosion and chemical attack.

These pages provide a short history on plastics, and an overview of the materials that are used for plastic piping systems.




Each of the plastic materials used for piping systems has a unique set of properties that make a particular material suitable for some applications and in some cases not for others. In many applications, there will be a choice of materials suitable for a particular process installation, and when this occurs there are many other factors that may be considered, including material cost and ease of installation.

The pages in this section will assist designers in the selection of the correct material for a particular application, and provides a more detailed overview of the plastic materials that are available.




Designers of plastic piping systems need to understand how to ensure that optimum performance is achieved using good design practice. The correct sizing of pipes, the calculation of pressure drop and the control of flow are key issues that require consideration. Other matters that require attention include the effects of thermal expansion and contraction, and how to adequately support a working pipe system.

This section includes guidelines for the design of plastic systems in all materials.




Installed correctly, a plastic piping system will give many years of trouble-free life. However a badly installed system will fail to perform satisfactorily, and in the worst case, may leak.

Experience has shown that it is the installation of systems that most frequently cause problems, with poor jointing being the most likely reason. The following pages provide a detailed account of the various methods that may be used to fabricate and install plastic piping systems. These instructions should be followed carefully at all times.

IPS is also a training provider for plastic system installation, and provides free of charge technical support to users of our systems. If you have any questions about installing systems, or wish to enquire about training courses for installers, email our technical team.




Joining Plastic Piping

Joining Polypropylene

Joining Polyethylene

Joining PVDF

  • – Overview (56KB)
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  • – Butt Fusion Welding (340KB)
  • – Infra-Red (IR) Fusion Welding (376KB)
  • – Electro-Fusion Welding (212KB)

Mechanical Joints on Plastic Piping

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