Entries by jandrews@plasson.com.au

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ASSESSING RISK OF FAILURE IN POLYETHYLENE WATER MAINS

Polyethylene potable water mains with an assumed minimum design life of 50 years have been in widespread use in the water industry for more than 30 years.

In the 1980s and 1990s Severn Trent Water in the UK buried two polyethylene pipe test beds in the Midlands. These two test beds near the pumping stations at Great Gates and Coopers Green, had all the pipe material analysed chemically and mechanically before installation. This was documented in several studies as well as the subsequent exhumations in the following years.

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WHAT IS ELECTROFUSION?

The pipe melt and fitting melt is forced to mix as pressure builds up in the coupler area, due to the design of the fitting, forcing the two plastics together. This is key to producing a good weld. Following the end of the weld cycle, the fitting and the pipe are left to cool and the melted material solidifies to form a permanent joint.

EF TIPS TO SAVE TIME, MONEY AND HASSLES ON ANY JOB

No-one wants to re-do welds so the best way to save time, money and hassles is to ensure each and every weld is done according to best practice.  The key to good electrofusion welding is contained in the POP001 guidelines for electrofusion installation.

POP001 was put together by PIPA, the Plastics Industry Pipe Association of Australia to detail the best practice processes and parameters for electrofusion welding. Following these steps will help ensure quality, long-lasting and reliable pipe connections, helping you be a better installer and achieve more reliable, leak-free EF welds.

EF WELDING: HOW PIPE OVALITY PREVENTS GOOD WELDS

One of the most critical functions of the electrofusion process is to seal the gap between the pipe and the fitting and to build up interfacial pressures for the fusion process to take place. If this gap is not sealed and interfacial pressures cannot build up, there is no way for the electrofusion joint to effectively achieve the high quality fusion it was designed for.