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Join Date: Nov 2009
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How Does Sunlight Affect UPVC Pipes?

11/02/2009 4:14 AM

i need to your help guys , since days ago i read AWWA for PVC pipes , regarding storage that said the affection of sunlight on pvc pipe start after two year, can we say the same thing on UPVC pipes.

thanks alot guys

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#1

Re: Affection of sunlight on upvc pipes

11/02/2009 4:35 AM
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#2

Re: Affection of sunlight on upvc pipes

11/02/2009 8:48 AM

I thought his post was rather queer, myself. Seems as though the original post has been edited.

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#3

Re: Affection of sunlight on upvc pipes

11/02/2009 8:53 AM

Seriously now, I just replaced the outdoor plumbing on a thirty year old swimming pool. The pipe was still in good condition, but I put a new filter in. So, based on my experience, I'd say that uPVC is good for at least 20 years of outdoor exposure.

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#4

Re: How Does Sunlight Affect UPVC Pipes?

11/03/2009 5:24 AM

Hi Aalawgele,

Obviously the 'life' of UPVC pipes has a limit, and after tests it was thought 100 years was to be a 'conservative figure.

But as long as they are not under direct sun, the solar damage only reduces the overall strength by 25%. This still puts UPVC Pipes at the number one spot as, even after the reduction in strength it is still stronger, more flexible etc than the next nearest pipe type.

Water Authorities choose UPVC because of its strength and flexibility.

You should bear in mind in most cases UPVC Pipe will NOT be in direct Ultraviolet light. You can always paint it if you are worried. But from my use of it and because of its flexibility this allows it to take pressure from inside and outside without damage enough to cause a leak.

I list below a solar integrity test and the site.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Life expectancy of UPVC Pipe

UPVC Pipe Ultraviolet Light Test

http://www.uni-bell.org/faq.html#q1


Uni-Bell has served the engineering, regulatory, public health and standardization communities with integrity and considerable measures of both time and resources. Whenever questions have arisen relative to PVC pipe performance, Uni-Bell members, through their Association, have responded. Pipe designers and installers have been provided with much needed research from Uni-Bell regarding pipe deflection, ultraviolet aging, tapping, cyclic surge performance, in-service durability, and safety. The following Frequently Asked Questions are provided in an effort to share information on some common topics. If you would like to discuss any of the questions or answers in greater detail, feel free to contact any of the qualified engineers on the Uni-Bell staff.
  1. What are the advantages of using gasketed-joint PVC pipe?
  2. What is the life expectancy of PVC pipe?
  3. What effect does ultraviolet exposure have on PVC pipe?
  4. What is the difference between DR and SDR?
  5. What is flexible conduit deflection and how is it calculated?
  6. What is the maximum allowable depth of bury for PVC pipe?
  7. What is the recommended Manning's 'n' value for PVC pipe?
  8. What is Uni-Bell's recommendation for bell-direction during installation?
  9. What is the difference between pressure class and pressure rating?
  10. What are the differences between different pipe specifications?
  11. Can PVC pipe withstand a vacuum? If so, what is the maximum vacuum that PVC pipe can withstand?
  12. What are the most commonly used Standards for PVC water and sewer pipe?

Q: What is the life expectancy of PVC pipe?

A: PVC has an impressive record of long-term durability. When water utility managers and engineering firms were surveyed in a study sponsored by the American Water Works Association Research Foundation (AWWARF), they cited corrosion resistance, longevity and durability as their top reasons for choosing PVC. When these same water supply professionals were asked to rank PVC against the other common types of pressure pipes for life expectancy, PVC ranked first. [Source: Moser, A.P., and Kellogg, Kenneth G., "Evaluation of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Pipe Performance," AWWA Research Foundation, Denver, Colorado, 1994.]

Uni-Bell has an extensive collection of technical papers and experience articles that cover the subject of water and sewer pipe longevity in detail. These items are available, free of charge, by contacting Uni-Bell. After reading these papers, we believe you will come to the same conclusion that we have and consider one hundred years an extremely conservative estimate for the service life of a properly designed and installed PVC pipe.

Q: What effect does ultraviolet exposure have on PVC pipe?

A: In order to accurately quantify the effects of UV radiation on PVC pipe, Uni-Bell members conducted a two-year study in the late 1970s at various outdoor locations in the United States and Canada. In this study, PVC pipe samples were placed on horizontal exposure racks and placed so that they received continual exposure to the sun. At various points throughout the study, tests to evaluate mechanical properties were performed on the portion of the pipes that received the maximum UV exposure.

The results of the study (published as UNI-TR-5, "The Effects of Ultraviolet Aging on PVC Pipe") indicate a gradual decline in the pipe's impact strength. The lowest impact strength recorded after two years of exposure was 158 ft-lbf, or 75% of the original ASTM value. Even this reduced value exceeds those of most alternative sewer pipe products. These results indicate that no unusual handling problems should be expected from PVC pipe even after long-term exposure to sunlight.

The study results also show that Modulus of Elasticity and Tensile Strength were virtually unaffected. The fact that these properties are unaffected signifies that structural integrity and pressure capacity remain unchanged. UV degradation does not continue after installation when exposure to UV radiation is terminated.

The presence of an opaque surface between the sun and the pipe prevents UV degradation, since UV radiation will not penetrate thin shields such as paint coatings or wrappings. Burial provides complete protection.

When exposure in excess of two years of direct sunlight is unavoidable, PVC pipe should be covered with an opaque material while permitting adequate air circulation around the pipe. This prevents excessive heat accumulation.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Take care and good luck.

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: How Does Sunlight Affect UPVC Pipes?

11/03/2009 8:32 AM

You present data as if there were only one variety of upvc. Pigment and stabilizer packages will have a tremendous effect the viability of the particular resin system in use. I would check the pipe regularly for evidence of chalking, crazing or other degradation and change out the pipe if and when I see evidence that UV has degraded the polymer. Flexible materials are particularly susceptible to migration of the ingredients responsible for imparting flexibility. Loss of flexibility could cause problems if the pipe experiences temperature related stresses or are subject to impact.

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#7
In reply to #5

Re: How Does Sunlight Affect UPVC Pipes?

11/03/2009 9:49 PM

Hello Daddio,

1) I answered the OP request as accurately as I was able to with accredited tests of the type of pipe (UPVC) and, the kind of worries (Solar damage), and listed several places on the site for all or anyone to read.

I have no connection to the site I recovered the details from!

2) In most cases UPVC will never be in direct sunlight, as it is usually buried, or encased oftentimes. These or any other types of 'Pipes' apart from Salt Glazed Sewer, are:

3) Not old enough to have enough testing which could say they would last as long as SG Sewer pipes, and it is often not the SG pipe that breaks but the way it was installed, given weak joints, and it is the joints which failed. This was listed as an example only.......... Back to UPVC.

4) UPVC or any other plastic pipe or metal pipe carrying a normal liquid with a 'PH' similar to fresh water rarely is in use for more than 30 to 40 years at most.

5) I know from personal experience that the usual non-contractor grade copper pipe, which is what is mostly available from DIY (Do It Yourself) Stores wears thin from the flow of water and 'pin-holes', and in my case that was after approximately 15/20 years.Even Proper Contract Grade Copper lasted only approx' 30 years.

6) I can see no substantive proof from you of what you say. You can say your favourite colour is 'sky blue pink', but time researching it, and a little thought will prove it can't be!

The details I posted have links which I listed. You can easily check on them to see what they say. I NEVER post something saying it is my work when it isn't OK? And I never post 'fairy stories' (which you infer) which cannot be confirmed.

Did you click on the links and check ANYTHING I said? I doubt it.

Instead of wasting time and space and inferring what I sent in was wrong, why do you not post some further details on this subject. You will only need to spend time researching as I did. But of course............ I should have realised, it takes far less time to criticise others than it does to do any research

I posted the details as I found them of tests done by Professional Bodies who offer free use of the results of other info' on UPVC Pipes. UPVC Pipes cannot be tested for their full lifetime, as they are relatively a new material.

However they can be tested, which included physical strength, and also pressure, and deflection, and solar damage, with results extrapolated as to the reasonable life expectancy. see below:

==================================================

Q: What is the life expectancy of PVC pipe?

A: PVC has an impressive record of long-term durability. When water utility managers and engineering firms we surveyed in a study sponsored by the American Water Works Association Research Foundation (AWWARF), they cited corrosion resistance, longevity and durability as their top reasons for choosing PVC. When these same water supply professionals were asked to rank PVC against the other common types of pressure pipes for life expectancy, PVC ranked first.

[Source: Moser, A.P., and Kellogg, Kenneth G., "Evaluation of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Pipe Performance," AWWA Research Foundation, Denver, Colorado, 1994.]

Uni-Bell has an extensive collection of technical papers and experience articles that cover the subject of water and sewer pipe longevity in detail. These items are available, free of charge, by contacting Uni-Bell. After reading these papers, we believe you will come to the same conclusion that we have and consider one hundred years an extremely conservative estimate for the service life of a properly designed and installed PVC pipe.

================================================

Take care. No insult intended.

__________________
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#6

Re: How Does Sunlight Affect UPVC Pipes?

11/03/2009 10:31 AM

Potential sunlight effects on plastics, including the various types of "pvc" or "upvc" (and other things), are many. See prior discussion e.g. at http://cr4.globalspec.com/thread/37780#comment393856.

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#8
In reply to #6

Re: How Does Sunlight Affect UPVC Pipes?

11/03/2009 9:52 PM

Hi RC,

Please see my comments in post #7.

Take care.

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