Market Overview

Plastics Pipe Institute Issues Advisory for Substandard Plastic Pipe


The Plastics Pipe Institute, Inc. (PPI) today issued a warning about
substandard plastic pipe. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe that
does not comply with relevant product standards has been found in the
oil and gas gathering operations of the Permian and Delaware basins in
Texas and New Mexico, according to the association. These pipelines are
not marked with relevant product standard requirements, and may not
comply with those product standards. Pipe that is not properly marked or
certified provides no assurance of product quality and may not perform
as intended for the application. The notice extends to other
areas where HDPE pipe is widely used such as potable water, forced main
sewers, industrial, and mining applications. PPI is the major North
American plastic pipe trade association with many of its member
companies producing resins, pipe, fittings, and components.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

"We're issuing this advisory because we are seeing HDPE pipes that have
significant quality issues," stated Tony Radoszewski, CAE, president of
PPI. "In some cases neither the manufacturer nor the origin of the pipe
could be identified. Unfortunately, due to the quickly rising demand for
HDPE pipe we're seeing an influx of pipe that does not meet industry
standards. Properly marked HDPE pipe will be imprinted to identify
specific standards, and to help confirm that the pipe is suitable for
its intended purpose. But this cannot be relied upon by itself as a
printline is no guarantee of the quality of the pipe. There are other
end-user validation points such as Certificates of Quality from the
manufacturer, on-site inspections of the plant, and an array of
short-term physical property and mechanical tests and measurements on
produced pipe to verify pipe quality.

"Pipe manufacturers can participate in the quality systems established
in the industry. This starts with a TR-4 listing in the Plastics Pipe
Institute Hydrostatic Stress Board Program plus unannounced random
audits conducted by a certifying body.

"Pipe not in compliance could jeopardize the safety of employees, the
public and the environment. Piping products should be inspected upon
delivery to ensure they meet the appropriate standards and the
operator's specifications. This is especially critical for projects in
demanding oil and gas field operations, and is also important for pipe
used in other pressure applications such as water, sewer, industrial,
and mining applications."

The association also recommends that purchasers review the pipe
manufacturer's certification reports along with physical plant
inspections or independent third-party validation and testing.

"There is time, effort and labor needed to develop the standards and to
produce product that will meet those standards," Radoszewski stated.
"Not all HDPE pipe is created equally. Know what resin is being used in
the manufacture of the pipe. Know what company is making the pipe. Know
what company is selling the pipe. There is a considerable investment for
the resin manufacturer and the pipe manufacturer to produce
high-performance products. There is a cost for quality because of the
steps required from the manufacturing of the plastic resin to the
extrusion of the pipe in order to produce a product that meets industry
standards and regulations. But the benefits definitely outweigh the
extra cost. No one wants a catastrophic pipeline failure caused by
substandard pipe."

Additional information can be found at

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