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ASTM International Issues Product-Quality Standard for HDPE Conduit

Solid-wall high-density polyethylene (HDPE) conduit protects fiberoptic cables in communication networks. The conduit has superior pulling ability and can withstand external loads for the long haul.

Two years ago at the Outside-Plant (OSP) Expo in Nashville, some stakeholders cited problems due to the divergent quality of polyethylene-conduit products. This prompted the Plastics Pipe Institute (PPI), Washington, D.C., and ASTM International, W. Conshohocken, Pa., to call for an industry standard.

“Since there was no generally accepted standard for conduit,” explains ASTM member White G. Jee, “the short-term and long-term performance properties of conduit were variable. Therefore,” says Jee, principal chemist, Product Development and Services, BP Solvay Polyethylene North America, Deer Park, Texas, “the industry recognized the need for a standard to establish some minimum level of performance to ‘level the playing field’ for those participating in this market end-use.”

As a result, conduit, coupling, and fitting manufacturers, HDPE resin suppliers, and other stakeholders created ASTM F 2160, Standard Specification for Solid Wall High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Conduit Based on Controlled Outside Diameter (OD). The group reached consensus under the aegis of ASTM Committee F17 on Plastic Piping Systems, which will maintain the standard.

Standard F 2160 covers material, dimensional, workmanship and performance requirements for polyethylene conduit, duct and innerduct manufactured for use in a non-pressure application with communication, CATV, or power wire and cables. “The specification provides the end-user a means to assure a degree of consistent quality when specifying a conduit size,” says Jee.

Conduit meeting the standard will be OD-controlled solid wall, with or without internal/external ribs. The sizing is IPS (iron pipe size) with exceptions noted in tables. Internal or external surfaces may contain a coextruded layer if the finished conduit meets the specification’s product requirements.

At the upcoming OSP Expo in Charlotte, N.C., Nov. 6-7, White Jee will present the benefits of ASTM Standard F 2160 with David B. Allison, P.E., an applications-engineering manager with PPI. Their seminar, “HDPE Conduit Systems: Using an ASTM Standard to Design and Build Your Network,” and the OSP trade show are free for registrations received by Oct. 31 (847/639-2200, ext. 228). Seminar day and time will be announced.

For further technical information, contact White G. Jee, BP Solvay Polyethylene North America, Deer Park, Texas (phone: 800/338-0489). Committee F17 meets Nov. 4-7 in Miami Beach. For meeting or membership details, contact Bob Morgan, director, Technical Committee Operations, ASTM International (phone: 610/832- 9732). //

Copyright 2002, ASTM