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A review of the literature on the physical and chemical aging of polyethylene piping has been undertaken. In typical uses the only types of aging mechanism that may limit polyethylene (PE) pipe's durability are photodegradation, oxidative degradation, and slow crack growth under tensile stressing.
Current generation PE pipe grade materials have superior resistance to these forms of aging. This resistance has been confirmed by accelerated aging testing, by fracture mechanics testing, and by evaluating pipes after long service histories.
Appropriate requirements, test methods, and protocols have been incorporated into product standards to adequately protect commercial grade PE piping against aging over the long service life expected in public utility and similar applications.
polyethylene piping, stress-rupture, long-term strength, aging, durability, slow-crack growth
Mruk, Stanley A.
Executive Director, Plastics Pipe Institute, Wayne, NJ