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Magazines & Newsletters / ASTM Standardization News

Polyethylene Pipe

January/February 2008

Polyethylene Pipe

In reviewing the November 2007 issue of SN, I read with interest the article regarding “New Plastic Piping Systems Standard Allows for Use of Recycled Material.” Of particular interest was John Kurdziel’s comments regarding ASTM F 2648, Specification for 2 to 60 inch [50 to 1500 mm] Annular Corrugated Profile Wall Polyethylene (PE) Pipe and Fittings for Land Drainage Applications. Mr. Kurdziel claims that ASTM standard F 2648 “allows the user to specify the use of blended recycled materials for large diameter HDPE pipe product.” While Mr. Kurdziel and the company he works for may be interested in making money at the cost to our citizens through the use of cheap recycled materials, ASTM F 2648 does not allow this type of product.

ASTM F 2648 specifically allows “clean rework material generated from the manufacturer’s own pipe and fittings production” but does not address recycled material generated outside of one’s own production. In fact, a recent ballot to allow recycled material in this standard was defeated. Thus, I hardly see where the user can “specify the use of blended recycled materials” as claimed by Mr. Kurdziel.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials has considered the use of recycled polyethylene material in drainage pipe for years but has yet to include it. Instead it is supporting an ongoing National Cooperative Highway Research Program for “Performance and Quality Control of Corrugated Pipe Manufactured with Recycled Polyethylene Content.” One of the researchers’ tasks is to “identify the materials test methods and specifications that best define the quality of recycled HDPE suitable for production of corrugated drainage pipe.” These test methods will go beyond the current cell classification requirements found in F 2648. Thus, the notion that F 2648 allows the use of recycled material is a mistaken one.

Josh Beakley
American Concrete Pipe Association, Irving, Texas
Member, ASTM Committees C13 on Concrete Pipe, D20 on Plastics, F17 on Plastic Piping Systems, and F36 on Technology and Underground Utilities