- TIPS Members
- Member Products
- Case Studies
- Features & Benefits
- Engineering Design
- Product Availability
- Educational Materials
- Joining Methods
Common everyday items such as drinking water, computers, automobiles, home appliances, prescriptions and hundreds more owe their creation in a large part to TIPS unique products. TIPS products are critical to the success of such industries as electronics and semiconductors, steel processing, pharmaceuticals, mining, desalination, pulp and paper and many other basic industries.
TIPS is the acronym for Thermoplastic Industrial Piping Systems: it also is the name of a Product Line Committee (PLC) of the PPFA. The TIPS PLC is composed of several prestigious manufacturers and consultants in the industry with hundreds of years of combined knowledge and experience in designing installing and maintaining plastic piping systems for a myriad of applications (click on the Applications tab for further details). Although many of the TIPS member companies supply products to residential, commercial and industrial markets, most of the contained product information focuses mainly on aboveground industrial applications.
The mission of the TIPS PLC is to grow the North American market for its products by providing current best practice and industry knowledge to all who study, design, specify, install and use industrial piping systems.
Introduction & History
(Adapted from workbook & CD)
The information provided is to enhance the user's knowledge, proficiency and a comfort level in designing, specifying, and installing TIPS. For maximum educational benefit, the joint use of the One-day PowerPoint CD and Workbook in recommended. For purposes of clarity, TIPS is all piping excluding the following applications and product groups: Irrigation, above- ground fire sprinkler systems, residential swimming pools, gas distribution and transmission, municipal/commercial/residential potable water, sewer, drain and vent, plastic-lined metal piping, flexible tubing, composite piping, and Thermosets (glass reinforced resins).
- Specific Gravity
- Tensile Strength
- Modulus of Elasticity
- Flexural Strength
- Izod Impact Strength
- Coefficient of Thermal Expansion
- Thermal Conductivity
- Heat Resistance
- Abrasion Resistance
- Flash Ignition Temperature
- Flammability Rating
- Limiting Oxygen Index
- Flame Spread/Smoke Development Indices
Members of TIPS
- Aquatherm, GmbH
- Atkore Plastic Pipe Corporation
- Charlotte Pipe & Foundry Company
- Georg Fischer Harvel, LLC
- IPEX USA LLC
- IPS Weld-on
- Kaneka North America LLC
- LASCO Fittings, Inc.
- North American Pipe Corporation
- Shell Chemical LP
- Shintech, Inc.
- Spears Manufacturing Company
- The Lubrizol Corporation
PVDF products pass the 'acid test', out-performing stainless steel
St. Louis, MO
The sulfuric acid that is used to remove rust from products at a Missouri manufacturing facility was causing a continual problem. The acid was corroding and eating through the stainless steel piping that carried the liquid, requiring the costly replacement of the piping system about every six months. The manufacturing company sought the assistance of Corrosion Products, Inc. of St. Louis, Mo., in coming up with a solution. What Corrosion Products recommended was PVDF pipe, valves and fittings. "The company said they hadn't used a lot of plastics there at the plant," said Rick Bradbury, vice president of sales for Corrosion Products. "The pipe would have to stand up to a lot of chemical and physical abuse."
Thus, a portion of the PVDF piping was installed in November 1997 as a test in one of the most demanding areas of the system carrying the acid. Now, nearly six months later, the test has been judged a complete success. "The PVDF out-performed the stainless steel both in chemical compatibility and in its ability to withstand physical abuse," Bradbury said. "This first portion of the project has exceeded all expectations and the rest of the project is now under way." A spokesman for the Missouri manufacturing firm said PVDF piping systems are on their way to solving a vexing problem with sulfuric acid that stainless steel just couldn't handle. "I guess you could say that the PVDF passed the 'acid test'," the spokesman said.
Plastic plays a major role in ensuring that water is safe and clean
Residents of Louisville, Ky., consume 120 million gallons of fresh water every day. Vital to human existence, the water is used for drinking, cooking, bathing and a host of other purposes from lawn care to washing the family car.
Plastic pipe, valves and fittings play a major role in ensuring that this water is safe and clean for people and the environment. Fresh water piped into the Louisville Water Co. and sewerage entering the Metropolitan Sewer District is treated with chemicals carried through the flow systems by plastic piping products.
Thermoplastic piping products have a very successful history at these and other metropolitan water systems going back to the 1950s. PVC schedule 80 products carry the chlorine, ferric chloride, ammonia, organic polymer, calcium hydroxide, sodium hydroxide, and other chemicals used to treat the water as it passes through the city's fresh water and sewage treatment systems prior to its return to the Ohio River.
At the water and sewage treatment facilities, the process used to treat the water is similar. First, large debris - everything from floating tree trunks to rusted car fenders - is screened out before the water goes to settling basins.
Plastic piping products are then used to transport organic polymer, ferric chloride or other flocculation chemicals into the water, causing solid matter to gather together, so that it can be skimmed off or otherwise separated from the water.
PVC is the product of choice to carry these chemicals because of its resistance to corrosion. PVC is known to be resistant to a broad range of chemicals, has long-term strength, and is very cost effective.
Because CPVC has similar chemical-resistance qualities, it is sometimes used in locations in which the environmental temperature extends to the upper range of PVC's capability (110°F - 140°F). In these instances, the increased material cost for CPVC may be justified by the comparative reduced construction cost for less-frequent pipe supports as compared to PVC. At the Louisville water treatment facilities, plastic piping products range in size from 1-inch to 12-inches in diameter.
Louisville residents expect fresh, clean water when they turn on their taps each day. At the same time, they want the Ohio River kept clean of pollutants. Plastic products are on the job to meet both of these important needs.
Plastic piping products to play big role in Brazil's new water park
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Plastic piping products had an integral part in providing fun for thousands of visitors to the giant Wet 'n Wild water park in this popular international city.
Millions of gallons of water are pumped and filtered through a thermoplastic piping system, allowing kids of all ages to roar down the Kamikaze water slide, body surf in the Surf Lagoon, and thrill to other state-of the-art rides, pools and attractions.
Narlon Parten of Southwest Pipe and Supply Co. in Fort Worth, Texas, the company that supplied the project, said that the water park in Rio de Janeiro is the fourth international Wet 'n Wild project for Southwest Pipe and Supply Co. Wet 'n Wild water parks have been completed in the Brazilian cities of Salvador and Säo Paulo, and in Cancun, Mexico.
The Rio project required more than 10,000 pounds of PVC/CPVC piping components ranging in size from 1/2 inch to 12 inches. Included were 144 12-inch Van Stone flanges and more than 200 10-inch and 12-inch fittings. In addition, metal butterfly and check valves also were used at the new water park.
Plastic Pipe Means Clean Air
Clean air was the main objective when considering a compressed-air piping system for Hawkins Chemical Inc.'s new chemical-blending facility for the food and beverage industry. After considering the various piping systems that offer "clean air," Hawkins Chemical chose a proprietary ABS system for their expansion in Minneapolis, MN.
PVC and CPVC cannot be used with compressed air because both can break into sharp pieces which can be accelerated by decompressing air. ABS has a rubber-based component which allows the pipe to split and release the energy without breaking up. This engineered material exceeded the design requirements of Hawkins Chemical engineers. In addition, the smooth inside diameter and no-leak joints will provide years of maintenance-free clean-air service.
The highly visible green pipe, valves and fittings are used in equipment airdrops throughout the plant for operating pumps, valves, and controls within the chemical blending process. The piping system at Hawkins withstands temperature swings of 30° F and is pressurized up to 140 psi.
Stainless steel piping was also considered for its clean-air properties. The Hawkins engineers knew stainless steel would be compatible with the various chemicals used and considered stainless steel to be a low-maintenance product. But, they also knew the threaded connections of stainless steel would add considerable dollars to the installation costs, and the air leaks through those joints would add to their energy bills each month, not to mention the high material cost of stainless steel.
While working with Mark Madison, vice president of sales and marketing at Indelco Plastics Corp., on the process piping and holding tanks for this project, Hawkins Chemical was made aware of the ABS system and its features and benefits. After careful consideration, the choice was easy to make.
Tim Jorges, maintenance supervisor of Hawkins Chemical, and his personnel installed more than 2,000 feet of the special plastic piping without the need of outside contractors and engineers.
They ran a few lines to a currently empty portion of the facility for additional expansion knowing that adding on to the system in the future is simple and cost effective. Hawkins Chemical slashed material and installation costs by using plastic as they continue to enjoy a "clean air" piping system, which was easy to install, is corrosion resistant and tough enough to handle the service conditions.
Features & Benefits
(Adapted from workbook & CD)
For the past four decades, thermoplastics have been the fastest growing piping material in the world. Plastics have been so successful due to their environmental soundness, ease of use, safety, reliability, longevity and cost-effectiveness. Listed are the features and benefits thermoplastics exhibit for all applications:
- Chemical Resistance
- Optimum Flow Characteristics
- Abrasion Resistance
- Variety of Joining Methods
- Code of Acceptance
- Ease of Fabrication
- Environmental Soundness
- Cost Effectiveness
Metal Pipe Corrosion
Integrated Piping Systems
Variety of Colors
Engineering & Design Considerations
(Adapted from workbook & CD)
Note: Clicking on the subjects underlined will give you a sample of the quality and content of TIPS published materials.
When engineering thermoplastic piping systems, follow generally accepted engineering piping practices. Plastic piping does have several unique engineering properties compared to non-plastic materials. This section will highlight these differences to ensure a effective and long lasting piping installation.
Expansion Loops & Offsets
(Adapted from workbook & CD)
Note: Clicking on the bolded product groups will give you insight into the quality and content of TIPS published materials.
Thermoplastic piping systems offer a broad range of materials, products, sizes, and geometries. Most of these products are readily available. Listed is a summary of various product groupings:
- Acid Waste Drainage Piping Systems
- Double Containment Piping Systems
- Ducting & Fans
- Tanks/Adapters/Vacuum Breakers
- Flow Monitoring Equipment
PE Dual Containment
(Adapted from workbook & CD)
Note: Clicking on those applications bolded will give you a sample of the quality and content of TIPS published materials.
Thermoplastic piping is most common in non-industrial underground applications throughout the world. Nevertheless, the use of plastic piping for industrial use is gaining acceptance. Listed are thirty plastic piping industrial market applications with photos showing installations worldwide:
- Acid Waste Drainage
- Amusement/Theme Parks
- Chemical Process
- Environmental Protection/Land Fills
- Fish Hatcheries/Farms
- Geothermal Energy
- Heating/Ventilating/Air Conditioning
- Original Equipment Manufacturing
- Swimming Pools (Municipal/School)
PE Piping for Open Pit Mining
PP Work Station for Semiconductor Processing
PVC Painted Piping for Water Treatment Plant
TIPS Educational Materials
The ideal industrial piping material for today and tomorrow...
Thermoplastics! TIPS (Thermoplastic Industrial Piping Systems) are environmentally sound, easy and safe to install, reliable, long lasting and cost effective. If you are an architect, engineer, pipe installer, engineering student, or employed in the fluid handling sytems industry, learn more about the ultimate piping systems. Now available are a workbook, narrated presentations and on-line tutorials to make you more proficient and comfortable in designing, installing and using TIPS.
Act now! Access TIPS educational materials
Now available from one of the top technical on-line tutorial website companies are the comprehensive TIPS/PPFA created educational programs. Learn all about Thermoplastic Industrial Piping Systems at your own pace, and at a time convenient for you while using your own computer. This eight or ten hour tutorial may qualify for certified Continuing Education Units depending on individual State requirements. For more information and to register for the tutorials, click on PDHonline's website: www.PDHonline.org. The tutorial programs are M202 & M203.
Join the Revolution...Think Plastics
That famous nineteenth century American physician and author, Oliver Wendell Holmes, stated it best when he wrote, "A mind that is stretched to a new idea never returns to its original dimension." And what is this revolutionary new idea…the use of thermoplastic piping systems in industrial piping applications.
Wood, clay, concrete and metal piping are just some of the piping materials in use for decades. But with today's modern technology there is a better piping alternative material…thermoplastics. Listed in this article will be the many advantages and benefits of plastic piping; but the bottom line is thermoplastic industrial piping systems (TIPS) are more cost-effective in almost every industrial piping application compared to alternative piping systems. And yet in the industrial piping market where TIPS is capable of handling an estimated 70% of all applications less than 15% is actually used.
While plastics in the last four decades have become the dominant material in many piping markets including residential drain/waste/vent, gas transmission, acid waste drainage, water lines, underground irrigation, swimming pools, and water-theme parks, the bulk of industrial and commercial markets have been slow to embrace the use of thermoplastics. Why?
Well first, the TIPS industry must share some of the blame for not having done a good job of educating the marketplace to the benefits and capabilities of TIPS products. This oversight is being addressed presently, in part, by the Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association (PPFA), its TIPS product line committee, and the International Association of Plastic Distributors (IAPD).
Secondly, minimal research and development of TIPS products have been performed in the USA. As a result, few innovative products or piping materials have been developed domestically; most new developments are coming from off-shore manufacturers.
Thirdly, USA industries and institutions in conjunction with certain labor unions and building code bodies have been, to a large degree, unwilling or very slow to change their habits and recognize more progressive and efficient piping materials. "Older" industries such as Pulp and Paper, Electric Utilities, Oil and Gas, Petroleum, Metal Refineries and Commercial/Institutional Building could greatly benefit from increased use of TIPS. Also a lack of economic pressure in past years has kept these industries from moving toward plastic piping materials. But today's highly competitive global environment will most likely make change easier. By American industry joining the revolution in the use of thermoplastics, the most cost-effective piping material, domestic products will become more competitive in foreign markets increasing USA exports and adding more jobs.
Why Thermoplastic Piping Systems?
The advantages and benefits of thermoplastic piping are significant and will turn manufacturing more and more in favor of its use. Thermoplastic features can produce considerable cost savings while increasing piping system reliability. Advantages include:
Plastics are nonconductive and therefore immune to galvanic and electrolytic corrosion. Plastic piping materials are so corrosion-resistant that they can be buried in alkaline or acid soils or installed in above-ground environments with no paint or special coating required.
Most plastics are a minimum of 1/8th the weight of metal piping. This means less freight costs. The benefit of a lightweight material allows easier installations in close quarters and doesn't require expensive lifting equipment.
Optimum flow rates
The interior wall of all plastic pipes has a Hazan and Williams C Factor of 150 or higher. This means less energy or horsepower is required to transfer fluids or smaller diameter piping may be used resulting in cost savings.
Low thermal conductivity
All plastic piping has low thermal conductance, which means more uniform temperatures when transporting fluids. Minimal heat loss through the pipe wall of plastic piping may eliminate or greatly reduce the need for piping insulation.
The variety of common plastic piping materials allows most chemicals at moderate temperatures to be successfully handled. The plastics industry has a listing of hundreds of chemicals that may be compatible with a given plastic. This helps to eliminate the guess work for end users and specifiers.
Variety of leak tight joining methods: Plastic piping can be joined in several leak proof ways including being solvent cemented, heat-fused, threaded, flanged and mechanically coupled. These methods allow easy joining and adaptability to other no-plastic piping materials.
The molecular toughness and inner bore smoothness of plastic pipe makes it ideal for abrasion-resistant applications such as fly ash and bottom ash as well as many other abrasive slurries and solutions.
The plastic piping extrusion process allows color to be an integral and homogenous part of the piping. No external painting is required. Vibrant colors are especially important and available for underground installations, so as to be highly visible when contractors are excavating. That way, the contractors can easily see the pipe preventing pipe damage and minimizing any safety concerns.
Piping system integrity
Most plastic piping offer complete systems of pipe, valves, fittings, tanks and pumps. This feature allows complete systems of one material to be in contact with all fluid wetted parts (especially for cemented and heat-fused joined systems).
A properly installed plastic piping system requires no maintenance. It's as simple as that. There is no rust, pitting or scaling; no galvanic or electrolytic corrosion. External pipe coatings are not needed and buried plastic piping is not affected by even the most aggressive soil conditions.
Flexibility: Thermoplastic piping materials are relatively flexible compared to other piping materials. This feature, coupled with optimum flow rates, allows some plastic pipe to be used as insertion liners in existing non-plastic piping. Also, the flexibility of plastic piping in underground piping reduces the use of fittings with the allowable bending radius in plastic pipe to as little as 20 times the outside diameter of the pipe.
There are dozens of plastic piping standards used or referenced in Building, Plumbing, Mechanical, and Electrical Codes and AWWA, FM, NFPA, AGA, EPA, DOT, DOD, and API publications. These standards contribute substantially to the uniformity of thermoplastic product characteristics, which in many cases, allows each manufacturer's products to be used interchangeably with others.
When all of the above features are considered, substantially (50% or more is the rule) less cost is required for TIPS than other piping materials.
While there is no limit to the possible new applications for plastic piping, the following examples serve to demonstrate the varied use of TIPS in many industries and markets:
Most plastic piping materials are approved by the National Sanitary Foundation and receive Food and Drug Administration approval when required. The purity of the end product in any food-processing application is critical and plastics fit the bill beautifully.
The automotive, aircraft, electrotyping, and canning industries use TIPS where possible in their plating processes. Plastics are a natural in this market, since almost every metal-salt plating solution can be handled easily including brass, cadmium, chrome, copper, gold, lead nickel, rhodium, silver, tin, and zinc.
Ironically, steel mills are replacing steel piping with plastics. The mills realized that their manufacturing costs improved with use of plastics because of reduced maintenance, lower material costs and longer life provided by TIPS.
Pulp and Paper
These plants handle four types of media: liquids, steam, water, and stock. Except for steam, plastic piping can handle most of the other fluids under 275 F and 150 psi.
The manufacturers of solid-state electronics products such as semiconductors, rectifiers, and printed circuitry demand ultra-pure water to clean their products and prevent contamination. Thermoplastics are the preferred materials for handling ultra-pure water in which an ion exchange or demineralization system is employed. PVC, CPVC, polypropylene, PVDF and other fluorocarbons are used for water distribution systems. TIPS also are used for handling etching media such as sulfuric, nitric, hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acids. Wastewater and air-handling systems required in the electronic industry also use TIPS throughout.
All manufacturers of photographic process equipment and photographic chemicals specify and use thermoplastics.
Plastic pipe, itself a derivative of oil and natural gas, has successfully been applied in handling most crudes, salt water, and natural gases. Most natural gas distribution today uses millions of feet of plastic pipe. Polyethylene piping, colored beige or orange, is the preferred material for this application. In the mining industry, the most popular use of thermoplastics is in ore leaching, in which the ore is treated with dilute sulfuric acid or sulfides and then with ferric sulfate solutions. PVC, CPVC, ABS, and polyethylene piping are used in many of the leaching process stages. Plastics also are used for the movement of ore slurries and other piping applications in under and above ground mining.
Shipbuilding, marinas, fish hatcheries, marine research, aquariums and theme-water parks are using significant amounts of plastic piping especially in salt water environments where internal and external corrosion resistance is important.
Water/Waste Treatment Plants
Whether in primary or secondary treatment phases, plastics are used throughout water and sewage treatment facilities. Influent and effluent lines, sludge lines, chlorine and sodium hypochlorite lines, fluoride and alum lines, and many other piping lines use TIPS.
Thousands of feet of PVC and CPVC piping have been used in central air conditioning systems of institutions and commercial buildings, condensate return lines, handling brine solutions in refrigeration processes, and the use of polyethylene piping for the refrigeration process in ice skating rinks.
Hospitals and school complexes are large users of TIPS particularly in acid-waste drainage lines for chemistry, physics and hospital laboratories. The preferred plastic material for this application is polypropylene.
Additional applications for TIPS include power plants, plumbing, and heavy construction. In fact, uses for plastic piping systems seem to be limited only by one's imagination.
"Plastics" the famous one-word line from the 1967 film "The Graduate" was said to be the key to the future. Never was this prediction truer than it is today for the upcoming revolution of USA industry converting wherever possible to TIPS.
Portions of this article were adapted from the book "Plastic Piping Systems, Second Edition, "by David A. Chasis, published by Industrial Press Inc. The author is President of Chasis Consulting and Chairman of the PPFA/TIPS product line committee.
Joining, Installation, Testing & Repairing Methods
(Adapted from workbook & CD)
Note: Clicking on the below bolded subjects will give you a sample of the quality and content of TIPS published materials.
There are at least three or more joining methods that are available for any thermoplastic piping system. Many joining techniques such as flanging, grooved-compression couplings and other mechanical methods are similar to other piping materials. However, thermoplastics do have rather unique joining methods which will be discussed in detail in this section.
- General Piping Practices
- Solvent Cementing
- Infrared Radiant Butt Fusion
- Socket Fusion
- Mechanical Pressure Cut/Rolled-Grooved with Metal Gasket Coupler
- Mechanical Acid/Waste/Drainage Cut-Groove
- Mechanical Quick Connect
- Above-Ground Installations
- Back Welding