A PPR pipe is a form of plastic pipe made from a material known as polypropylene random copolymer plastic. The material is similar to that used in the manufacturing of water supply materials for household purposes, but it can be used to provide hot and cold drinking water as well as for heating systems. It was first launched in France in 1962 by its trade name ‘Plastic Pipe Revolvy.’
Since then, it has spread across Europe and other parts of the world. PPR pipes are becoming more popular because they save on energy costs when installed properly due to their sturdy build quality. They are also lighter than other piping options, which helps save on installation costs.
What are PPR Pipes Used For?
PPR pipes can be found in the following applications:
Water supply, sewage systems, gas supply (solvent-welded only), heat insulation, cold supply and cooling technology. Placing them underground is also possible due to their chemical resistance. PPR piping is commonly used within plumbing infrastructure for several reasons including its energy efficiency.
Besides that, it has a very long life span. It does not rust or corrode because of the material used, which is why it lasts so long, even when buried underground. The materials needed to build PPR pipes are readily available which makes them cheaper than other pipe materials such as copper.
A PPR pipe can hold its shape, which means it does not require a lot of space between joints, as would be the case with other pipes such as those made from PVC. In addition, it is not toxic, meaning it can be safely used in drinking water supply systems.
Main Uses of PPR Pipe Fittings
The most popular uses for Polypropylene (PPR) pipe fittings are in the transportation and handling of liquids. These applications usually consist of pumping or transferring fluids between containers such as tanks, drums, pails, jugs, kegs, etc. Pumps such as diaphragm pumps, peristaltic (rubber) tube pumps, and piston/plunger pumps are the types commonly used with polypropylene tubing to transport these fluid products. A few examples would be in dairy farms where the product is milk, in beverage industries handling beer products or malt beverages, and in commercial kitchens where salad dressings for salad bars are being kept cool.
Other uses of PPR Pipe Fittings include;
- Handling and distribution of compressed air, steam, and water. These applications usually consist of using diaphragm pumps, piston/plunger pumps, gear pumps, or peristaltic (rubber) tube pumps to move gasses or liquids through pipelines at various pressure head conditions.
Examples could be for compressed air in cylinders used by local shops like tire places or auto parts stores; water distribution systems where hot or cold potable water is used in homes; many types of farming; paper companies that use recycled water for paper making, cooling towers in large shopping malls or complexes where air conditioning is running throughout the building; aquariums that use pumps to circulate water through filters and aeration equipment.
- PPR pipe fittings are also used by many industries that require non-metallic piping components. One example would be dairy farms where milk products are being transferred between vehicles for distribution at stores, food chains, etc. Many of these pipes are located underground near hose bibs or animal waterers, so they cannot corrode or rust as steel piping systems do over time.
They can handle hot high temperatures up to 160 degrees F without warping because PPR pipe fittings meet FDA requirements for contact with consumable/edible food products. This is also true for non-potable applications of draining hot water tanks and heating systems.
- Toilet fill and flush valves in residential and commercial buildings where strict code compliance laws are being met to ensure easy cleaning of hard-to-reach areas around these valves without damage to ceramic surfaces or porcelain fixtures.
- Pumps, fluid lines, manifolds, etc. that are used in solar/saltwater pools systems for filtering pool waters through equipment that recycles the water back into the main pool body. These types of pools require components made specifically for saltwater exposure because salt will slowly corrode metals over time which can cause hazardous electrical wiring, pump wiring, etc.
- Fire suppression systems that require a polypropylene type material for tubing to carry gasses or liquids from tanks to nozzles or sprinklers throughout the building. PPR Pipe Fittings meet UL standards for this type of application and can be found in many major stadiums, commercial complexes, theaters, resorts, etc. where fire codes are strict because of the high occupancy factor during peak times.
- Lastly, PPR pipe fittings are also used by hobbyists who build different models such as RC cars (radio control) and planes to power pumps or compressors required for various operations like making custom tires or fuel cells needed to run engines efficiently.
What are the Advantages of PPR Pipes?
If you want a pipe that is corrosion-resistant, lightweight, and flexible but still has high durability, PPR could be the material you are looking for. Let us have a brief look at some of the major advantages of PPR pipes.
- Corrosion resistance: PPR pipes have a low corrosion rate in water environments or when exposed to weathering agents such as atmospheric oxygen and carbon dioxide. Compared with a steel pipe which corrodes roughly at 10-6~10-5mm/year in normal conditions, the corrosion rates of PPR pipes are between 10-11~10-9mm/year. The anticorrosive performance of products is good enough to make them last longer than metal materials under the same environmental condition.
- Lightweight: The density of most plastic materials is usually lower than that of water, but the density of PPR is even less than half that of water. This not only makes transportation conditions better but also reduces the workload during laying and lifting operations.
- Flexibility: Compared with metal pipes (such as iron/steel or copper), plastic pipe has good flexibility; it can be wrapped around corners without sharp angles or bends, which makes it easier to install.
- High durability: Plastic pipe made of PPR material used for underground piping systems can last longer than steel mainlines in an under-ground environment due to its corrosion resistance, lightweight and flexibility features. Unlike common perception, plastic pipes do not easily break when bent too sharply at a small angle within 180 degrees.
PPR Pipes vs PVC Pipes
The process of making steel pipes is well underway by both PVC (polyvinyl chloride, or sometimes just vinyl), otherwise known as plastic piping system (PPS), and polypropylene (PPR). These two materials are very similar in their fabrication, only differing slightly in preparation before the actual pipe manufacturing begins. Both PVC and PPR pipes can withstand airflow but not water, so it’s important to know what you are using your pipes for before selection.
The process begins with verification of the material being used. This is especially true in the case of PPR because certain specifications have to be adhered to when it comes to chemical composition. Once that is verified, typically there will be a compression test run on the material in order to ensure that it can handle up to 125 psi without cracking or breaking. If no cracks are found, then the next step is ready to begin fabrication.
For both PVC and PPR pipe fabrication, they both start by extruding molten plastic through a die or mold where it cools quickly into its final shape. After the desired shapes are cooled off sufficiently enough, they can be transported off to a wire cutter. This is where both materials take a slightly different path.
PVC pipe takes off from its extrusion point and goes through a process of softening, or tempering, the material by heating it up again to around 280 degrees Fahrenheit. After that’s completed, then the PVC pipe will go into what is known as ‘curing’; this is when they add in chemicals such as phthalates and lead compounds, which help improve the odorless quality of the product.
It also aids in production because when mixed together with other chemicals, it can help regulate how well the pipes hold pressure and even lengthen their shelf life for storage purposes. Then after these two processes are completed, PVC pipes will go to inspections and testing before being packaged and sent to customers or companies for use.
PPR piping, on the other hand, doesn’t require any tempering due to its chemical composition, nor does it need any curing like PVCs. After it’s been cut down into desired lengths then it can be transported off to packaging before shipping them out.
Typically PPR pipes are made in lengths that range from 8 feet to 20 feet, but there is no limit as production varies depending on order quantities and material availability. This means that if a special size PPR pipe is needed by a company, they only have to ask and their request will be fulfilled because of how flexible these materials can be for this type of application.
In the final step; once the fabrication process is complete, both materials go through additional inspections and tests in order to ensure they meet up with their intended level of quality.
PPR vs. PVC pipe strengths and weaknesses
Strength: PPR has a higher chemical resistance than PVC as well as greater wear resistance. PVC also exhibits poor UV resistance compared to PPR.
Weakness: PPR is more expensive than polyvinyl chloride (PVC) due to the cost of raw material and oil needed for production. PVC can be used in piping systems that require quick installation and reconfiguration, which requires ruggedness and flexibility. However, this could come at a cheaper price point depending on how much needs to be invested into the project.
In conclusion, PPR pipes are a great alternative to the more expensive PVC and copper piping options. They have been used in plumbing infrastructure within developing countries for several decades now. In recent years, they have become increasingly popular which is attributed to their affordability and availability of materials required for their manufacturing, as well as their greater efficiency when installed properly. It can last up to 50 years if it is buried underground and has much better energy efficiency than other forms of piping that do not hold their shape or corrode easily. For more information on PPR pipes and other types of pipes including PVC pipes, check out our website.