Overall pipe demand is expected to increase 2.4 % annually to 16.4 billion feet in 2009 as a result of continued high-way and street construction, stricter water management regulations, and the need to replace or expand aging or obsolete sewer, drainage and municipal drinking water systems, according to a recent marked report.
In a study by Cleveland-based research firm The Freedonia Group, construction will account for one-half of all pipe used to widespread drain, sewer, water distribution, and other uses. Polyvinyl chloride will remain the dominant plastic-pipe material, with heavy use expected in large-diameter drain and sewer uses. High-density polyethylene will rise at the fastest pace due to its flexibility, sturdiness, joint integrity, and trench-laying capabilities; growth areas include corrugated drain, gas and potable water pipe. Crosslinked polyethylene represents a rapidly growing niche product in markets such as underfloor radiant heating.
Copper pipe demand is expected to expand at a near-average pace, while steel pipe demand will increase at a slower annual pace, thanks to mature process industry and structural applications and competition from other materials in areas such as conduit and portable water. Concrete (leading application, storm sewers) and aluminum pipe will grow at near average paces through 2009.