According to independent researchers, corrugated high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe may have more staying power than previously believed.

A team of researchers led by Drexel University's Grace

Hsuan used a protocol called the Rate Process Method to predict the pipe's long-term performance in actual service conditions by testing the material at higher temperature and stresses to accelerate the affects. The results found that the pipe could be expected to provide service life of:

  • 572 years at 7.5% deflection, or 675 psi of stress in the pipe wall
  • 949 years at 6% deflection (600 psi)
  • 2893 years at 5% deflection (500 psi).

These figures could prove significant to public works managers looking to replace crumbling infrastructure with durable, cost-efficient options.

“As we look to rebuild our underground infrastructure, engineers are paying more attention to the service life of their construction materials and structures,” says E. Lyn Heyring, project manager with Hannibal, Mo.-based MECO Engineering Co. Inc.

For more information about the study, visit www.plasticpipe.org.