Plastics a Viable Alternative to Other Piping Materials

Date posted: March 31, 2017

One of the biggest challenges Australia has always faced as a nation is its ability to provide a reliable water supply to all its citizens. People in the major cities and large regional towns have this supply, although in times of drought they may experience some water restrictions. It is a very different situation in the inland areas where farmers and graziers go from one extreme to another, with one or two good seasons often followed by years of drought.

Reliable Piping Systems Needed in Remote Areas

To be successful in this environment, any piping system must be resilient, reliable and cost-effective. Installation contractors here are often traversing long distances with their pipelines, so any re-work resulting from an inferior product is expensive. Just the journey itself to the site of the problem can be many hundreds of kilometres before any work starts on the repair.

Plastics are Eco-friendly Alternatives

In these challenging conditions, everyone involved in pipeline construction is always looking for better, cheaper and more efficient work methods and materials to increase profit and extend the longevity of the pipeline. The piping material used must also be eco-friendly as these pipelines cross environmentally sensitive terrain.

In the cities, plastic pipes provide 85% of the water infrastructure and plastic piping made in Australia has a life-span of 100 years. In the rural and regional areas where we do much of our installations, plastics are the material of choice for irrigation, watering stock and for domestic supply.

Plastics Resist Corrosion and Stand the Test of Time

Our company, Reay Services Group, uses a range of piping materials depending on the application, but we find that the plastics are the most sustainable compared with cast iron, steel and concrete. Plastic pipes manufactured in Australia have been found to be resistant to the corrosive effects of the soil they are buried in and the effects of the material they transport.

Advantages of HDPE

One type of piping we use is HDPE or high-density polyethylene and one of its advantages is that the joints must be welded. While special equipment is needed to do this, welding reduces the likelihood of leaks and contaminant infiltration, making it safer and easier to maintain. It is also very flexible, stands up to harsh site handling and allows turns in the piping system without needing additional joints.

Using Recycled Materials Promotes Sustainability

Along with OHS and Quality, we are also fully committed to improving our environmental performance. This not only includes our work processes but also the materials we use on the job. In Australia, all post-industrial waste piping is recycled, and this recyclate is used to manufacture new piping, which meets the same performance standards as virgin material. Where we can source this material, we will use it as part of our commitment to sustainability.