Andreas Frank, Gerald Pinter, Reinhold Lang,
"Prediction of the remaining lifetime of polyethylene pipes after up to 30 years in use"
, in Polymer Testing, Vol. 28, Nummer 7, Seite(n) 737-745, 10-2009
Prediction of the remaining lifetime of polyethylene pipes after up to 30 years in use
Sprache des Titels:
Plastics pipes made of polyethylene (PE) play an outstanding role ill gas and water supply. While for modern pipe grades typical lifetimes of 50 years are taken for granted and service times of 100 years are discussed, pipes made of PE with a lower performance have been used for decades. As the repair and rehabilitation of existing pipe systems involve immense costs, the question of their qualitative condition has to be considered. In this paper, four different pipes used in the gas and water distribution in Austria with an age Lip to 30 years have been investigated. After a morphological and mechanical study, particular attention was paid to material stabilization, which is essential for long-term applications. Fracture mechanics tools have been used to gain information on the resistance to crack initiation and slow crack growth. Furthermore, a fracture mechanics extrapolation procedure has been applied to predict the remaining lifetime of the pipes. The results have indicated that all the pipes investigated are still ill a very good condition and are likely to be sufficiently safe to remain in use.