Advantages of PE pipes within water supply
For most applications, PE (polyethylene) pipes have advantages over pipes of more traditional materials like PVC or cast iron. Primarily it gives you a fully welded pipe system with no bolts, no mechanical joints and thereby a much lower risk of leakage and defects.
The fusion and electro welding processes provide a joint which is even stronger than the pipe itself and allow for the pipes to be welded above ground, rather than in the trench, for easy installation. In addition, PE pipes can be installed in a trench, which is not in level. There is no need to level the soil in the trench, as the PE pipes are flexible and follow the terrain. Furthermore, there are no special requirements for the soil conditions and less space is needed in the trench for the installation. PE pipes can also be used for installations submerged under water and they are typically the preferred choice for relining or pipe cracking applications. Finally, the soft PE material allows the pipes to be squeezed together for a temporary shut-off during repair.
The PE pipes have an extended service life compared to traditional pipe materials. The pipes are corrosion resistant and are not very sensitive to damages or scratches from the surroundings. For even more robustness, PE pipes with a shell of polypropylene outside the PE pipe itself are available. The relatively light weighted PE pipes are also easy to handle and transport.
There are only very few disadvantages of the PE pipes – at least for standard applications. High temperatures or chlorinated water will however reduce the life time of the PE pipes significantly, and it is also worth a mention that the PE pipes are not diffusion tight so aromatics like e.g. petrol can diffuse through the pipe wall under special circumstances. In those cases, you may want to choose barrier pipes with an extra layer of e.g. polymer or aluminum.
A fully welded PE pipe system – up to 630 mm with AVK valves
The advantages of using PE pipes are many and so are those of using valves with pre-mounted PE pipe ends as part of your PE pipe system. Most importantly, the valves with PE pipe ends will be an integrated part of the PE pipe system. There will be no couplings with the risk of leaks, the joints will be as strong as the pipe itself – and thus as the rest of the system – and no bolts can come loose and cause couplings or flanges to leak if the ground settles around the valve.
To obtain the full advantage, the PE pipe ends on the valve must though be made of the same PE material as the PE pipes used in the installation. When using the same PE material for both valves and pipes, the same welding parameters can be used for all joints and costly mistakes during installation can thereby be avoided. And not least, the same PE pipe approvals will be valid throughout the entire system. Our valve design allows us to mount all standard PE pipes on the valves. When using AVK valves, you can therefore obtain a pipe approval that covers the entire PE network including valves. The extra-long pipe ends even leave room for an additional weld, if needed.
The demand for PE pipe systems has increased due to the obvious benefits. Due to global climate change and water scarcity, water must be transported over long distances, and therefore the demand for PE pipe systems in large sizes is also on the rise. To accommodate this, AVK gate valves with PE pipe ends for water supply are available for pipe sizes 75 mm to 630 mm: