Weatherability of Thermoplastic Piping Systems
|Publication Date:||1 April 2019|
Thermoplastic polymers, like many other materials, are affected by weathering, which is a general term used to cover the entire range of outdoor environmental conditions. However, plastic piping made of thermoplastics that incorporate appropriate weathering protection have been used successfully in various outdoor applications and have provided many years of service. For piping systems that are intended for prolonged outdoor exposure, a material composition must be selected with the necessary weather resistance for the specific conditions involved. Most thermoplastic piping has sufficient weather resistance to withstand normal exposure that occurs before installation. In some instances, this time period can be as long as several years.
Thermoplastic polymers have definitive characteristics regarding weather deterioration: Some are inherently resistant while others are less resistant. The weatherability of all thermoplastics can be improved by the incorporation of select additives. The combination of the basic thermoplastic polymer with these select additives results in a finished material that is generally termed a thermoplastic compound.
This report covers the structure and inherent weather resistance of the basic thermoplastic polymers used in commercial thermoplastic piping and discusses the weather resistance of those thermoplastic compounds that are in established use. Much of the discussion focuses on the effects of ultraviolet radiation exposure, as this is generally the weathering factor with the greatest impact on the performance of thermoplastic piping.