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What is HDPE?

HDPE stands for High Density Polyethylene. It is a ductile, durable, virtually inert thermoplastic composed by polymers of ethylene. It begins as a translucent, tough solid. In pipe grade resins, ethylene-hexene copolymers are usually specified with carbon black pigment for weatherability.

What is a simple explanation for butt fusion?

Typically, polyethylene pipe and fittings are connected by means of butt fusion, which is done by utilizing a fusion machine that holds the pipe and/or fitting in a stationary position. A facer that has a cutting blade then trims the ends to be mated. A heater plate is positioned between the ends to be connected. The heater is then removed and the ends are brought together and allowed to cool. You can see an animation of the fusion process by clicking here.

How strong is a butt fusion joint?

By following the manufacturer’s recommendations for butt fusion, the weld becomes as strong as the pipe itself. It is even possible to pull several hundred feet or more of HDPE pipe after it has been butt fused together, since you actually have created a section of monolithic pipe.

Does ISCO rent and sell fusion equipment for HDPE piping systems?

We have over 300 pieces of fusion equipment available for rent and for sale. We can help with any fusion need from ½" to 63" pipe. Specific information on McElroy fusion equipment can be found by clicking here.

I already own some fusion equipment. Does ISCO have repair parts and service available?

We are an Authorized Service Center for McElroy fusion products, which means we have factory certified repair technicians in both Louisville, Kentucky and Huntsville, Alabama.

For more information, check out our Fusion Rental and Services.

I know that PVC pipe is easy to repair. How easy is it to repair HDPE pipe?

HDPE is more durable and forgiving in most applications than PVC. By using proper fusion methods, HDPE does not have joints that fail like PVC. Polyethylene pipe is more flexible, and has greater impact resistance than PVC. HDPE can handle a scratch as deep as 10% of the wall thickness, without reducing the pressure rating of the pipe. PVC is notch sensitive, meaning PVC pipe has a higher inclination to fracture because of a notch, crack, or scratch. HDPE piping systems are also more surge tolerant than PVC, which means less repairs caused from pressure surges.

If a polyethylene piping system is in need of repair, electrofusion couplings are one of the simplest ways to facilitate repairs. Clamp-around repair couplings, like those available from JCM Industries, offer a traditional method of pipe repair.

More information on electrofusion couplings can be found by clicking here.

Will HDPE pipe freeze?

PVC pipe has a crystalline temperature of 32 degrees F, at which point it becomes as brittle as glass. HDPE pipe has a crystalline temperature of - 180 degrees F, which translates into less potential for failure. In fact, water can freeze and thaw repeatedly inside of HDPE pipe, without causing permanent damage to the pipe.

What is the pressure rating of HDPE pipe?

Depending on the size, polyethylene pipe has pressure ratings up to 267 psi @ 73.4 degrees F, with a 2:1 safety factor built in.

How can I be sure that HDPE is the material of choice for my project?

Hopefully you have taken a few moments to review our website, a demonstration of our commitment to assisting you.

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