PVC and HDPE – Similar Yet Different

The underground channeling market in North America has seen huge development throughout the course of recent years in the utilization of thermoplastic materials. Advantages like erosion obstruction, further developed power through pressure, and diminished establishment costs have been delivering enormous profits for proprietors of watermain, sterile and storm sewer frameworks.

The most broadly utilized and acknowledged of this gathering of nonmetallic polymers is Polyvinyl Chloride, otherwise called ‘PVC’ or ‘vinyl’. Vinyl has a fruitful history in the utilization of underground line tracing all the way back to the revamping of post-WWI Germany. It has for some time been viewed as one of the most solid polymers for both underground or more ground channeling frameworks.

One more thermoplastic utilized in HDPE Geocell underground line market is High-Thickness Polyethylene (HDPE). This material has been utilized for well line, gas funneling and seepage tubing before late passage into the watermain and sewage forcemain markets.

HDPE and PVC are amazingly comparative in their tendency of reactions to such pressure loadings as inside tension and soil loads. Despite the fact that reactions are comparative, they are not indistinguishable. The extents of their particular assets are emphatically unique, truth be told.

This report is planned to research a portion of the likenesses and contrasts between the plan of PVC and HDPE as far as the utilization of underground tension funneling.


The drawn out pressure rating of a thermoplastic line is characterized as the most extreme inside strain at which the line can work persistently. The evaluations of both PVC and HDPE are tracked down involving the ISO Condition for thermoplastics:

Condition (1) P = 2S/(DR-1)

where P = pressure rating of the line

S = configuration stress of line material

DR = aspect proportion of the line, (OD/t)

The primary contrast among PVC and HDPE pressure limit lies in the worth of the plan pressure. For PVC 1120 mixtures, the plan pressure is 2000 psi while that of HDPE 3408 is just 800 psi. These plan stresses were both determined in the very same style. An element of wellbeing of 2.0 was applied to the drawn out hydrostatic strength (for example the Hydrostatic Plan Premise – HDB) of every material. The HDB for PVC 1120 is 4000 psi while that of HDPE 3408 is 1600 psi.

The accompanying models represent the utilization of the ISO Condition to decide pressure evaluations.

Model 1 – Find pressure evaluations of DR21 pipe for both (a) PVC, and (b) HDPE.

Arrangement – use condition (1)

P = 2S/(DR-1)

(a) for PVC, S = 2000 psi

Subbing, P = (2) x (2000 psi)/(21 – 1)

= 200 psi

(b) for HDPE, S = 800 psi

Subbing, P = (2) x (800 psi)/(21 – 1)

= 80 psi

Model 2 – (a) Find the tension rating of PVC DR41 and afterward (b) track down the same DR of HDPE to yield a similar rating.

Arrangement – use condition (1)

(a) P = 2S/(DR-1)

= (2 x 2000 psi)/(41-1)

= 100 psi

(b) improving condition (1),

DR = (2S/P) + 1

= [(2 x 800 psi)/100 psi] + 1

= 17

In this way, to get a 100 psi pressure pipe, the 2 choices would be PVC – DR41 or HDPE – DR17.

The accompanying focuses can be finished up from the above data:

(a) The proportion of PVC to HDPE as far as rigidity is equivalent to the proportion of the plan stresses, for example 2000:800 which is 2.5:1, and

(b) The wall thickness of HDPE should be 2.5 times thicker than that of PVC to acquire pipe with equivalent strain appraisals.

The following is a synopsis of long haul pressure evaluations for both PVC and HDPE inferred utilizing the ISO Condition and a S.F. of 2.0.

Table 1 – Strain Evaluations


DR Rating (psi) DR Rating (psi)

51 80 21 80

41 100 17 100

32.5 125 13.5 128

25 165 11 160

21 200 9 200

18 235 7.3 254

14 305 6.3 300

Despite the fact that CSA B137.3, AWWA C905 and ASTM D2241 all utilization a S.F. = 2.0, there is one PVC standard that utilizes a S.F. = 2.5, in particular AWWA C900-97 (note – this standard will before long be changing to be like AWWA C905). Too in this C900 standard, the line is further de-evaluated by a 2 ft/s flood. (Originators shouldn’t confound the ‘Tension Class’ phrasing of C900 with the drawn out evaluations of HDPE.) If one wishes to choose a HDPE pipe that is comparable to a specific PVC Strain Class, the indistinguishable plan standards ought to be utilized to decide a Tension Class of HDPE. As such, the plan pressure should be inferred utilizing S.F. = 2.5, and the line should be de-evaluated with the flood of a 2 ft/s speed. To decide comparable strain classes of HDPE and PVC, allude to Table 3 introduced later in the text and use Condition (2) displayed beneath.

Condition (2) P.C.= P’- 2 Ps

Where P.C. = pressure class of line

P’ = pressure rating of line utilizing S.F. = 2.5

Ps = flood tension for 1 fps speed change

Note: Ps for PVC and HDPE are given in Table 3.

Model 3 – (a) Find the tension class of DR25 PVC and (b) track down the DR of HDPE to give a similar strain class.

Arrangement – First address for new plan stresses.


= 4000 psi/(2.5)

= 1600 psi


= 1600 psi/(2.5)

= 640 psi

Presently use condition (2) and the upsides of Table 3 to tackle.

(a) PVC DR25

P.C. = [2S/(DR-1)] – 2 Ps

= [(2)(1600 psi)/(25-1)] – (2)(14.7 psi)

= 100 psi

(b) HDPE – experimentation utilizing condition (2)

attempt DR11,

P.C. = (2) (640 psi)/(11-1) – (2)(13.4 psi)

= 100 psi

The following is a table of least DR’s of HDPE to be comparable to the tension classes of PVC as characterized in AWWA C900.

Table 2 – Strain Class DR’s

Pressure Class (psi) PVC-DR HDPE-DR

100 25 11

150 18 7.3

200 14 6.3


One more colossal advantage of utilizing thermoplastic channeling is that floods made are lower than those related with additional unbending materials, for example, metallic or substantial chamber pipe. The innate adaptable nature of thermoplastics permits transient shock waves to be effortlessly hosed and consumed. This limits flood consequences for the whole framework.

Positive tension floods in pipelines can be approximated by utilizing the accompanying two conditions.

Condition (3) a = 4660/[1 + (k/E)(DR-2)]^0.5


a = wavespeed of flood wave (fps)

k = liquid mass modulus (= 300 000 psi for water)

E = modulus of flexibility of pipeline material (psi)

DR = aspect proportion (= OD/t)

Condition (4) Ps = aV/(2.31) g


Ps = pressure flood (psi)

a = wavespeed (fps)

V = speed (fps)

g = speed increase because of gravity

= 32.2 ft/s^2

The Modulus of Versatility of PVC 1120 at 73.4°F is 400 000 psi, while that for HDPE 3408 is 115 000 psi. The table underneath sums up the flood pressures expected for each 1 ft/s immediate speed change in both PVC and HDPE. For speeds other than 1 ft/s, the flood will be equivalent to the qualities in the table duplicated by the genuine speed in ft/s (for example if V = 3 ft/s, flood = multiple times the table incentive for the given material and DR).

Table 3 – One Ft/s Floods


(E=400 000 psi) (E=115 000 psi)

DR Ps (psi) DR Ps (psi)

51 10.8 21 8.8

41 11.4 17 9.9

32.5 12.8 13.5 11.3

25 14.7 11 12.7

21 16.0 9 14.3

18 17.4 7.3 16.3

14 19.8 6.3 17.9

In spite of the fact that HDPE is ordinarily a more adaptable material than is PVC, the floods made in line of comparable strain evaluations are basically the same. For instance, for a 100 psi pipeline, the flood made by a 1 ft/s speed change would be 11.4 psi for DR41 PVC and 9.9 psi for DR17 HDPE.

By and large, the floods for the two materials are well underneath the upsides of metallic line which commonly produce floods of 50+ psi for each 1 ft/s momentary speed change. Constant strain floods ought not be overlooked in any tension pipeline plan, paying little heed to material.

Clasping Obstruction

The capacity of a dirt encompassing an adaptable line to reinforce the line is mathematically known as the Dirt Solidness (E’). E’ numbers are determined observationally to address the nature of soil and level of compaction as a ‘psi’ esteem. E’ values are portrayed exhaustively in norms ASTM D 2321 or CSA B182.11. A concise synopsis is introduced underneath.

Table 4 – Soil Solidness

Soil Solidness E’ (psi) Material Compaction (S.P.D.)

3000 Manuf. Rakish 90%

2000 Clean Sand/Rock 90%

1000 Sand/Rock/Fines 90%

500 Sand/Rock/Fines 85%

Locking might happen in any line if the complete burden in the internal heading (for example static soil + traffic + vacuum) surpasses the basic clasping opposition of the line. A thermoplastic line should be intended to have adequate solidarity to oppose internal underlying breakdown, or clasping. Enormous strength can be added to any line’s opposition by having strong horizontal soil support in the Hindquarters Zone of a covered line channel, for example a high soil firmness.

The following is a synopsis of the basic clasping qualities of different DR’s of PVC and HDPE for (a) Pcr, an unsupported condition (for example underwater or over the ground) and (b) Pb, a covered channel condition with a predefined soil firmness, E’ (for this model, = 500 psi).

Table 5 – Clasping Qualities

PVC DR Pcr (psi) Pb (psi)

14 425.8 530.6

18 190.2 354.6

21 117.0 278.1

25 67.4 211.1

32.5 29.8 140.4

41 14.6 98.3

51 7.3 69.5

HDPE DR Pcr (psi) Pb (psi)

6.3 266.2 419.6

7.3 171.2 336.5

9 91.4 245.8

11 50.0 181.8

13.5 27.0 133.6

17 17.6 107.9

21 7.2 69.0

26 3.8 50.1

32.5 2.0 36.4

To research a run of the mill circumstance, a tension pipeline is covered 10 feet in soil with a thickness of 120 lb/ft^3 and exposed to a transitory negative 10 psi vacuum because of a transient shockwave. An all out bad heap of (- )18.3 psi would be made. As should be visible from the above table, this negative strain would surpass a portion of the Pcr upsides of PVC (DR41 and 51) as well as HDPE (DR17, 21, 26 and 32.5). By having a base soil solidness of 500 psi, the upsides of Pb for all DR’s of the two materials will effectively surpass the complete negative burden and clasping won’t happen.

Assuming any of these lines ended up having critical voids in their refill, it is possible that clasping disappointment could happen. Lower genuinely should pressure appraised thermoplastic line be introduced to have a base soil solidness, E’, of 500 psi.

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