Which is better UPVC or PVC Pipe

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    Pipes are one of the important inventions in human history. They are used for transporting various substances like water, oil, etc., From ancient times pipes were used but were made of clay. But nowadays pipes are made of steel, PVC, UPVC, etc which have their uses. In this article, the discussion is about PVC Vs UPVC. What are they made of, their impact, and their implication?

PVC Pipes - Poly Vinyl Chloride Pipes

    PVC is the most widely and extensively used chemical for manufacturing plastics that are used in producing products like PVC pipes for buildings, Transportation, packaging, electrical and electronics, and so on. Nearly 20% of Plastic Materials around the globe are now produced with the help of PVC - Polyvinyl chloride.

PVC Pipes

     Making - PVC is prepared by the electrolysis of Salt Water which produces chlorine, which is then added to ethylene which results in the formation of a Poly Vinyl Monomer. Then these monomers were polymerized to form PVC-Poly vinyl Chloride. These PVC polymers were fed into cast dies and the required shapes and Diameter pipes were produced.

    PVC are abrasion resistant and are excellent to withstand fire and at the same time, they are resistant to inorganic Chemicals. They are lightweight, Durable, Low-cost, and easy to process.

    If you take on PVC Pipes they are very light in weight, easy to install and they can withstand chemical reactions and are less expensive than that of pipes that were made of steel or cast iron. They also absorb less liquid let's say water is transported after the pipes become dry the initial material absorbs water which is very low in PVC hence this saves a lot of water when compared to other pipes. The friction in the PVC pipes for the flow of liquid is much less than in other pipes. They can withstand or are less reactive to thermal expansion and contraction so the nature of the liquid hot or cold won't affect the pipes. Which in turn helps in the better transport of the liquid.

    For all the above properties, PVC pipes were extensively used in various applications, especially in the Construction industry. Such as for Water Transportation, Sewage transportation, irrigation purposes, Electrical Conduits, etc.,

PVC Pipes for Irrigation

    In the Market, you will get PVC pipes in different dimensions or sizes. PVC pipes and differentiated based on the diameter of the pipes after that within the Diameter the sub-category of the PVC pipes was done with the weight in kilograms of the pipe i.e How much pressure can a pipe withstand per square centimeter?

    Diameter of Pipes available in the Market - 20mm, 25mm, 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, 63mm, 75mm, 90mm, 110mm, 140mm, 160mm, 200mm, 250mm, and 315mm and with Sub Category of Classes like 2.5Kgs, 4Kgs, 6Kgs, 10Kgs and 15Kgs.  
    PVC can be produced in different colors which can be used to indicate the purpose Such as
  1. White Pipes - Used in Drain Waste Vent (DWV) and for low-pressure application
  2. White/Blue/Dark Grey - Used for Cold Water Piping
  3. Green - Used for Sewer Service
  4. Dark grey - Used for industrial pressure applications
    This material with all these advantages also has some disadvantages Cracks may get formed in the long run and with continuous exposure to high heat or at high temperatures the strength of Plastic pipes reduces.

UPVC Pipes - Unplastizied Poly Vinyl Chloride Pipes
    For making PVC Pipes different plasticizers were used for various purposes. At the same time, UPVC is the purest form of PVC i.e. Plasticized PVC. That's how it got its name. Plasticizes were usually added to soften the PVC pipes, Since no plasticizes were added UPVC is very right and Strong. Because of their very good properties such as UV resistance and high durability, they are not only used in pipes but also for the manufacturing of Windows and Doors.

UPVC Pipes

    UPVC becomes the most preferred choice for Drinking water lines because they are chemically inactive and are safer than PVC since no plasticizers were used. The applications are not only limited to Drinking water supply but also for applications such as Sewer lines, Irrigation systems, Drainage and Electrical Conduits, etc.

    The Color code of UPVC Pipes is done with Color lines as you see in the picture above. The Red color indicates that the thickness of the pipe is higher and can able to withstand high pressure at high temperatures at the rate of 25kgs/cm.sq. So they are very suitable for the transportation of hot water. Whereas the blue color line indicates the thickness of the pipe is less and can withstand pressure at the rate of 16kgs/cm.sq hence they are suitable for the transportation of cold water.  

Water pipes for drinking water supply lie on the construction site preparation for earthworks for laying an underground pipeline modern water supply systems for a residential city
UPVC Drinking Water pipes ready for installation on-site
    The greatest advantage of UPVC is that it is non-toxic, UPVC behaves neutrally for all the chemicals/liquids that pass through it. Hence UPVC pipes were almost suitable for all types of liquid transportation from Water Supply to Chemicals transportation. UPVC pipes are very durable, with proper maintenance they can have a service life of even 100 years. Maintenance of   UPVC pipes is very much easier than other types of pipes as they are resistant to scale formation so frequent cleaning is not required hence they are the preferred choice for piping in places where it is very difficult to reach. Naturally, they prevent UV Radiation from reaching the liquid that is passing through it, hence UPVC pipes can be used for open space pipe laying or outer pipes laying houses. Since no plasticizers were added they are free from lead hence they are very safer than other materials.

    UPVC Pipes are available in various Diameters such as 15mm, 20mm, 25mm, 32mm, 40mm, 50mm, 63mm, 75mm, 100mm, and 150mm.

    With all these advantages, UPVC pipes come with the disadvantage that it is very brittle so at very low temperatures like snow or in high mountain areas they break very easily when stress is applied.

CRUX / Conclusion

    From the above discussion, we can come to the conclusion of the difference between UPVC and PVC such as,

  1. UPVC Pipes are toxic-free whereas PVC Pipes may react to the liquid hence UPVC Pipes were used in Water supply lines and PVC Pipes were used in sewage / Drainage lines.
  2. UPVC pipes are Hard and brittle in Nature, whereas PVC pipes are flexible and ductile due to the addition of Plasticizers.
  3. UPVC pipes are free from lead, which is not in the case of PVC pipes.
  4. Both UPVC Pipes and PVC pipes are non-biodegradable but UPVC can be recycled which will help to combat climate change and environmental degradation by enabling a circular economy.
  5. UPVC pipes are more durable and have a longer life of nearly 100 years if maintained properly, which is more than that of PVC pipes.
  6. PVC is less expensive than that of UPVC, due to its lower cost of production.



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