December 2009 Vol. 236 No. 12

Features

Large-Diameter Plastic Pipe Mains Are Helping Gas Distribution

Ever since Union Gas in Caney, KS successfully inserted a 4-inch polyethylene pipeline into a corroded 6-inch steel pipeline in 1959, polyethylene pipes have steadily become the material of choice for the North American gas distribution market. Polyethylene alone represents more than 39 million services and 3 billion feet of the pipes in service (1), and more than 97% of all new gas distribution piping installed each year. Throughout the 50 years of service, polyethylene pipe resins and pipes have improved in both toughness and durability from the original pipelines that have served our industry well. Figure 1. Despite the success of polyethylene pipe in the gas distributi

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