by Parag Chheda, Joint Managing Director, Prince Pipes & Fittings
Pipeline materials have undergone tremendous change over time, driven by the emergence of new towns and cities, social progress, demographic growth all of which have influenced the evolution of piping systems and material. In current times, with exponential growth in infrastructure, High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) polymers are the need of the hour and the polymer for the future. Looking at the outstanding performance of pipes made from this versatile thermoplastic for most rigorous applications, it is no wonder HDPE pipes have become highly popular worldwide.
With a high strength-to-density ratio, HDPE has wide applications, being used in the production of plastic bottles, corrosion-resistant piping, geomembranes, crates, bottles, caps & closures, industrial wrapping, films and plastic lumber. Moreover, HDPE pipe systems are used in sewer and storm applications since it has verified its resistance to the acidic environment and other corrosive fluids. HDPE pipes have been recognized internationally as the safest, most practical, and adaptable product for Gas and Water distribution as well.
Double wall corrugated pipes or DWC pipes used prominently in sewerage piping systems, are manufactured using HDPE polymer as they are resistant to various types of gases and chemical attacks and is an environment friendly polymer. HDPE is also the polymer used in inspection & manhole chambers and fittings. DWC pipes are gaining wide popularity for construction purposes providing a very cost-effective solution assuring low maintenance-low damage chances and highest life expectancy over 50 years. These products are much lighter, more flexible and are therefore easier to handle and install. Its design features an external corrugated surface which gives stiffness and flexibility to sustain large loads, coupled with a smooth internal finish to ensure easy flow and reduced blockages.
As India progresses on several fronts, the time is now to upgrade our country’s wastewater systems alongside urban infrastructural development, while manufacturing industries also must realise the need to transition to HDPE piping systems. For companies which are looking for a replacement of PVC, RCC and GI pipes to lay fibre electric cable and fibre optics, DWC pipes are the best suited solution. HDPE adoption must be encouraged as the polymer of the future, given its virtues and rapid adoption globally. They are indeed bringing about a revolutionary transformation to underground sewerage piping systems which will allow India to bring lasting impact to the country’s sanitation infrastructure.
Some of the top manufacturers in India offer their customers HDPE piping solutions with facilities like rodent properties and no flame propagation, ensuring much superior performance than RCC pipes, and several other additional features that can be customised on demand.
As the government forges ahead with its plans for smart cities, the support of the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) program is breeding hundreds of new urban renewal projects bringing a great deal of improvement in sanitation facilities. Other water transportation schemes have also been enabling strong progress in urban development especially with the expansion of metros and fast real estate growth across non-metros. India is at a nascent stage in HDPE adoption, and given such headwinds, HDPE demand in India is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.25%, expected to be driven by continuous surge in requirements for agriculture for supplying water, drainage, and irrigation. Moreover, domestic refiners actively planning to expand their petrochemicals and chemicals footprint can also fuel the growth of the HDPE market in the years to come. Various industries such as gas distribution piping, crude oil flow lines, irrigation and fire fighting, industrial & mining, under water piping, geothermal heating, are set to benefit from HDPE adoption as India progresses.
In conclusion, with greater focus on the country’s agriculture, real estate and infrastructure development, a steady growth in demand for HDPE pipes is expected to continue over the next few years. HDPE pipes are pro-environmental products, being the best pipe material when used or designed in proper conditions. Therefore, with greater focus on ESG / sustainability, they are globally preferred and a superior alternative to any other material. With the government’s Make in India thrust and active implementation of reforms, manufacturers of HDPE pipes & fittings with domain expertise, a legacy of quality and trust are well placed to support other industries in total HDPE adoption.