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The fledgling Pipe Rehabilitation Council, which represents makers of no-dig and other technologies to fix existing pipes, has become an operating segment of the Plastics Pipe Institute.

PPI is a division of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. that represents polyethylene pipe extruders.

The Pipe Rehabilitation Council has been in formation for the past year, and PRC officials have been talking to PPI about joining together, according to Richard Gottwald, PPI executive director.

Under the agreement, announced Jan. 27, members of PRC joined SPI immediately. During a six-month period, PPI will help the group develop strategic and technical plans. During that time, the group will be called the Ad Hoc Pipe Rehabilitation Council. Following that period, PRC is scheduled to become a full division of SPI.

Pipe rehabilitation technology uses a number of plastic materials, including PE and some thermoset resins.

``It's such a fast-paced development area,'' said PPI President Steve Sandstrum. ``The rehabilitation industry is an important and growing market segment.''

Sandstrum is manager of product development for PE resin supplier Solvay Polymers Inc. of Houston.

Mike Burkhard, president of Conduit Technologies Corp. of Chambersburg, Pa., was named chairman of the ad hoc council.

PPI members make pipe for markets such as water and gas distribution, sewer and wastewater, oil and gas production, industrial and mining uses, power and communications duct and irrigation.

SPI and PPI are in Washington.