NIST develops technology for checking PE pipes

Published: January 16, 2013 9:55 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Construction, Pipe/Profile/Tubing

GAITHERSBURG, MD. (Jan. 16, 2:25 p.m. ET) — The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed an enhanced form of chemical microscopy that can reveal in detail the interaction between molecules in blended polymers. The technique could prove useful for estimating the life cycle of polyethylene water pipes and joints.

Although PE water pipes have a predicted service life of up to 100 years, current tests are unable to accurately predict service life under field conditions, particularly at fusion joints. Water pipes are predominantly made from a blend of high and linear low density PE.

NIST materials scientist Young Jong Lee says that the combination improves the toughness, strength and fracture resistance of the polymer but, until now, we did not know exactly how this interaction works.

HDPE and LLDPE are so close chemically that it has been impossible to distinguish one from the other using X-ray or scanning electron microscopy. NIST’s development, which it calls BCARS (short for Broadband Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering) uses two lasers to analyse the frequencies associated with the different vibrational modes of each molecule.

By controlling the polarization of the light, the technique provides additional details on the local crystal orientation of molecules in the polymer. The images show, for example, the formation of microscopic spherical regions of partial crystallization with the LLDPE more concentrated towards the center.

Lee said: “This is a fast, three-dimensional chemical imaging technique that’s particularly useful for studying microstructures of polymeric materials”. The group is currently using BCARS to find the correlation between microscopic structures with characteristics of deformation and thermal fusion on PE pipes.


Comments

NIST develops technology for checking PE pipes

Published: January 16, 2013 9:55 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Residential construction set for steady growth

July 31, 2014 10:27 am ET

After a sluggish start to the year, activity levels in the residential construction sector gained momentum in the second quarter of this year. The...    More

Image

Pressure is on to replace aging gas pipes

July 30, 2014 2:47 pm ET

Polyethylene is the plastic replacement material of choice for modernizing the natural gas distribution system — so much so some are concerned...    More

Image

Vinyl siding's lead slips, but industry pushing back

July 29, 2014 2:04 pm ET

Vinyl siding continues to be the top cladding choice for home builders and remodelers but fiber cement is gaining ground — at an alarming rate...    More

A third generation is adding to the growth at American Vinyl Co.

July 28, 2014 4:32 pm ET

American Vinyl Co., a compounding and extrusion company that increased its workforce 20 percent this year, is looking to double its space for storing ...    More

Image

Who are the fastest growing pipe, profile and tubing extruders?

July 28, 2014 3:09 pm ET

Question: What's the word on this week's Plastics News annual ranking of the top Pipe, Profile and Tubing extruders in North America? Answer: Up. Let'...    More

Market Reports

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events