Calling all utilities and contractors.
The Plastics Pipe Institute Inc. is looking to unearth new data about the longevity of high density polyethylene conduit with help from long-term end users who will receive a $200 reward if their sample is selected for testing.
HDPE conduit that is being removed for replacement, re-routing or for any reason is eligible for the ongoing research being conducted by PPI's power and communications division, according to Patrick Vibien, the division's engineering director.
"Specifically, we are seeking samples of HDPE conduit that have been in service for 15 years or longer. This conduit could have been buried in the ground carrying power cables of any voltage, telecommunications lines or fiber-optics," Vibien said in a news release.
HDPE conduit comes in various colors — although gray is typically rigid PVC — and it has a print line that indicates the year it was manufactured, Vibien added. Any diameter is useful in lengths of 8 to 20 feet along with some basic information about where the conduit was located and its in-service history.
Vibien also asks anyone with plans to remove buried HDPE conduit to notify him because PPI will work with its member companies to witness the process, gather data about the installation, and collect the used samples for shipment to its test facility for evaluation.
PPI will select up to three samples for the project. The collected samples will undergo physical and chemical laboratory tests for research about the long-term performance and durability of the conduit.
"It is well-known that HDPE conduit is an excellent material for housing and protecting electrical power and telecommunications cables, with benefits including long lengths without joints, high strength and installation toughness," Vibien said. "This research effort will increase the body of knowledge about the product's long-term durability for power and communication applications."
PPI says the findings will be made public so the information can help utilities with their forecasts for future conduit replacement projects.
Anyone who has a sample to submit or plans to remove HDPE conduit can contact Vibien, at [email protected] or 469-499-1048.