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GANZ Technical Information Bulletin No 01 PE 80 and PE 100 Compatibility Introduction Most polyethylene (PE) gas piping systems in use

in NZ currently have been constructed using PE 80 or earlier grades of PE pipe and fittings. The availability of PE 100 has raised the question of jointing compatibility. Technical Background ISO Technical Report, ISO/TR 11647:1996 Fusion compatibility of polyethylene (PE) pipes and fittings, gives guidance on methods for the examination of the fusion compatibility of two differing PE materials when jointed. It applies to all fusion techniques for PE systems butt, saddle, socket and electro-fusion. In the ISO report compatibility is determined by means of the material test and the type tests relevant to each type of joint/application and recommends a basic material test using prepared specimens cut from fused pipes is included, plus a type test using static pressure. The ISO report also states that classification of the materials by their melt flow rate (MFR) is not acceptable as this classification cannot guarantee good fusion. However, it states that butt fusion of materials with an MFR between 0.3 g/l0 min and I.3 g/IO min (load 5 kg) can be carried out satisfactorily. The report recommends tests for each type of fusion joint to confirm compatibility. Other sources of information suggest it is possible to butt fuse pipes and fittings of different grades and SDR, but this should only be carried out under controlled conditions. Similarly for electro-fusion these sources advise that different grades and SDR's of pipe can be connected using electro-fusion, but again only under controlled conditions. NZ Suppliers One material supplier of PE pipe and fittings for use in the NZ gas industry, who has supplied PE 100 electro-fusion fittings in imperial sizes to suit the bulk of NZ gas systems, has advised that their principals have confirmed that joining of their PE 80 and PE 100 material by electro-fusion is satisfactory. They do not recommend jointing between PE 80 and PE100 materials by butt fusion. As and when other suppliers provide PE 100 fittings the same assurances should be sought directly from the supplier that they are compatible with PE 80 if the two materials are to be mixed in a gas system.

Recommendation
It is recommended that before PE 80 and PE 100 materials are mixed in gas piping systems that operators should seek individual assurances from their suppliers on compatibility of the two materials.

Information contained in this bulletin is provided for advisory purposes only. Readers are advised to seek independent advice on the technical matters referred to.

GANZ Tech Info Bulletin No 01

July 2007