Sittard, the Netherlands – At the Plastic Pipes XV Conference in Vancouver, Canada (stand 6) SABIC, a global plastics industry leader, today introduced the new SABIC® Vestolen A RELY family of tough, sustainable and cost-effective bimodal high-density polyethylene (HDPE) materials for pressure pipe applications. The SABIC® Vestolen A RELY portfolio offers converters considerable energy savings and enables environmentally responsible pipe installation. Further demonstrating its commitment to sustainable technologies, the company also presented today its revolutionary new Strain Hardening method, a fast, cost-efficient and highly accurate method for evaluating the slow crack growth resistance behaviour of HDPE. This Strain Hardening method avoids the use of detergents – that can pose an environmental hazard – and avoids the use of valuable drinking water.
Both announcements underscore SABIC’s increasing focus on the development of high-performance, sustainable technologies, and its ongoing investment in innovative materials and validation techniques to help converters, developers and builders leverage next-generation, pressure pipe solutions. The term “RELY” refers to the material’s outstanding reliability, which is critical for transporting potable water, gas and other valuable liquids. It also reflects SABIC’s global reputation as a strong and reliable business partner that can ensure a long-term supply of advanced material solutions.
“Our new SABIC®Vestolen A RELY products in combination with the Strain Hardening method – that measures their performance – are key deliverables in SABIC’s global strategy to supply the pressure pipe industry with breakthrough technologies,” said Jean Engels, business manager HDPE SABIC. “SABIC takes great pride in proactively developing materials and methodologies that meet current and emerging industry needs, particularly in the areas of sustainability and cost effectiveness. We also welcome new partners who can help us drive development of new pipe solutions utilizing our high-performance HDPE materials and extensive technological resources and expertise.”
Boosting Sustainability and Performance of High-Pressure Pipe
The first two grades within the SABIC® Vestolen A RELY portfolio – one designed for low sagging and the other engineered for high resistance to slow crack growth – contribute to the eco-responsible production and use of pressure pipe. With these materials, converters can significantly reduce energy. Developers and contractors can select trenchless pipe installation such as guided boring and horizontal directional drilling that reduce impact on the environment.
Both new materials are classified as PE100 grades, demonstrating compliance with the highest industry standards for HDPE pressure pipe.
• SABIC® Vestolen A RELY 5924R delivers excellent low sag performance for large-diameter pipes and pressure pipes with a low standard dimension ratio (SDR). This grade has an internal pressure approval for PE 100 that complies with the EN12201 and EN1555 standards, underscoring its high quality and outstanding performance for transporting potable water, gas, sewage and other liquids.
• SABIC® Vestolen A RELY 5922R offers excellent resistance to slow crack growth propagation in high-pressure pipe applications and can therefore be used with advanced trenchless pipe installation technologies such as re-lining, horizontal directional drilling and guided boring. Its superior resistance to slow crack growth is demonstrated by results of the FNCT (>8760h) and pipe notch test (>8760h, DIN and ISO 13479). This grade also has an internal pressure approval for PE 100, meeting EN12201 and EN1555 standards.
Moreover, the new, premium-performance RELY family is produced at SABIC’s state-of-the-art HDPE plant in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, which was designed to put less stress on the environment than traditional facilities. For example, SABIC’s plant cuts electricity usage by 8 percent, air emissions by 85 percent and sewage by 50 percent. Further, the facility uses SABIC’s own proprietary catalyst technology, ensuring a consistent and high product quality.
Setting the standard for slow crack growth resistance testing
Until now, the primary slow crack growth resistance testing methods for HDPE for pressure pipes had significant drawbacks, including high cost, long durations of a year or more and uncertain reliability. SABIC’s new and more sophisticated Strain Hardening method correlates very well to traditional methods that assess the slow crack growth behaviour of HDPE. This revolutionary method is typically able to determine the intrinsic slow crack growth behaviour via a simple tensile test at 80°C. Advantages of this test method are very low measurement variation, absence of surfactants and notches, small amount of required testing material (< 50 g) and, most important, testing times of only a few hours.
SABIC´s new Strain Hardening method can be easily implemented at accredited laboratories. This simple yet cutting-edge test fulfils an urgent and previously unmet market need. SABIC anticipates that the Strain Hardening method will become the standard for HDPE slow crack growth testing.
SABIC® Vestolen A RELY 5924R and SABIC® Vestolen A RELY 5922R are available globally. Additional grades within this product line are due for release in the near future.