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Presented by

Daryl J.P. Tchir, P. Eng.
Senior Engineer, Standards ATCO Gas Presented May 7th, 2007 in Winnipeg

Today’s presentation will share information about:
Slow Crack Growth (SGC) & PENT Tests; Rapid Crack Propagation (RCP) & S4 Tests; New PE Resin Options (PE 4710 / PE 100+); General Impacts on Installation; Impacts on Large Diameter Mains.

Introduction - Cont’d
This session has been developed to:
Enhance the understanding of PE design and material properties; To ensure designs maximize pipe life expectancy; To discuss opportunities for cost savings.

Standards ATCO Gas . P. Tchir. Eng. Senior Engineer.P.PART 1 SGC & RCP – PREDICTING THE LIFE OF PE MAINS Presented by Daryl J.

. When SCG resistance improves. RCP resistance declines.SCG & RCP Two of the possible failure modes for PE pipe are Slow Crack Growth (SCG) and Rapid Crack Propagation (RCP). SCG is much more common than RCP. Tests exist to predict the resistance to SCG and RCP.

Medium density pipe (PE 2406) has more resistance to SCG failures than high density pipe (PE 3408). SCG failures happens over a relatively long period of time.Slow Crack Growth (SCG) SCG occurs in PE pipe when molecular bonds break and small cracks grow to a critical length resulting in a pipe wall failure. . SCG occurs in pipes of all sizes and wall thicknesses.

At an elevated temperature. There are other tests to estimate SCG resistance such as ISO 13479 (Notched Pipe Test – NPT). .SCG Resistance Test ASTM F1473. is used to test for SCG resistance. commonly referred to as the PENT (Pennsylvania Elevated Notch Toughness) test. a notched pipe sample is subjected to a tensile load.

. New tests are being developed to estimate PENT and NPT values for pipe with values over 1000 hours.SCG Resistance Test – Cont’d Early generation PE resins have PENT values of only as few minutes or seconds while modern resins can have test times over 1000 hours.

SCG Failures SCG Failures can be brittle or ductile. Brittle failures are less predictable and indicate pipe is near the end of its useful life. .

Ductile Failure .

Ductile Failure .

Brittle Failure .

Brittle Failure .

Rapid Crack Propagation (RCP) RCP is a violent failure mode happening over just a few seconds. . RCP is also more likely to occur at colder temperatures. RCP failures are more likely in thicker walled pipe sections and sections at higher operating stresses (large diameter pipes at greater risk).

.Rapid Crack Propagation (RCP) – Cont’d High density pipe (PE 3408) is more resistant to RCP than medium density pipe (PE 2406). The RCP failure is commonly triggered by an impact event such as a rock impingement or a hit line. RCP failures are far less common than SCG failures.

. RCP is only a concern when the pipe diameter is greater than 4 inches (but wall thickness is the critical dimension). With many modern pipes. The crack tip propagates faster than the decompression wave permitting the crack to run a great length before arresting.Rapid Crack Propagation (RCP) – Cont’d The impact energy forms a crack that propagates rapidly along the pipe length.

The S4 test can be correlated to a full scale test (ISO 13478). . This provides an estimate of the critical pressure below which cracks will arrest or the critical temperature above which cracks will arrest.RCP Resistance Test The S4 (Small Scale Steady State) test is described in ISO 13477.

There is some debate about the S4 test and its relationship to the full scale test. There is some evidence to be concerned about uniformity in S4 testing (discussed in a paper at PPXIII). .RCP Resistance Test – Cont’d The tests are costly and must be repeated to ensure good data.

RCP Resistance Test – Cont’d P3 Cloche Results o o o x x x o o o Test Pressure P2 P1 Propagation Regime Pc Arrest Regime x x x o o o 0C xx o o T1 T2 T3 Tc T5 Test Temperature (fictional data set) .

Pictures ??? .RCP Failures RCP Failures are always brittle.

PE Molecule Polyethylene Backbone Polyethylene M olecule w ith Branching Shown .

Molecular Weight Distribution MDPE HDPE Molecular Weight (fictional data set) .

High molecular weight backbone is better.Effects of Molecular Branching Distribution of the comonomer (short chain branching) is important. It is best if distribution favors the high molecular weight chains. . Comonomer length is important (best if uniform and shorter).

Since gas companies first began using PE pipe in about the late 1960’s. . there have been many improvements to the stabilizers and the production of PE pipe.Effects of Antioxidants and UV Stabilizers Antioxidants and UV stabilizers are added to the PE resin to rebuild broken bonds. Stabilizers called HALS (Hindered Amine Light Stabilizers) where introduced in about 1995.

HALS survive the manufacturing processes better and thus provide greater long-term protection.HALS (Hindered Amine Light Stabilizers) HALS have had the greatest impact on extending pipe life. Much of the stabilizer in PE resin is consumed during the heating cycle while manufacturing the pipe itself. .

Review: SCG – RCP Relationship For each PE resin. However. improved RCP performance comes at the cost of SCG performance. . As a result. a well selected PE 100 resin can have better SCG properties than a PE 2406 resin and better RCP properties than a PE 3408 resin. bimodal resins are able to have better combined performance characteristics.

This results in the estimated life under a sustained stress condition. . Tests can be performed to determine the Long-Term Hydrostatic Strength (LTHS) of PE pipe.Estimation of Pipe Life SCG performance governs the estimate of pipe life expectancy.

the log value of time to failure. then a line is projected to 100. Points are plotted.000 hours (11 years).LTHS Determination LTHS is determined in accordance with ASTM D 2837 by plotting the log values of hoop stress vs. Tests are done at 23oC. The value at 11 years is the LTHS (Long-Term Hydrostatic Strength) .

0 0.4 years 10 10 0 10 00 10 .000 hrs 11.14 yrs) O test @ 23 C 100.LTHS Determination .00 0 10 1.0 00 00 . 000 hrs (1.Cont’d LTHS HDB Stress (Log Scale) 18 data points to 10.00 0 Time to Failure .Hours (Log Scale) (fictional data set) .

it fails in a brittle mode. At some point. At this transition a “knee” marks the rapid decline in the observed slope of the plot.Ductile to Brittle Transition Knee The data from the LTHS test cannot be projected indefinitely. pipe fails in a ductile mode. a ductile to brittle transition occurs. To the left of the knee. To the right. .

00 0 10 1.0 0.0 00 00 .Ductile to Brittle Transition Knee .Cont’d Stress (Log Scale) “KNEE” Ductile Failures Brittle Failures 10 10 0 10 00 10 .00 0 Time to Failure .Hours (Log Scale) (fictional data set) .

The occurrence of brittle failures is an indication that the pipe has reached the limit of its useful life. .Ductile to Brittle Transition Knee .Cont’d Brittle failures are less predictable and can occur at much lower stresses.

To estimate the location of the brittle knee. a correlation has been developed for PE pipe performance at different temperatures. . Several years of data is required (potentially more than 100 years of data for some PE resins).Ductile to Brittle Transition Knee . the brittle knee is difficult to define experimentally.Cont’d At normal operating temperatures.

Cont’d Tests done at elevated temperatures establish the location of the brittle transition knee at lower temperatures. This allows the tests to take place over a relatively short time period.Ductile to Brittle Transition Knee . . These tests were not conducted on earlier PE resins.

Ductile to Brittle Transition Knee .Cont’d It is now apparent that some PE resins have the brittle knee occurring within the desired service life of the pipes. . This is evident by the number of brittle failures that have been observed in early generation PE resins.

0 00 00 .00 0 10 1.00 0 Time to Failure .0 0.Correlation of PE Pipe Performance to Temperature Stress (Log Scale) 23 C 40 C 60 C 80 C O O O O 10 10 0 10 00 10 .Hours (Log Scale) (fictional data set) .


PART 2 AN INTRODUCTION TO PE 4710 / PE 100+ MATERIAL Presented by Daryl J. Standards ATCO Gas . Eng.P. P. Tchir. Senior Engineer.

Likewise. PE 100 simply means that pipe has an MRS value of 10 MPa. . PE 80 pipe has an MRS value of 8 MPa.What is PE 100+? PE 100 is a European designation that is based on the ISO 9080 standard.

There is money to save. PE 100+ is capable of better slow crack resistance than MDPE. .Why use PE 100+? PE 100+ is capable of exhibiting the best properties of MDPE (PE 2406) and HDPE (PE 3408). PE 100+ is capable of better RCP crack resistance than HDPE.

Molecular Weight Distribution MDPE HDPE Molecular Weight (fictional data set) .

Molecular Weight Distribution Bimodal HDPE Molecular Weight (fictional data set) .

What does MRS Mean?
MRS means: “Minimum Required Strength” The MRS is categorized value that represents an estimate of the long-term strength of the pipe. MRS values are calculated similar to HDB values, but there are key differences. MRS values are always lower than HDB values.

HDB Determination
HDB is determined in accordance with ASTM D 2837 by plotting the log values of hoop stress vs. the log value of time to failure. Tests are done at 23oC. Points are plotted, then a line is projected to 100,000 hours (11 years). The value at 11 years is the LTHS (Long-Term Hydrostatic Strength)

HDB Determination (Cont’d)
Stress (Log Scale) LTHS HDB

18 data points to 10, 000 hrs (1.14 yrs) O test @ 23 C

100,000 hrs 11.4 years


10 0

10 00

10 ,00 0

10 1,0 0,0 00 00 ,00 0

Time to Failure - Hours (Log Scale)

(fictional data set)

an LTHS value between 1200 and 1530 psi is categorized as HDB = 1250 psi.HDB Determination (Cont’d) The categorized 100.4 yr) LTHS value is the HDB. For example. An LTHS value between 1530 and 1920 psi is categorized as HDB = 1600 psi.000 hour (11. .

MRS also considers the effect of temperature. time at 20oC on a log.log scale. . (Tests are conducted at 2 other temperatures as well. but a line is plotted representing the Lower Predictive Limit (not the “best-fit” / average). points are plotted.MRS Determination MRS is determined in accordance with ISO 9080 by plotting hoop stress vs.) Again.

19 MPa is categorized as MRS = 10 MPa (PE100) . The 50 year value is then categorized.MRS Determination (Cont’d) The Lower Predictive Limit (LPL) is projected to 50 years (not 11).9 MPa is categorized as MRS = 8. A value between 8.0 MPa (PE 80) A value between 10 and 11.0 and 9.

14 yrs) O test @ 20 C and two other temperatures 10 10 0 10 00 10 .0 00 10 0.0 0 0 Tim e to Failure .000 hrs (1.5 % LCL Lower Confidence Limit 30 data points to 10.MRS Determination (Cont’d) Stress (Log S cale) LTHS MRS 50 years 97.0 0 0 1.Hou rs (L og Scale) (fictional data set) .0 0 0.

00 0 10 1.Hours (Log Scale) (fictional data set) .5 % LCL Lower Confidence Limit 10 10 0 10 00 10 .4 years x x MRS 50 years 97.00 0 Time to Failure .0 00 00 .0 0.HDB and MRS Compared HDB Stress (Log Scale) 11.

Pipe can always be expected to perform better than the categorized value. MRS uses a lower confidence limit which considers the quality of the data. MRS requires more data points. .Why is MRS Better? MRS gives consideration to temperature.

.What is MRS Design? MRS Design is a method of determining a safe hydrostatic design pressure. MRS design calculations are similar to the HDB design calculations used in Canada. but there are some key differences.

the categorized longterm strength of the pipe is divided by design coefficients to obtain a safe operating pressure.MRS Design Methodology In MRS design. . the categorized longterm strength of the pipe is multiplied by design factors to obtain a safe operating pressure. In HDB design.

HDB Design Formula P = {2S / (R-1)} × F × T or P = {2St / (D-t)} × F × T where. (psi or MPa) R = standard dimension ratio (SDR) D = maximum average outside diameter. or mm) t = minimum wall thickness. (in. or mm) F = Service Design Factor T = Temperature Design Factor . (in. P = design pressure (psi or MPa) S = Hydrostatic Design Basis at 23 °C.

P = design pressure (Bar) MRS = Minimum Required Strength at 20 °C (MPa) R = standard dimension ratio (SDR) D = maximum average outside diameter. (mm) C = Overall Design Coefficient .MRS Design Formula P = 20*MRS / {(R-1)*C} or P = 20*MRS* t / {(D-t)*C} where. (mm) t = minimum wall thickness.

MRS Design Formula 2 becomes 20 due to the units Bar and MPa “C” is now in the bottom of the equation replacing the product “F X T” P = 20*MRS / {(R-1)*C} or P = 20*MRS* t / {(D-t)*C} .

0 used in the MRS design calculation. This is because the MRS and HDB estimates of strength are not equal. A design factor of 0.5 in the HDB design calculation.MRS Design Formula The design factor is not simply the inverse of the design coefficient. yields different results than a design coefficient of 2. .

MRS Design Coefficients The overall design coefficient is a product of several design coefficients. .0 per ISO 4437. C = CA X CM C must be at least 2. Some regulatory authorities may also specify a minimum value for C.

25 for PE per ISO 12162. CA is the application factor and is specified by the design engineer.MRS Design Coefficients CM = is the material coefficient and equals 1.6 for C to equal 2.0. CA must be at least 1. .

6 MPa). PE 2406 pipe used by ATCO Gas has an MRS value of 8.MRS.40 and C = 2. .0 MPa. The safe operating pressure for SDR 11 pipe is 690 kPa per the HDB method or 800 kPa (8 Bar) per the MRS method (F = 0.0). HDB and PE 2406 PE 2406 pipe used by ATCO Gas has an HDB value of 1250 psi (8.

40 and C = 2. PE 3408 pipe. The safe operating pressure for SDR 11 pipe is 860 kPa per the HDB method or 800 kPa (8 Bar) per the MRS method (F = 0. if used by ATCO Gas. HDB and PE 3408 PE 3408 pipe. if used by ATCO Gas. has an HDB value of 1600 psi (11.0 MPa. . has an MRS value of 8.03 MPa).MRS.0).

However. They are actually PE 80. it would be classified as PE 3408. . most PE 3408 resins are not equivalent to PE 100. It would have an MRS value of 10 MPa and an HDB of 1600 psi.Why is the MRS 8 for PE 3408? If you were to buy PE 100 today. just like PE 2406.

They are therefore categorized as HDB = 1250 psi. .0? Many PE 3408 resins have an LTHS value just below 1600 psi. even though they are much higher strength. Many PE 2406 resins have an LTHS value near 1450 psi.How can PE 2406 and PE 3408 both be MRS 8. They are therefore categorized as HDB = 1600 psi.

However.0? (cont’d) PE 2406 is actually close in strength to PE 3408.0 MPa. both are rated as MRS = 8. Following the ISO methodology. .How can PE 2406 and PE 3408 both be MRS 8. they are categorized very differently as 1250 psi and 1600 psi.

D3350 has just split the “3” in the density cell class to “3” and “4”.What is Happening to Distinguish PE 100 Materials? ASTM standards are being revised. ASTM D2513 is in the process of changing to recognize the change in ASTM D3350. First. “4” will be used to identify the higher density bimodal resins that are PE 100. .

D3350 will be revised to add a 7 to the slow crack growth resistance cell class. These are the “high performance” pipes. . “7” will be used to identify resins that have a PENT test value > 500 hours.What is Happening to Distinguish PE 100 Materials? (Cont’d) Next. ASTM D2513 will also need to change to recognize this change.

. the water industry is in the process of adopting a new design factor. which is equal to FWater*HDB.63 of high performance materials. They are changing from F = 0. This will change the “08” in PE 3408 to a “10”. “08” is the HDS.What is Happening to Distinguish PE 100 Materials? (Cont’d) Finally.5 to 0.

“4” = bimodal high density resin “7” = PENT test > 500 hours “10” = HDS for water of 1000 psi (F=0.63) .What is Happening to Distinguish PE 100 Materials? (Cont’d) PE 100 will be PE 4710 under ASTM.

4 are looking at revisions to include PE 100 resulting in 3 cell classes for gas: PE 2406. PE100 .0 and 137. PE 3408. B137.What is Happening to Distinguish PE 100 Materials in Canada? CSA is looking at changes to B137 and Z662.

What does the future hold .S.? TODAY PE 2406 (MDPE) PE 3408 (HDPE) TOMORROW PE 2406 PE 2606 PE 2706 PE 2708 FUTURE? PE 2606 or PE 2708 PE 3608 or PE 3710 PE 4710 PE 3408 PE 3608 PE 3708 PE 3710 PE 4708 PE 4710 PE 100+ PE 3710 (Bi-Modal) PE 4710 .for the U.

for Canada? TODAY PE 2406 (MDPE) PE 3408 (HDPE) PE 100+ (PE 3408) FUTURE? PE 2406 (PE 2708) PE 3408 (PE 3608) PE 100 (PE 4710?) .What does the future hold .

With bimodal PE 100 resins. the entire scale shifts allowing a better combination of RCP and slow crack resistance – but it does not guarantee it – choose right. Slow crack resistance still comes at the expense of RCP crack resistance. Not all PE 100 is superior.Not all PE 100’s are the Same! Remember the “+” when you think of PE 100. .

SDR 17 permits the same 550 kPa or 80 psi MOP as SDR 13. With PE 100 you pay 10% more per volume but you buy 25% less volume. This is because a larger SDR is acceptable.Where are the Savings? The savings are in the pipe strength. .5 in a PE 2406 material.

0 mm for SDR 13. 323 mm PE could be used to replace some 323 mm steel projects.Where are the Savings? (Cont’d) You could even consider using 323 mm SDR 21 PE 100 which has an MOP of 64 psi.4 mm compared to 24. . The wall thickness would be 15.5 used today by many companies.

END OF PART 2 AN INTRODUCTION TO PE 4710 / PE 100+ MATERIAL Any Questions ????? .

Senior Engineer. Tchir. Eng. P.PART 3 USE OF NEW MATERIALS IMPACT ON CONSTRUCTION Presented by Daryl J. Standards ATCO Gas .P.

What is the Catch? Fusion Procedures Fusion Training Squeezing Procedures Pipe Deflection from Loading Pipe Color Change .

.What is the Catch? Fusion Procedures We need to test our existing procedures. PE 100 should fuse to PE 2406 without any problem (using conventional or electrofusion). We have already used a few PE 100 Electrofusion fittings.

We may need a new visual criteria as the bead does not always roll back and touch the pipe completely. For yellow jacketed PE 100. visual inspection is more difficult (see sample).What is the Catch? Fusion Procedures PE 100 has a slightly different bead shape. . It appears more pear shaped than round (like an airplane wing).

What is the Catch? Fusion Procedures – Bead Shape Bead does not sit down as well PE 100 PE 2406 Bead has a flatter appearance .

At ATCO Gas. . we specify an iron temperature range of 475 to 500OF.What is the Catch? Fusion Procedures Fusion beads have better visual appearance using lower iron temperatures – about 400 to 425OF. PPI recommends 400 to 450OF in their generic fusion procedure (TR-33).

PE 100 can be conventionally fused directly to PE 2406. .What is the Catch? Fusion Procedures PE 100 fuses better with slightly higher interfacial pressure. Electrofusion will be required if wall thickness is different (our rule).

Would likely train to PE 100 procedure and use on PE 2406 without problem. Not a small task .ATCO Gas has over 600 qualified fusers. .What is the Catch? Fusion Training Some fusion training will be required to highlight the differences. Timing would need to be well coordinated.

We need to ensure that our procedures will work in both hot and cold conditions. .What is the Catch? Squeezing Procedures This should be no problem but still needs confirmation for our climate. PE 100 is used in the North Eastern United States.

Loads Currently. With bigger SDR’s. .1% for SDR 32. larger deflections are considered acceptable (8. our soil loading model shows some excessive deflections (> 5%) for our existing pipe when installed deeper than normal or under heavy loads.What is the Catch? Pipe Deflection .5 – Rinker and Driscoplex) We need to investigate deflection even if we are not changing resins.

but we need to investigate their results. Some companies have used SDR 21.What is the Catch? Pipe Deflection .Loads Europeans use SDR 17 PE 100. . Good backfill practices are the best way to reduce deflection.

We will need to educate! . The digging community in Alberta will not be use to encountering live black gas mains in urban areas. Pipe could be mistaken as conduit. Black may be more difficult to locate.What is the Catch? Pipe Color PE 100 is generally made black like other high density pipes.

What is the Catch? Pipe Color PE 100 is available in a yellow jacket. Only one manufacturer makes this product. Visual fusion criteria is harder to observe because of the color blending. .

What is the Catch? Pipe Color .

A few years ago. we introduced a new fitting line and experienced some of the issues that change brings. We had to make some adjustments to visual fusion criteria.What is the Catch? Change Change is always difficult to manage. This would be no different. . We also modified some procedures.

Remember to look for the “+”. PE 100+ has been proven with over 20 years usage in Europe. .Conclusions PE 100+ will result in savings. PE 100+ eliminates RCP concerns on a go forward basis. Resin selection is important.

Next Steps Select a PE 100+ resin. . Begin fusion and squeeze procedure validation. Install test projects.

Introducing Larger Diameter PE into Your System Higher strength Polyethylene made today also has better performance characteristics. This creates the opportunity to install larger diameter PE mains for gas distribution. .

Concerns Introducing New (Larger) PE Diameters
Some concerns include:
RCP Failures; Brittle Failures from SCG; Pipe Capacity (Wall Thickness); Pipe Deflection; Fitting Availability; Training - Fusion; Pipeline Isolation (Squeezing); Material Handling.

Concern: RCP Failures
Use of a well selected PE 100 material will eliminate RCP concerns. Ensure S4 test data is available for the selected resin. Specify a minimum Critical Pressure or maximum Critical Temperature (or both) to ensure safe operation.

Concern: RCP Failures (Cont’d)
P3 Propagation Regime PE 100+ PE 2406

Test Pressure



Pc Arrest Regime







Test Temperature

(fictional data set)

These pipes are predicted to fail in a ductile mode. . Select pipe with a large PENT or NPT value (greater than 1000 hours) to ensure the brittle knee occurs well beyond 100 years.Concern: Brittle Failures from SCG Some resins appear to have no brittle knee in the LTHS curves.

SDR 21 for 64 PSI systems.5 for 100 PSI systems. SDR 13. SDR 17 for 80 PSI systems. ISO formulas permit further opportunities based on stress and temperature. .Concern: Pipe Capacity (Wall Thickness) Use of bimodal or high density resins increases pipe strength and creates the opportunity to use thinner pipe walls: SDR 11 for 125 PSI systems.

Concern: Pipe Deflection More needs to be done in this area. Field observations need to be compared to calculated values. Spangler’s Modified Iowa Equation can be used to calculate combined stresses from vehicles and soil as well as pipe deflection. . Water industry or European gas industry experiences may add insight.

Concern: Fitting Availability More fittings are on the market today. Pipe is less flexible so straighter alignments are required. May have to accept a greater variety of resins and resin categories to get the fittings you require. Allow for longer lead times. . Inspect incoming stock to catch defects early. Pipe with bends are more difficult to repair.

Fusion If newer materials are selected. remember that thinner walled pipes require different fusion machine pressures. For hydraulic machines. .Concern: Training . you may require new procedures or new visual criteria. Compare hydraulic fluid pressure and cross section of ram to: desired interfacial pressure and cross section of pipe.

Conduct tests to decide if squeezing a given pipe diameter and SDR is desirable. Steel systems require valves anyway. .Concern: Pipeline Isolation (Squeezing) Sqeezing is a bonus. Thinner pipe walls make squeezing possible for greater sizes.

Concern: Material Handling Longer sticks of pipe will reduce fusion costs. . This allows bundles to be lifts at several points along their length. Consider a spreader bar for fork lifts. but are more difficult to handle.

CSA. Investigate pipe deflection criteria – note that there is limited data readily available for PE pipe.Next Steps Investigate European experience with SDR 21. AGA. and ASTM committees where the opportunities exist. . Participate in CGA.


13477. 13478. Milan Italy. D3350. 13479 PPI Technical Reports TR-3. TR-9. Z662 ASTM Standards D2513. 9080. April 2004 Proceedings from Plastics Pipes XIII.C.References CSA Standards B137. D2837. U.S. F1473 ISO Standards 4437. 12162. TR-33 Proceedings from Plastics Pipes XII. 10839. Washington D. October 2006 . TR-4.A..