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Company Profile

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

PVC - The Benefits

Design Considerations

Pipe Dimensions 1 Jointing Methods



Storage & Transportation




FLO-TEK is one of the leading manufacturers of unplasticised Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) pipes, High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pipes and Rotomoulded products in Southern Africa. History
Radical Investments (Pty) Ltd, trading as FLO-TEK PIPES & IRRIGATION was established in Botswana in 1998 manufacturing PVC pipes. In July 2003 and June 2004, FLO-TEK started manufacturing rotational moulded products and HDPE pipes respectively. FLO-TEK was established in South Africa in 2005. A HDPE pipe factory was started in Clayville in August 2007. FLO-TEK South Africa has since opened a branch in Cape Town and a subsidiary company in Dundee. FLO-TEK has an established company in Angola. To date, FLO-TEK has successfully qualified for numerous government, parastatal and NGO projects and tenders on grounds of its present BEE status. Progress towards a progressive but realistic strategic economic empowerment target, both directly and indirectly, is being made on a broad front. Leadership of the overall transformation programme rests with the management and the stakeholders oversee the application of the Transformation and broad-based BEE Strategies within the organization.

Core Business and Service Proposition

FLO-TEKs core business is the manufacturing and distribution of HDPE and PVC-U and PVC-M Pressure and Sewer pipes and Rotomoulded products. Our ISO 9001:2008 certificated factories in Johannesburg and Botswana enable us to manufacture our pipes and tanks as well as distribute to South Africa, Botswana and other SADC countries. Our factories have fully equipped laboratories which ensure FLO-TEK manufactures to SANS, ISO and SAPPMA specifications. Within our South African and Botswana operations, we have experienced staff who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience. FLO-TEK ensures the best quality product and the highest delivery standards.

Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment

FLO-TEK is a BEE compliant company. The principles of broad-based BEE, through stakeholder empowerment, have also been integrated into how we do business, and how we can assist and support our Clients in how they do their business. The empowerment of women and the development of skills at lower levels of the organization to facilitate career and personal growth opportunities are the particular areas that will continue to receive attention and focus within our own business.


Composition of PVC Pipe Material
PVC is a vinyl chloride polymer. PVC polymer is derived from coal or oil, and salt. The unique properties of polyvinyl chloride polymer are further enhanced by the addition of special additives to create tough, resilient and ductile compounds, which are then used in the extrusion of PVC pipes. The extrusion process itself is finely controlled and has a direct bearing on the final properties of the product. The pipe manufacturers objective is to manufacture pipe within tight dimensional tolerances at high output rates while maintaining its mechanical performance characteristics. Therefore polymers for pipe extrusion are manufactured to a high degree of consistency, with an emphasis on maintaining tight control of all key properties. The nature and volumes of additives used vary to some extent, depending on the required end result. The essential additives used in PVC pipe and fittings formulations are heat stabilisers, lubricants, impact modifiers, processing aids and pigments.

The Benefits
Resistance to abrasion and scouring Resistance to attack by acid or alkaline soils Impervious to chemicals found in sewerage Good flow characteristics Not damaged by modern cleaning methods Good impact properties, an important factor in installation, transportation and use Durability and toughness - resistance to handling and installation damage Corrosion resistance - greater service life Lower mass - ease of handling and installation, particularly suited to labour intensive projects Ease of repair Elastomeric, locked-in sealing ring system no specialist installation skills required Service performance in excess of 50 years Unique combination of properties Toughness Stiffness High Tensile and hoop strength Excellent resistance of creep Predictable long-term behaviour

Physical Properties
PVC is a thermoplastic material which consists of PVC polymer compounded with varying proportions of stabilizers, lubricants, fillers, pigments, and processing aids. Different formulations of these ingredients are used to obtain specific properties for different applications. Pipes can therefore be developed to meet the requirements of a wide variety of applications and conditions. The major part of each formulation is PVC resin.

Hoop Stiffness and Creep Rupture Strength
The hoop stress (from Barlows formula) is plotted against the time (in hours) to rupture, using log scales on both axes. The resultant creep rupture regression lines for PVC-M pressure pipe are given below at two temperatures, i.e. 20C and 60C.

100 90 80 70

100 YEARS 50 YEARS As per pipe standards

Hoop Stress (MPa)

60 50 40 30



10 0.1 1 10 100 1000 10 000 100 000 1 000 000 10 000 000

Time (hours) Stress Time Lines for PVC-O, PVC-M and PVC-U
PVC-O regression line as per SANS 1808-85 PVC-U and PVC-M regression line as per SANS 966-Parts 1&2 PVC-O design stress, SANS 1808-85 (28 MPa) PVC-U design stress, SANS 966-1 (12.5 MPa)

1. 20C Regression Line The line for PVC-U and PVC-M meets the requirements of SANS 966 while the line for PVC-O meets SANS 1808-85 2. 60C Regression Line 1000 hour failure stress (12,5MPa) as per ISO 4422 and UK Water Industry Spec No. 4-31-06 (1990).

Hydrostatic Strength
The addition of modifying agents reduces the short term strength but leads to a considerable increase in toughness in PVC-M pressure pipe, especially the resistance of the material to the propagation of cracks. The 1 hour hydrostatic strength at 20C of PVC-M is 40Mpa, compared to 42Mpa for PVC-U pipe. The failure stress of both PVC-U and PVC-M at 50 years is similar, i.e. 25/26MPa. Testing at elevated temperatures is essential for the identification of ductile-brittle transitions. Should operating temperatures rise above 25C the working pressures should be de-rated.

Impact Resistance
The measurement of the impact performance under external blows is a major requirement of SANS 966:2006. The ductility of PVC-M pipe is shown by the standard quality control test for impact; when impacted by masses of up to 30kg dropped from a height of 20m, there is no evidence of brittle failure as experienced with PVC-U.

Short-Term Safety Factors

It should be noted that the short-term safety factor is much higher. In fact, the more rapid the rate of pressure increase the higher the strength exhibited by the pipe. Short-term safety factors for PVC-U, PVC-M and PVC-O are over three times the design working pressure. Thus at high pressurisation rates pipes are better able to resist the higher stress levels generated by surge.

Pressure Variation and Surge Pressures

The stress regression lines are derived using constant stresses; in pipelines the stress on the material is rarely constant, varying as the pressure varies and as superimposed loads vary. The latter usually stabilise fairly quickly, at least within the first year of the network life, but pressure variations are there forever. As with any other pipe material, due allowance for this must be made in designing a water reticulation network with PVC pipes. Anti-surge devices such as air vessels, non-return valves, programmed use of pumps etc, should be incorporated where necessary. Lower surge pressures develop in PVC pipes as a result of lower surge wave velocities and this has enabled PVC pipes to be used in areas where water hammer has caused pipes manufactured from other materials to fracture. Above all, it enables one to operate with lower pressure classes for PVC. Considerable research has been done on the fatigue properties of plastic pipelines. Recently work has been published on fatigue properties of PVC-M related to actual site conditions in water distribution systems. It is concluded that PVC-M pipes will not fail under conditions of dynamic and static stress within 50 years provided the total stress does not exceed 17,5MPa and the stress amplitude over one million pressure cycles (equal to 55 cycles per day for 50 years) is below 3,0MPa.

Design Stress (os) and the Long-Term Safety Factor
The design stress is defined as the constant stress that the pipe wall can withstand for 50 years, with a defined safety factor. A safety factor or overall service (design) co-efficient (C) is applied to take into account minor variations in pipe quality, the possibility of the occurrence of brittle failure, slight surges or fluctuations in pressure or superimposed bending stresses or point loads on the pipe, or slight surface damage resulting during installation (refer SANS 966, SANS 1808-85 and SANS ISO 4427). Thus the safety factor is applied to account for any unknown loading or environmental conditions. The design stress is derived from the stress-time line which gives the minimum required strength (MRS), as follows: os = MRS C os Where MRS C - Design stress - Minimum required strength at 50 years - Design coefficient (safety factor).

The Effect of Temperature Changes on Working Pressure

The pressure classes of PVC pipes carrying the SABS 966 mark have been allocated on the basis of design at 20C. Any pipes used in applications where operating temperatures exceed 25C need to be de-rated to ensure that the 50 year design life, or the safety factor, is not adversely affected. The following pressure reduction factors should be applied. WORKING TEMPERATURE (C) 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 MULTIPLICATION FACTORS 1.0 0.9 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3

NB. The maximum recommended working temperature is 60C. PVC-U pipes designed as per SANS 966 Part 1 have a safety factor of 2.5 for pipe diameters of 90mm and below, and 2.0 for pipe diameters 110mm and above. These safety factors relate to design stresses of 10.0 and 12.5 MPa respectively. DESIGNATION MRS (MPa) DESIGN STRESS SAFETY FACTOR PVC-U (< 90mm) PVC-U (< 110mm) PVC-M 26.0 2.6 2.6 10.0 12.5 18.0 2.6 2.0 1.4

Sub Zero Temperatures

Water has been known to freeze in PVC pipes without causing fractures, but permanent strain can result, leading to severe reduction in the working life of the pipe. Hence PVC pipes, like other pipes, should be protected against sub zero temperatures.

Calculating Water Hammer

The Wave Celerity for PVC-U and PVC-M which is used in the calculation of water hammer in pipelines is given in the table below. Higher Wave Celerity values result in higher levels of water hammer. Each class of pipe has a constant value of Wave Celerity. By comparison the Wave Celerities for materials such as steel and fibre cement are much higher by multiples of 3 or more. CLASS 6 9 12 16 20 25 PVC-U 263 325 378 439 495 559 PVC-M 249 270 312 363 407 458

Expansion and Contraction

All plastics have high co-efficients of expansion and contraction, several times those of metals. This must be allowed for in any installation by the use of expansion joints, expansion loops etc. MATERIAL PVC HDPE LDPE Steel Copper CO-EFFICIENT OF EXPANSION (K-1) 6 x 10 20 x 10 20 x 10 1.2 x 10 2.0 x 10

Compressed Air
Normal forms of PVC pipes should NOT be used for the reticulation of compressed air there is however, a limited range of specially formulated PVC pipes with specialized couplings systems that are used in the Mining industry for compressed air. The pipes can withstand the normal pressures of compressed air but for the following reasons their use is not recommended for conventional industrial-type applications: 1. Compressed air expands violently and dangerously if allowed to. 2. PVC pipes can be accidently damaged, while pressurized, with potentially catastrophic consequences. 3. When air is compressed its temperature increases with resulting consequences for the pressure handling abilities of PVC pipes. 4. Most PVC pipes have rubber ring jointing systems which are not designed to handle thrust unless special precautions are taken.

Examples based on the above are as follows: A PVC pipe will expand or contract by 0.06mm per metre per C change in temperature. A HDPE pipe will expand or contract by 0.2mm per metre per C change in temperature. A 30 rise in temperature will cause an increase in length of 10.8mm (.06 x 30 x 6) on a 6 metre length of PVC pipe and an increase of 36mm (0.2 x 30 x 6)on a 6 metre length of HDPE pipe.

An important feature of PVC pipes is that they may be deliberately bent, within limits, thus eliminating the need, in some cases, for separate bends. As a rule of thumb the radius of such a bend must not be less than 300 times the pipe diameter. In addition each rubber ring joint can accommodate a further 1/2 of bend. This feature significantly reduces costs and speeds up installation times when compared to some traditional pipe materials.

Ultra Violet Resistance

Most plastics are affected by UV light. PVC pressure pipes have pigments and light stabilisers incorporated in their formulation and if pressure pipes have to be exposed for an indefinite period, they should be painted, preferably with one coat of white alkyd enamel or PVA, or suitable covering should be provided. Paint containing solvent thinners should be avoided. Long-term exposure (more than 4 6 months, but dependant on climatic conditions) to UV light can cause discolouration of the pigments in the pipe and, in severe cases, lead to some embrittlement. Such embrittlement affects the ability to withstand impacts but does not reduce pressure handling capabilities. It is recommended that pipes should be buried wherever possible.


NOMINAL SIZE DN/DD MEAN OUTSIDE DIAMETER MIN MAX 20.0 25.0 32.0 40.0 50.0 63.0 75.0 90.0 110.0 125.0 140.0 160.0 180.0 200.0 225.0 250.0 280.0 315.0 355.0 400.0 20.2 25.2 32.2 40.2 50.2 63.2 75.2 90.3 110.3 125.3 140.4 160.4 180.5 200.5 225.5 250.6 280.6 315.6 355.7 400.7 MAXIMUM OUT-OF-ROUNDESS (OVALITY) Grade N SANS 11922-1 Grade N SANS 11922-1 Grade N SANS 11922-1 Grade N SANS 11922-1 Grade N SANS 11922-1 Grade N SANS 11922-1 Grade N SANS 11922-1 Grade N SANS 11922-1 Grade N SANS 11922-1 Grade N SANS 11922-1 Grade N SANS 11922-1 Grade N SANS 11922-1 Grade N SANS 11922-1 Grade N SANS 11922-1 Grade N SANS 11922-1 Grade N SANS 11922-1 Grade M SANS 11922-1 Grade M SANS 11922-1 Grade M SANS 11922-1 Grade M SANS 11922-1

1. Cutting
PVC pipes can be easily cut using a number of different cutting tools, such as proprietary cutting tools which cut, deburr and chamfer in one operation, circular saws or hand saws. It is important to ensure that, after cutting, the pipe end is thoroughly deburred.

20 25 32 40 50 63 75 90 110 125 140 160 180 200 225 250 280 315 355 400

2. Solvent Weld Joints

It must be stressed that solvent cement jointing is a welding and not glueing process. It is important therefore that there is an interference-fit between the spigot and socket to be joined. Do not attempt to make a joint when an interference-fit between a dry spigot and socket is not achieved (ie. a rattle fit). There are different types of solvent cement available for pressure pipes and for non-pressure applications. Make sure that the appropriate cement is being used. Do not dilute or add anything to the solvent cement.

Jointing Procedure
Assemble all the required fittings, pipes and equipment. See below:

For the best results, follow the jointing procedure below:

a). Make sure that the spigot has been cut square and that all burrs have been removed. b). Mark the spigot with a pencil line (or similar) at a distance equal to the internal depth of the socket. c). Check that, while dry, there is an interference fit between the spigot and the socket before the spigot reaches the full depth indicated by the pencil line. d). Ensure that both the spigot and the socket are properly dry (not illustrated). e). Degrease and clean both with an appropriate etch cleaner (not illustrated). f). With a suitable brush apply a thin film of solvent cement to the internal surface of the socket first. Then apply the solvent cement in a similar manner up to the mark on the spigot. Do not use excess solvent cement. The brush width should be such that the solvent cement can be applied to both surfaces within about 30 seconds. g). Make the joint immediately. While inserting the spigot rotate it by about 90 and ensure that it is fully inserted up to the pencil mark, as well as a bead of excess solvent cement indicating the correct amount has been applied. Hold steady for at least 30 seconds. Mechanical assistance may be necessary for large pipes. h). Wipe off any excess solvent cement with a clean rag. i). Do not disturb for at least 5 minutes (not illustrated). j). Do not apply pressure for at least 24 hours (not illustrated). a b c

3. Rubber Ring Joints

The rubber ring joint is integrally moulded on one end (socket end) of the pipe. The joint incorporates a factory fitted rubber sealing ring which is retained in position by a polypropylene lock ring. The opposite end of the pipe (spigot end) is suitable chamfered and has a depth of entry mark near its end. Each joint is capable of handling some expansion and contraction as well as angular deflection. The seal ring is designed to provide a watertight joint at high and low pressures.

3.1. Depth of Entry

The depth of entry mark mark on the spigot end of the pipe is a guide to ensure correct depth of insertion of the spigot into the socket of the next pipe. If pipes are cut to measure on site it is necessary to remark the depth of entry according to the dimension given in the following table. Remarking can be done with a permanent felt tipped marker pen. PIPE SIZE MM DEPTH OF ENTRY MM (Lw) 88 93 98 105 113 114 126 129 159 183 189 203 225 235 235 APRROX. LENGTH OF CHAMFER MM (Lc) 5 5 5 5 8 8 8 10 13 15 20 23 25 28 30

50 63 75 90 110 125 140 160 200

250 315 355 400 450 500

3.2. Chamfering
The spigot end of all rubber ring jointed pipes is chamfered at the time of manufacture. Chamfering facilitates the insertion of the spigot end into the socket of the next pipe without damaging or dislodging the rubber ring. If however, the chamfering has been cut off it is important to re-chamfer the end correctly. Re-chamfering can easily be done using a file that leaves no sharp edges which may cut the rubber ring. It should be at an angle of about 12 15 and the length of the chamfer should be such that at least half the wall of the thickness is removed. The chamfering should not be done to such an extent that a sharp edge is made at rim of the bore. a b

3.3. Lubricant
It is the most important to use correct lubricant when making a joint. The lubricant considerably reduces the effort required to insert the spigot into the socket and at the same time minimises the possibility of dislodging the rubber ring. The lubricant should be water soluble, non-toxic and of a gel consistency. Alternative lubricants such as oil, grease, diesel, dishwashing liquid, etc. must under no circumstances be used.

3.4. Jointing Procedure

a). Check the spigot end of the pipe for correct chamfering (12 - 15 with the correct length) as described in chamfering above. Ensure that the depth of entry mark is visible and that there are no burrs and damage present. b). Wipe the spigot end clean. c). Check the socket end of the pipe to ensure that the rubber ring is present and correctly fitted. Make sure that no dirt or mud is present. d). Apply the thin film of lubricant evenly around the circumference of the spigot up to about half the distance to the depth of entry mark. e). Lubricate the rubber ring sparingly. f). Place the spigot end of the pipe into the socket so that it rests against the rubber ring. g.) Ensure the two pipes are correctly aligned both horizontally and vertically. Failure to do this could lead to the rubber ring being dislodged when the next step is carried out (not illustrated). h). Push the spigot into the socket until the depth of entry mark is just visible at the end of the socket. It should not be necessary to use undue force if this becomes necessary it is normally an indication that something is amiss and the joint making process should be started again (not illustrated).

SANS 791 / SABS 791:2004 ISO 9001:2000


Pipes should be stored on level, flat ground, free of stones. They may be stored on timber supports of at least 75mm width placed 1.5 metres apart with side supports. The height of pipe stacks should not exceed 1.5 metres. All pipe stacks and stored fittings should be covered to avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. Where the pipes are fitted with an integral socket, they should be stacked with sockets protruding at alternate ends.

A flat-bodied vehicle is ideal for transporting pipes. Pipes with integral cuffs should be loaded and spaced so that cuffs protrude at alternate ends. When a mixed load of pipes (i.e. varying diameters) is to be transported, the larger pipes should be placed at the bottom. Pipes should not overhand the vehicle by more than 1 metre.

SANS 967/SABS 967:2004

SANS 966-1/SABS 966-1:2006

SANS 1601/SABS 1601:2004


The latest revisions of all accreditations will be provided on request.


Circumferential Hoop Stress
The stress induced around the wall of a pipe as a result of pressure within the pipe.

Multi Layer (Foamed Core)

These are pipes which have a pipe-wall consisting of several layers. Typically this is two solid sections of PVC wall, separated by a section which is foamed PVC (similar to the centre part of an AERO chocolate).

Design Stress
The stress induced into the wall of the pipe when operated at its rated pressure

Factors of Safety
MRS divided by the Design Stress

Field Test Pressure

The pressure applied to an installed pipeline in order to establish the quality of workmanship of the contractor. This is usually stipulated by the consulting engineer in charge.

Flow Rate
This is the volume of water (or other fluid) that is flowing through a pipeline. It is often measured in Litres per Second (l/s) or Litres per Minute (l/m).

Flow Velocity
The speed at which water is travelling along a pipeline. A particular volume of water will have a higher flow velocity in a small diameter pipe than in a large diameter pipe. It is measure in metres per second (m/s).

Friction Factor
Every type of pipe offers different amounts of resistance to flow (or friction) to the flow of water. Extensive research has established friction factors for each type of pipe. Pipes with low friction factors will typically be more energy efficient to operate.

Friction Losses
The friction factor for the pipe being used, the volume of water flowing through the pipeline and the length of the pipeline, will result in a specific amount of friction loss. The friction loss is measured in a number of ways, for example kPa/ 100 metres or metres per 100 metres.

MRS (Minimum Required Strength)

All plastic materials used for the manufacture of pipes have been extensively tested and can be shown to have a certain minimum failure stress after 50 years at 23C. This is known as the MRS.


Solid Wall
The pipe-wall of these pipes consists of a single layer of solid PVC.

Standard Dimension Ratio (SDR)

Outside Diameter (O.D.) Wall thickness. For example a 160mm pipe with a wall thickness of 9.4mm has a SDR of 17. All sizes of pipe in a particular pressure class (PN) will have the same SDR.

Water Hammer
When the flow of water in a pipeline is suddenly stopped it is possible, under specific circumstances that a shock wave of very high pressure can be caused to travel rapidly up and down the pipeline. This shock wave is known as water hammer. Severe cases of water hammer can be heard as very rapid banging in the pipeline and can cause serious damage. Proper design of the pipeline can eliminate Water hammer.

Wave Celerity
The physical properties of every type of pipe material and the dimensions of the pipe itself have an influence on the speed at which the shock wave of water hammer travels in the pipeline. This speed is known as the Wave Celerity and is measured in metres per second. Higher values of wave celerity result in higher peaks of water hammer pressure.

Working Pressure
This is the maximum pressure at which the pipe is designed to operate. It is measured in a number of different ways. e.g. Metres of water, kPa or Bar.

This is the abbreviation for Pressure Nominal and is commonly used as a Pressure Classification number for a particular pressure class of pipe. For example a PN 12 pipe is designed to operate at 12 bar.


Sales Offices
No. 31 Keramiek Street, Clayville, Extension 14, Johannesburg, South Africa, 1665 Tel. No.: +27 11 316 6891 Fax No.: +27 11 316 6896 13, 8th Avenue, Kensington, Cape Town, 7405 Tel. No.: +27 21 593 6040 Fax No.: +27 21 593 1193 45 Gray Street, Dundee, 3000 Tel. No.: +27 34 218 1236 Fax No.: +27 34 218 1237 Plot 22112, Kgomokasitwa Road, Gaborone West Industrial, Botswana Tel. No.: +267 397 2001/3/4 Fax No.: +267 397 2014 FLO-TEK Tubos e Irrigacoes KM/13, Estrada de Viana, Luanda, Angola Tel. No.: +244 2222 90662 Fax No.: +244 2222 90880

This information in this brochure is correct to the best of our knowledge. It does not constitute any form of guarantee. Specifications are subject to alteration. Subject to change without notice.