Plastic Fabrication Technology

Plastic material technology offers flexible low cost fabrication solutions for bespoke industrial process vessels.

Benefits of Plastic

The benefits of considering plastic for process vessels compared to metal constructions are:

  • Lower cost and weight
  • High durability
  • High impact resistance
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Chemical corrosion resistance
  • Abrasion resistance 

A section of ductwork

Material Properties

BHP can advise you on the optimum selection of the appropriate plastic composite material for your application and operating conditions, taking into account the physical and chemical properties of the various plastics available.

The following shows the properties of just some of the plastic materials available:

UPVC

Unplasticised polyvinyl chloride (uPVC) is the most widely used of all plastics for pipe installations. It is rigid, versatile, and is suitable for both above and below ground installations. It has excellent chemical resistance which, when combined with smoothness of bore, eliminates build up of scale and gives excellent flow characteristics. It is odourless and tasteless, and is suitable for conveying potable water and many foods or diary products.

uPVC is suitable for use a room temperature from 0°C to 60°C at a wide range of operating pressures, depending on the system chosen. It is lightweight and easy to install using cold solvent welded joints which require no special tools.  

Polypropylene

Polypropylene (PP) piping systems are widely used in industrial processing. Light in weight yet with high impact strength and reliable heat fusion welding, PP also offers good abrasion resistance, and is good for thermal and electrical insulation. PP is suitable for working use at temperatures up to 90°C and will withstand short tern use at 110°C.

PP's chemical resistance is excellent: PP is resistance to aqueous solutions of acids, alkalis and salts. PP systems are assembled using heat fusion welding.  

PVDF

Polyvinylidene Fluoride is a unique thermoplastic with properties which allow it to be used for a very aggressive or highly specialised applications. Although expensive compared to other thermoplastics, PVDF offers an economically attractive alternative to many “exotic” materials and/or in process lines where limited working life of other materials necessitates frequent replacement. PVDF has excellent chemical and physical properties, even at low temperatures, and has considerable resistance to abrasion. It is resistant to aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, organic acids, alcohols and halogenated solvents. It is also non-toxic and can be used for high purity applications. Safe working temperatures range from -40°C to +140°C, with short term use well above this level. PVDF systems are assembled using heat fusion welding. 

Polyethylene

Polyethylene is now in widespread use fr5 industrial pipework systems, as well as for buried gas and water pipelines, where it is the dominant material. One of its major benefits is that Polyethylene is virtually unbreakable from impact at temperatures above 5°C, and remains very tough at temperatures as low as -40°C. It is also extremely resistant to abrasion, and will outlast steel or other hard materials in most slurry applications. It has good chemical resistance and will withstand most acids and caustic substances. Polyethylene is joined by heat, socket and butt fusion.

ABS

Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene is a rigid pressure piping system renowned for its high impact strength and durability which combine to give exceptional toughness. It is suitable for use over a wide temperature range from -40°C to +70°C at pressures up to 15 bar. ABS is especially useful at sub-zero temperatures, where it retains high levels of impact strength. It is resistant to a wide range of abrasive slurries which can damage steel or other pipe material, also non-toxic and taint free, therefore in widespread use for food products, soft drinks, and high purity water. ABS is joined using solvent cement, with no special tools.

GRP

GRP (glass reinforced plastics) is also known as FRP (fibre reinforced plastic) and is used to provide mechanical strength to reinforce vessels and ducting, or to provide enhanced chemical and thermal properties. The desired properties for any particular application can be engineered by selecting the appropriate binding resin.

There are numerous types of resin to suit all applications, including:

  • GP general purpose resins for general reinforcement for ducting and vessels
  • High Temperature resin for improved thermal resistance
  • Chemical Resistant resins
  • Fire Retardant resins


These are just a few in a vast range of engineered resins. Please call us for further advice.

CPVC

Chlorinated polyvinyl chloride is a modified PVC with additional high temperature strength. It has been developed to handle hot, corrosive liquids at working temperatures up to 100°C, whilst offering ease of installation with cold solvent welded joints. CPVC is inert to many mineral acids, bases, salts, paraffinic hydrocarbons, halogens and alcohols. It will not support combustion and is rated as self extinguishing. The low thermal conductivity of the material reduces moisture condensation on water lines, and will maintain the temperature of fluids with minimal insulation. 

ECTFE

Ethylene chlorotrifluoroethylene is virtually unaffected by most common corrosive chemicals. It has excellent chemical and physical properties, a high impact strength and a wide temperature functional range. This material is available fabric backed for lined chemical tanks reinforced with fibre glass.

BHP Plastics

Whitebread's Farm
Stane Street Slinfold West Sussex RH13 0RE UK

Tel: 01403 790825
Fax: 01403 790841