The History of Polyethylene Pipe
What we know as polyethylene pipe, poly pipe or pe pipe, would not be what it is today were it not for our obsession with the hula hoop in the 1950s. When Paul Hogan and Robert Banks discovered crystalline polypropylene, and that a similar plastic could be produced using ethylene, a new world of plastic appeared on the horizon. Using the new resin to create products such as polyethylene pipe, however, proved to be much harder than anyone imagined. The production process was unrefined and even after investing millions in the production process, the Phillips Petroleum Company still couldn't convince manufacturers to buy the resin.
Thankfully, by 1959, having finally mastered the production process, polyethylene manufacturers found a receptive market for their new plastic. Polyethylene's ability to handle high temperatures made it a perfect replacement for glass used in baby and liquid detergent bottles. Household product manufacturers were quick to follow, and with the success of the hula hoop, tubing and pipe applications of polyethylene skyrocketed. Always on the look out for cost effective alternative piping materials, the electrical, gas, potable water and mining industries were quick to use polyethylene for everything from insulating electrical cables to transporting waste water and mineral slurries.
What is Polyethylene?
When Hogan and Banks first created a reaction between ethylene and benzaldehyde using two thousand atmospheres of internal pressure, their experiment went askew when all the pressure escaped due to a leak in the testing container. On opening the tube they were stunned to find a white waxy substance that looked a lot like some form of plastic. After repeating the experiment, they discovered that the loss of pressure was not due to a leak at all, but was a result of the polymerization process. The residue polyethylene (PE) resin was a milky white, translucent substance derived from ethylene (CH2=CH2). Polyethylene was produced with either a low or high density.
Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) has a density ranging from 0.91 to 0.93 g/cm3 (0.60 to 0.61 oz/cu in). The molecules of LDPE have a carbon backbone with side groups of four to six carbon atoms attached randomly along the main backbone. LDPE is the most widely used of all plastics, because it is inexpensive, flexible, extremely tough, and chemical-resistant. LDPE is molded into bottles, garment bags, frozen food packages, and plastic toys.
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) has a density that ranges from 0.94 to 0.97 g/cm3 (0.62 to 0.64 oz/cu in). Its molecules have an extremely long carbon backbone with no side groups. As a result, these molecules align into more compact arrangements, accounting for the higher density of HDPE. HDPE is stiffer, stronger, and less translucent than low-density polyethylene. HDPE is formed into grocery bags, car fuel tanks, packaging, and, of course, piping.
The history of the polyethylene (PE) pipe begins with early civilization's attempts to find a suitable transport medium that could move water and other fluids from one place to another. It is no secret that plastic is relatively a new kid on the block as a piping material. Concrete has, in some form or another, been around since the Assyrians, Babylonians and Egyptians, while steel was first patented in 1855. Plastic piping, on the other hand, beginning with polyvinyl chloride or PVC in 1926, dates back to the 1930s, when it was utilized for sanitary drainage. Polyethylene was first developed in 1933 as a flexible, low density coating and insulating material for electrical cables. It played a key role during World War II -- first as an underwater cable coating and then as a critical insulating material for such vital military applications as radar insulation. Because of its light weight, radar equipment was easier to carry on a plane, which allowed the out-numbered Allied aircraft to detect German bombers under difficult conditions such as nightfall and thunderstorms.
High density polyethylene, however, is quite a bit different from the polyethylene used in the 1930s. Low density polyethylene was discovered in 1935 and it wasn't until sixteen years later in 1951 that high density polyethylene appeared on the scene. As a relatively newcomer in the piping industry, polyethylene is constantly making its way into applications normally reserved for the older piping technologies. It was not until after the war, though, that the material became a tremendous hit with consumers and from that point on, its rise in popularity has been almost unprecedented. Since the late 1950s and early 1960s, polyethylene has made its way into every corner of our lives launching a multi-billion dollar industry. It became the first plastic in the United States to sell more than a billion pounds a year and it is currently the largest volume plastic in the world. This is partly due to the fact that there are certain characteristics (or combinations of characteristics) of high density polyethylene that make it an attractive alternative. Whether it is an issue of installing a new piping system or rehabilitating an existing system, there are certain requirements placed on the piping material: that it be simple to install, that it doesn't leak or cost a lot to maintain, and will last a very long time. As long as polyethylene can satisfy these demands better than any other material, it will continue its gain in popularity.
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San Jose / Santa Clara Plumbing • Drain Cleaning • Commercial Specialists. Our Service includes:
Our San Jose / Santa Clara plumbers specialize in providing plumbing services for homes & businesses, in the Santa Clara County & surrounding areas.
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Tony's Plumbing of San Jose / Santa Clara also offers Trenchless water line replacement Service. This is a method of replacing an old water pipe with a new poly-pipe
of the same or larger inner diameter with minium damage. Two holes are excavated in areas of minimum damage (Lawn or Dirt). A trenchless tool is used to bore a
hole from one hole to the other. The max length between holes is 45ft. A poly-pipe is then pulled through and the final connection are made. Tony's Plumbing of San Jose / Santa Clara
also known as Santa Clara Trenchless provide the best in trenchless service..
NO damage to landscaping
NO damage to concrete areas
Guarantee of no future leaks
Stability to withstand subtle ground movement
A great savings over traditional methods of pipe replacement
Most jobs are warranted for LIFE
Minimum Lawn Removal
Tony's Plumbing of San Jose / Santa Clara is used by many professional companies to locate sewage lines and to find breaks in these sewer lines. We are now extending these
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Tony's Plumbing of San Jose / Santa Clara are available to you 24 hours a day and service all of Santa Clara and the Santa Clara surrounding areas should you have a gas leak. Areas
of service include the following cities and their surrounding communities: San Jose, Milpitas, Sunnyvale, Campbell, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Los Altos,
Los Altos Hill, and Mountain View Cupertino Palo Alto & East Palo Alto. Gas leaks are plumbing nightmares if they go undetected. We have sensitive
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we offer is pride and satisfaction in our work. We have a satisfaction guaranteed policy, and we will not consider our job finished until you are satisfied.
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Thank you for visiting our site! At Tony's Plumbing of San Jose / Santa Clara, we know that you have many choices for a plumber in Santa Clara or San Jose, CA and appreciate you
visiting us here. We service all types of plumbing and Drain Cleaning problems. For a Plumber near or in Santa Clara CA you can always
count on Tony's Plumbing Co. Serving Santa Clara and San Jose since 1993 we have made a great impression with the
Resident of Santa Clara and San Jose. We are available to you 24 hours a day and service all of Santa Clara and the Santa Clara
surrounding areas. Areas of service include the following cities and their surrounding communities: San Jose, Milpitas, Sunnyvale,
Campbell, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Los Altos, Los Altos Hill, Mountain View Cupertino Palo Alto & East Palo Alto. We are a licensed,
bonded and insured plumbing company in San Jose California, and what we offer is pride and satisfaction in our work. We have a
satisfaction guaranteed policy, and we will not consider our job finished until you are satisfied.
Tony's Plumbing of San Jose / Santa Clara is a Plumbing Sewer and Drain Cleaning Servcie Company
P.O. Box 1260 • Santa Clara CA 95050 • USA
Business: (408) 849-6883 Fax: (408) 243-1265