Types of PEX Pipe
Plumbers and other constructors have of late embraced PEX materials due to their durability, affordable cost and efficiency. One of the commonly used PEX materials is PEX pipes. PEX pipes which are made from cross-linked polyethylene have been preferred as an alternative to PVCs (Polyvinyl chloride) and copper due to their resilience in extreme temperatures and chemical corrosion. This has made them suitable for a wide range of plumbing and radiant heating systems for both domestic as well as industrial applications.
Types of PEX pipes
Depending on your area of application, there are basically 3 types of PEX pipes to choose from. There are 3 types of PEX pipes. They include PEX-a, PEX-b and PEX-c. Although all the PEX pipes are made through different processes, the structure of their composition is similar. PEX pipes are made through cross-linking polyethylene molecules to one another so as to achieve a resultant strong substance.
The classification of PEX pipes is based on the grade of the material in terms of strength and flexibility. PEX-a, PEX-b and PEX-c tells you that the three types were made from different processes, and so, the quality ranges from A as the highest, followed by B, and then C.
PEX-a – PEX-a is made through Engel process. The process uses peroxide to facilitate cross-linking of polyethylene molecules under a very high degree of heat above the melting point of the peroxide crystals. The Engel process results to PEX materials that are extremely strong and will little or no points of weaknesses.
PEX-b – PEX-b pipes are made through a process called moisture cure using a group of silicon hydroxides that are analogous to the paraffin hydrocarbons, called Silane. The cross-linking process is aided by a certain degree of heat and moisture. This method poses some weaknesses where the chemical bonds are weaker, and so, PEX-b is not as strong as PEX-a, but more stiff.
PEX-c – These are made through passing the polyethylene molecules under an electronic beam several times to achieve cross-linking. Although this is the most energy efficient technique, PEX tubing produced through this process are normally as strong as PEX-a or PEX-b. They are rather fragile and less consistent as compared to the other ones. They are however less expensive and more suitable to domestic uses, especially where the application environment is less susceptible to roughness.
Copper pipe freeze disaster
They recommend the use of PEX Pipe
Plastics Pipe Institute
Located in Dallas, Texas, The Plastics Pipe Institute Inc. (PPI) is the major trade association representing all segments of the plastics piping industry. Plastics Pipe Institute members share a common interest in broadening awareness and creating opportunities that expand market share and extend the use of plastics pipe in all its many applications. As an association, Plastics Pipe Institute focuses collaborative efforts to accumulate data, concentrate facts and target resources toward advancements in applications and increases in widespread usage.
Plastics Pipe and Fittings Association
The Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association (PPFA) is a national trade organization comprised of that manufacture plastic piping, fittings and solvent cements for plumbing and related applications, or supply raw materials, ingredients or machinery for the manufacturing process.
American Society for Testing and Materials
ASTM International, originally known as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), was formed over a century ago. ASTM International is one of the largest voluntary standards development organizations in the world-a trusted source for technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services. Known for their high technical quality and market relevancy, ASTM International standards have an important role in the information infrastructure that guides design, manufacturing and trade in the global economy.