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How The ABS Pipe Has Revolutionised Construction

May 26, 2008
Abs pipe or Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene pipe is used today in all manner of drainage, wastewater and venting systems. Its wide and diverse properties make ABS pipe the perfect solution in residential and commercial buildings as well as recreational vehicles.

ABS pipe has become the building material of choice for many in the construction industry for a number of reasons. It is readily available through many plumbing suppliers and comes in a variety of diameters depending upon your needs. The different sizes of pipe are also inter-connectable making it perfect for constructing complete systems. It is also lightweight making it cheaper to transport and much easier to handle once on site. Its ease movement makes it simple to assemble and install, with no need to weld or thread connections.

The affordability of ABS pipe is also a major reason for its popularity, especially when compared to metal pipe fixtures. In addition to this, the ease of installation means less time is spent in construction, further reducing overheads. On average a complete domestic home system will take around six hours using an ABS system.

Remarkably the light weight of ABS pipe belies its strength; it has great levels of impact resistance and can resist cold temperatures excellently, up to around minus forty Fahrenheit. Subsequently it used extensively in construction where it may have to endure the stresses and strains of installation. Its excellent temperature resistance is ideal as ABS pipe is often used in systems that carry both hot and cold substances. Added to this temperature hardiness, an ABS system is also able to resist household chemicals and even industrial liquids.

Looking into this chemical resistance was a study by the ABS institute in America; the findings of the study were thus. In terms of domestic uses, pipe segments were exposed to regular sink and bowl cleaners and the pipe were not harmed in any way. Water also has an insignificant effect on ABS pipe, after twenty four hours of immersion it was found that the sample only absorbed 0.005 percent of water by weight. Industrially it was found that the hardiness of this type of piping system was resistant to many industrial chemicals and abrasive liquids, making it perfect for use in sewage systems.

Another reason that ABS is so popular in the construction industry is its ease of storage. Thanks to its hardy properties it can be stored either inside or outside and will stand up to the elements effectively. It must be protected from direct sunlight however as this can lead to warping of the pipes. Also it should be stored on a level support to prevent any sagging that could occur. It is also advisable not to drag it across rough ground as it may be prone to abrasion.

Fitting an ABS pipe system requires exacting measurement. Cutting the pipe is a final solution and unlike some systems, once cutting has occurred it is impossible to stretch or warp the pipe to fit into a system. When you are measuring it is advisable to account for the sockets and fixtures as well as the pipes. Cutting the pipe is relatively easy with a saw or specialist pipe cutting tool. Remember to keep such tools sharp as excessive stress on the ABS when cutting can lead to distortion.

Whatever the cons of ABS it has definitely made life easier for those in the construction industry. Its many uses and affordability has made it a popular material. Thanks to excellent properties it can now be seen as the pipe of choice for many involved in the construction process.
About the Author
Construction expert Thomas Pretty looks into the uses and benefits of ABS pipe and why it is so heavily used in the industry.
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