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ABS Pipe, The Material Of Choice For Piping Systems

Jun 28, 2008
ABS pipe is the shortened term for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene pipe. Today it is used for all manner of uses in the construction industry thanks to its relative affordability, light weight and ease of fitting. The properties of ABS pipe make it perfect for piping systems in both the residential and commercial sphere.

The construction industry has embraced ABS pipe wholeheartedly. Plumbing suppliers are now stocking ABS pipe and fitting components as a matter of course to ensure their customers have enough materials to get the job done. Thanks to an extensive variety of diameters, ABS pipe and fitting components can fulfil the needs of almost any plumbing system. Combined with the relatively low cost in comparison to pipe materials of old, the ABS solution becomes even more preferable to those in the construction world.

The light weight of ABS pipe and fitting components is also a powerful lure for those in the construction industry. Being so light means that transportation costs are reduced immensely, reducing overheads on any building project. In addition, the light weight makes handling the material while it is on site easier, meaning efficiency is increased and the amount of machinery need on site to move materials around is reduced.

Fitting ABS pipe together is also a simple and effective method for constructing piping systems. There is no welding or threading pipes together meaning that a relatively unskilled worker can construct a piping system in no time. Current estimates believe that a worker who has worked with ABS pipe before can carry out the construction of an entire residential piping system in around six hours. This rapid fitting means that site managers save more money in man hours, reducing overheads further and making the building project more profitable.

Even though ABS pipe and fitting components are light, they are still strong. The resistance of ABS plastic to high impacts and temperatures makes it perfect for underground applications. During the process of installation, pipes are often put under a great deal of strain and thankfully ABS can stand up to these stresses. The chemical compound of ABS pipe means that it can happily carry both hot and cold liquids as well as household cleaners and even industrial chemicals.

A recent study into ABS pipe and fitting components found that after being exposed to household cleaners, it stood up to them for extended periods of time without any wear. In the same study an experiment was carried out where a section of pipe was submerged in water over a twenty four hour period, after the experiment was completed it was found that the section had only absorbed 0.005 percent of the water, making it the perfect material for use in sewerage systems.

ABS pipe does however have some weaknesses. When being stored it is important to keep stocks out of the sun as being made from plastic this can lead to warping, subsequently making the pipes useless. In addition, if left for extended periods of time, it must be stored on a level surface as the pipes have a tendency to sag. The final downside is the care that must be taking when transporting the material around the building site, if dragged along the ground, ABS plastic is susceptible to abrasion.

When you are fitting an ABS system it is important to measure exactly and only cut when you are sure of the measurements. Unfortunately once the pipe is cut to a certain length there is no way to remedy any shortcomings, so when fitting, ensure your measurements are correct.

Thanks to the development of new plastics like ABS it is possible for the construction industry to reduce their overheads and speed up their work. The properties of this material make it the ideal solution for many involved in building piping systems who want a material that is hardy and long lasting.
About the Author
Construction expert Thomas Pretty looks into how ABS pipe and fitting components have revolutionised piping systems.
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