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The rise of HDPE pipes

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Pipelines,

In the last few years, the demand for high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes has increased significantly due to their growing usefulness in different industries.

The rise of HDPE pipes

HDPE pipes consisting of flexible thermoplastic polymers are commonly used for the transport of fluids and gases at lower temperatures. In recent times, HDPE pipes have been extensively utilised for the conveyance of potable water, hazardous substances, various gases, slurry, stormwater, firewater, and more. The strength of HDPE pipe materials, characterised by robust covalent bonds, makes them well-suited for high-pressure pipeline applications. Polyethylene pipes have an extended service life in industries such as oil, gas, mining, and water. Due to its high corrosion resistance and low weight, the HDPE pipe industry is growing enormously.

Erhard Holzkamp and Karl Ziegler discovered high-density polyethylene (HDPE) in 1953. These HDPE pipes can operate successfully in a large temperature span ranging from 2200 F to +1800 F. However, HDPE pipes cannot be used if the fluid temperature exceeds 1220 F (500 C).

According to a recent report published by Allied Market Research, the global HDPE pipes market is expected to grow at a 5.1% CAGR from 2023 to 2032.

Applications of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes are preferred due to their notable characteristics, resulting in an extensive range of applications. Presented below are several common uses of HDPE pipes:

Water supply systems:

HDPE pipes are significantly utilised in water supply infrastructure such as potable water distribution networks, irrigation systems, and water treatment plants because of their superior durability, corrosion resistance, and capability to handle excessive pressures.

Gas distribution networks:

HDPE pipes are frequently used in gas distribution networks due to their tremendous resistance to corrosion, chemical assaults, and leakage. A safe and reliable choice for the transport of natural gas and other gases.

Sewer systems:

HDPE pipes are widely used in sewer systems for the conveyance of both domestic and industrial wastewater. Its durability against chemicals, abrasion, and organic growth makes it suitable for underground sewage pipelines.


HDPE pipes find utility in mining activities for a variety of purposes, such as conveying slurry, draining mines, and managing tailings. These pipes are well suited to difficult mining conditions due to their durability, flexibility, and resistance to abrasion and chemical substances.

Geothermal systems:

In geothermal energy systems, HDPE pipes are utilised to extract and distribute heat from the earth. Due to their ability to endure high temperatures, corrosion resistance, and flexible nature, they are highly suitable for geothermal applications.

HDPE pipes provide cost-efficiency and resist hydrocarbon permeation in oil and gas applications:

HDPE pipes are highly resistant to the infiltration of hydrocarbons, which makes them convenient for use in the oil and gas industry. In this industry, their ability to perform the delivery of petroleum products and different hydrocarbons without degradation is a first-rate advantage.

Leakage prevention:

HDPE pipes utilise a fused joint mechanism that eliminates the need for mechanical fittings and reduces the risk of leakage. As a result, the safe transport of hydrocarbons is guaranteed, and costly spills or leaks are effectively prevented.

Corrosion resistance:

HDPE pipes display excellent resistance to corrosion resulting from hydrocarbons, chemicals, and moisture, effectively safeguarding them from degradation and prolonging their durability, ultimately minimising maintenance costs.

Chemical compatibility:

HDPE pipes are exceptionally resistant to chemicals, allowing the transport of various hydrocarbons without any concern about chemical reactions or degradation. Its adaptability makes it suitable for several applications in the oil and gas industry.

Lower installation costs:

HDPE pipes offer a lighter and more flexible alternative to conventional materials, enabling easier and more cost-efficient installation. Moreover, their extended lengths reduce the need for joints, thereby decreasing both installation time and expenses.

Environmental benefits:

HDPE pipes can be recycled and have a lower carbon footprint when compared to other materials used in the pipes. The selection of HDPE pipes for oil and gas applications contributes to the development of sustainability efforts and corresponds to environmentally friendly procedures.

Recent advancements of prominent players

Several companies, including Polyplastic Group, Blue Diamond Industries, SCG Chemicals Public Company Limited, and JM EAGLE, INC., are focusing on initiatives such as launching new products, leveraging innovative technologies, engaging in mergers and acquisitions, and forming joint ventures. These strategic moves aim to enhance their market presence and solidify their position. For example, in March 2022, the Polyplastic group partnered with the SMIT group, Russia's biggest pipe manufacturer, to expand supply chain networks and restructure production and marketing assets.

Moreover, in December 2021, Advanced Drainage Systems Inc. acquired Jet Polymer Recycling to enhance its recycling capabilities, support future expansion, and produce top-notch recycled plastic for utilisation in the rapidly growing on-site septic wastewater industry.

Therefore, the HDPE pipe sector remains dedicated to expansion and offers cost-effective solutions that meet the requirements of the oil and gas sector and other industries. Because of their outstanding performance characteristics and adaptability, HDPE pipes are a reliable and environmentally conscious choice for various applications.

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