Polythene is a partly crystalline thermoplastic. It is a well-known simple polymer with advantages and disadvantages for use in piping. Polythene pipe has a wide variety of applications in the plumbing industry.
While there are numerous practical applications for polythene pipe, many countries across the globe use polythene piping exclusively in their buried water and gas lines.
Polythene is a hydrocarbon product that is considered to be environmentally friendly and does not easily swell or dissolve in most common solvents, according to Manufacturers Monthly. These characteristics make polythene an ideal material to use in the construction of piping.
Polythene pipes offer such desirable features as low weight, abrasion resistance, corrosion resistance, high impact resistance and superior flexibility.
Despite the many benefits associated with polythene pipes, this type of pipe is not resistant to oxidising acids, ketones and chlorinated hydrocarbons, according to Manufacturers Monthly.
According to Plumbing Networks, polythene pipes should not be used in situations where they will be exposed to direct sunlight, as they can degrade in the presence of ultraviolet light.