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Limits of Longitudinal Bending of C900 PVC Pipe

  • Author(s): Winn, Laurence B.
  • Publications: Journal - American Water Works Association
  • Issue Date: January 2018
  • Volume / Number: 110, Number 1
  • Page(s): E15-E26
  • DOI:
  • Product Number: JAW_0085568
Full Text: pdf

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Data mining of the geographic information systems and asset management databases of a large water utility; field measurement of installed joint deflection; and a review of applicable AWWA standards and manufacturers' recommendations reveal alarming discrepancies between field practice and the limits of longitudinal bending for C900 polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe. Several case studies support these results. It is shown that quantitative quality control is required to ensure compliance with standards, but is largely absent from design considerations and field operations. Further investigation shows that installer cost exposure without the use of longitudinal bending is on the order of 1 to 8%, depending on required conformance to an ideal arc. The author concludes that PVC's combination of flexibility and low fracture resistance contributes to a record of abuse by installers and consequent low reliability, at least in the location studied. Proposed conditions for the controlled use of PVC are presented.

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