Investigation of Residual life

PVC and PE (press) pipes make up a large part of transport pipelines for gas, drinking water and waste water. Because these pipes have been installed and used since the middle of the last century, the (residual) lifespan of plastic distribution pipes is a growing area of attention for managers. Normec QS has the expertise and research facilities to map the remaining life of piping systems.

Outdated period of use

The historically estimated period of use of these plastic distribution pipes of 50 years appears to be outdated in some cases. For example, location in a favorable earth layer can significantly extend the service life. On the other hand, vibrations caused by traffic, for example, or unfavourable soil compaction can have critical consequences for the functionality of piping systems.

Degradation of plastic pipes, such as PVC sewers

As in all piping systems, plastic pipe material is subject to degradation processes and environmental influences. Regular degradation processes of a physical, chemical and mechanical nature play a role in slowly decreasing functionality. In addition, pressure and water hammer, but also the action of chemicals from the soil are influence factors that can accelerate degradation. These processes can reduce the reliability of piping systems and result in, for example, leaks or pressure loss.

Predicting residual life

By making an inventory of the current condition of piping systems, it is possible to predict the remaining life. This allows more targeted investment decisions to be made. In this way, large-scale renewal of the network can make way for replacements at the most crucial locations.

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Residual life research

Normec QS performs residual life research to determine the current condition of plastic pipes. We use a research method developed by TNO for this issue. This process includes the following steps:

  • Our experienced experts carry out a test programme in consultation on representative or risk-based test samples from the piping
  • The current condition and any deterioration course are determined
  • After interpretation of the test results, a reliable residual life prediction is reported.


Normec QS test laboratory recognised by Synergrid

Since April, Normec QS has been included in Synergrid’s list of recognised test labs for the Belgian market.

Normec QS contributes to certification pilot for European hydrogen requirements

Normec QS contributes to certification pilot for European hydrogen requirements

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Visit us during InfraTech 2023

From 17 to 20 January, we will be at the Infratech in Rotterdam Ahoy with our colleagues from Normec Certification and Normec Rei-Lux.

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