Plastic pipe demand to rise, but ductile iron and concrete do better

04/25/2011

Pipe made from concrete or ductile iron pipe is very heavy, and heavy too is the reliance of building engineers for decades on pipe made from these materials for infrastructure projects. The result? Despite being outclassed in many ways by plastics pipe, the two established materials are able not only to keep their share of the market but actually will increase market share at a faster pace than plastics.

All of this according to Large Diameter Pipe, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm. According to the report, the value of the large diameter pipe market will exceed $8 billion in 2015 as demand increases at a 6.2%/yr clip. Demand for plastics pipe will grow at a faster pace than that but, according to the report's authors, still will trail demand growth rates for concrete and ductile iron pipe in these applications.

The past few years have heralded a new era in large diameter plastic pipe extrusion, with plastics processors and extruder manufacturers helping speed developments, but based on this report's predictions they still have plenty of work to do to conquer the incumbent material's inertia. Lighter weight, easier installation and so forth are great arguments, but it remains much easier for a building engineer to specify the same material he always has than to transition to plastics....
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