Updated Specs Available for Designing HDPE Systems

New document provides latest specifications for designing HDPE conduit power and communications systems.

An updated model specification for high-density polyethylene (HDPE) conduit has been published by the Plastics Pipe Institute, Inc. (PPI), the major trade association representing all segments of the plastic pipe industry.  Available free on PPI’s website, document MS-5 “MODEL SPECIFICATION FOR HDPE SOLID WALL CONDUIT FOR POWER AND COMMUNICATIONS APPLICATIONS” assists specifiers in preparing specifications for an HDPE conduit project.

According to PPI, while HDPE conduit and pressure pipe specifications may appear similar, there are technical differences which are critical to achieving the intended performance of products in specific applications.  HDPE conduit is the preferred material to house and protect electrical power and communications cables in typical applications such as power utilities, telecommunications, CATV, SCADA, FTTH, ITS, highway lighting, and other underground utilities.  Benefits of HDPE conduit, according to PPI, include availability in long lengths without joints, high strength, flexibility, proven reliability and installation toughness.  HDPE conduit, including Cable in Conduit (CIC), is widely used in trenching, horizontal directional drilling (HDD) and plowing installation methods.

“Industry standards for conduit, such as ASTM F2160 and D3485, NEMA TC7, and UL 651A and 1990, have all been updated since 2016, including changes to product performance,” stated Lance MacNevin, P. Eng., director of engineering for PPI’s Power & Communications Division (PCD).  “An inaccurate or an out-of-date product specification can cause confusion among suppliers or result in an inadequate product being installed.  Conduit specifications have been specifically developed for the demands of telecomm, power, utility, aerial or underground applications.”

Prepared with input from PPI members who are industry experts, MS-5 provides specifiers with a starting point in developing final specifications for a particular project’s needs.  It includes reference to various product specifications by SDOs such as ASTM, CSA, NEMA, and UL and describes when and how to utilize these industry documents.

Tony Radoszewski, CAE, PPI president, added, “Major telecom firms should be certain their specifications are updated to match the latest industry standards.  Specifying an incorrect standard for HDPE conduit can delay projects, increase costs, or result in an inappropriate material selection.  This new model specification is written to help specifiers avoid those problems.”

MS-5 is available free and can be found on PPI’s website via its homepage, under the “Publications & Resources” menu option, where a Technical Documents Index is provided.  The direct link to MS-5 as published online https://plasticpipe.org/pdf/ms-5-conduit.pdf

Complementary to the MS-5 is an also recently updated PPI document,  Technical Note 50 (TN-50), “GUIDE TO SPECIFYING HDPE CONDUIT”, that advises specifiers on selecting the right type of conduit for various types of projects.  TN-50 is available at http://plasticpipe.org/pdf/tn-50-guide-to-specifying-hdpe-conduit.pdf