Fusion welding HDPE pipe
Standard practice in UK horticulture has always been to joint PVC pipes with unions or glued joints. If the pipes are underground and a joint fails, there will be considerable disruption, inconvenience and potentially crop loss. Using HDPE (High Density Poly Ethylene) pipe rather than PVC introduces the possibility of creating extra strong joints by welding two ends together under heat and pressure to form a continuous pipe.
Principle of HDPE welding
The fundamental principle of pipe welding using heat fusion is that by heating two pipe ends to the correct temperature, the pipe's molecular structure is changed so that the molecules from each end mix when the appropriate force is applied.
When the pipe cools, the HDPE material returns to its original state and the welded joint creates one homogenous pipe.
The resulting joint can be even stronger than the original pipe.
CMW have completed a number of successful projects using fusion welding and would recommend any grower to consider this technique. HDPE welding requires specialist equipment and expertise, both of which CMW can provide in conjunction with a longstanding associate contractor.
One Grower's experience
Les Deeley of Halsham Salads has had plenty of headaches with burst PVC pipes over the years. 'It always happens at the worst possible time' says Les 'That means I have to divert my attention from growing the best crop to dealing with an emergency.'
For Les, that's now all in the past. ' I don't have to worry about burst pipes anymore, and what's more, now that my mains are buried, I get a bit more light into my crop. More light means a better yield'