Inch (Imperial) ABS Pipe and Fittings
Video: How to choose between PVC and ABS Pipe (4 mins)
ABS Pipe Systems (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene)
ABS industrial pipe systems tend to be chosen over PVC in applications where low operating temperatures are expected, where there is a risk of pipe shatter (such as compressed gasses or impact) or where the chemical compatibility of PVC is unsuited. ABS pipe is quite a ductile material which means that it is less brittle at lower temperatures than PVC. ABS can provide excellent resistance to impact damage at temperatures from as low as -40°C and up to 70°C. It is for this reason that ABS pipe and fittings are the best choice for cold process lines such as chiller circuits with glycol and those carrying ice slurries, such as ice cream and chilled food factories.
ABS pipe is mid to light grey in colour, as opposed to the dark grey of PVC. Care should be taken when identifying by colour alone, however, as some older PVC (up until the late 1990s) was also manufactured in a light grey. It is also possible to confuse it with Corzan CPVC which is also a light grey colour in the UK and Europe.
Other industrial uses: ABS plastic is widely used in many industries due to its properties of ductility (meaning it can deform and then reform to its original shape) and the ability to achieve a very high-quality gloss finish in the moulded product. It is commonly used in items like power tool bodies, phone and instrument cases, car dashboards and Lego®, where the ability to look good and deform to attach one brick to the other, and then reform when taken apart is very important.
ABS Pipe System Specifications
Connecting ABS Pipe and Fittings
ABS pipe and fittings are joined together in several different ways:
• Flanges or threads are often used to join the ABS pipe to other materials (such as brass or other metals and plastics) and to connect to equipment such as pumps, blowers, filters etc.
• Solvent welding is the process used for the majority of the ABS pipe and fittings. With solvent weld, a "glue" is brushed onto the cleaned fitting and pipe and the two are then pushed together in one swift movement. The joint is very rapidly made and there is little room for any rotational movement of the fitting, once pushed together.
The rapid reaction of ABS pipe and fittings to the solvent cement is often something as a surprise for industrial pipe fitters who are more used to working with PVC Pipe. The latter gives a window of a few seconds, when the fitting can be turned and lined up; however, with ABS this window is reduced to almost half a second. It is therefore vitally important that pipes are properly measured, and that both the ABS pipe and fittings are properly marked prior to gluing together. ABS pipe systems can be assembled dry as a trial run, but ensure that they have not been cleaned with any solvents or cleaner first. The cleaner will key and soften the plastic and make it almost impossible to disassemble. Our ABS pipe systems are generally manufactured by: Polypipe Italia - Effast and Plimat.
ABS Pipe Dimensions
ABS pipe is generally manufactured in imperial sizes only. There is one manufacturer who supplies industrial metric ABS pipe pressure systems, but these tend to be far more expensive than inch sized systems and are not widely used. At Plastic Pipe Shop Ltd, we are able to supply metric ABS pipe and fittings from this manufacturer but do not list them as standard items to avoid confusion in ordering.
The imperial (or inch) measuring system used in ABS pipe and fittings is based around an approximate bore (internal) measurement of the pipe. Some first-time users find it very confusing as the "name" of the pipe, such as 2″, does not actually relate to any specific measurement found - 2 inches measures 50.8mm, but neither the internal or external diameter of the ABS tube measures exactly that. The classification system is just letting you know what the approximate internal diameter of the ABS pipe is.
The dimensions of imperial ABS pipe are given below in millimetres:
|Class C PVC Pipe, 9 bar||Class E PVC Pipe, 15 bar|
|Pipe Size||Outside Diameter(mm)||Internal Diameter(mm)||Wall thickness (mm)||Internal Diameter (mm)||Wall thickness (mm)|
|1 1/4 inch||42.2||37.2||2.5||34.4||3.9|
|1 1/2 inch||48.3||42.7||2.8||39.3||4.5|
|2 1/2 inch||75.2||65.2||5.0||-||-|
Pipe Clip Spacing for ABS Pipe
The distances between ABS pipe supports shown below are minimum recommended values. Additional support should always be added to an ABS pipe either side of valves or equipment, especially if they are heavy, and also either side of horizontally mounted elbows and bends, as these will have a tendency to put stress on the pipe if not properly fixed in position. The aim of supporting plastic pipes is two-fold: firstly, to prevent the pipe from sagging, which may end up with debris settling in the low parts and/or air collecting in the high parts; and secondly, to remove any stresses on the pipe that, if left unsupported, could result in the failure of joints and fittings.
ABS Pipe WRAS Approval
All our plastic ABS pipe products are WRAS approved. WRAS is the acronym for "Water Regulations Advisory Scheme" which is an organisation that collates test results of materials and products for suitability with drinking water supply use from several different accredited laboratories. If the tests show that the requirements have been met, WRAS will award a certificate. Only WRAS approved materials and products can be used in potable water systems in the UK.
We supply a standard, rather than a specific make or manufacturer, of ABS pipe and fittings, and so the WRAS approval numbers may vary, but will generally be the following:
•1703070, 1703088& 1406537 - Polypipe Effast ABS Pressure Pipe and Fittings Range
•1412318& 1406538 - Plimat ABS Pressure Pipe and Fittings
•1406502 - Griffon ABS Solvent Cement Range.
PVC Pipe Pressure De-rating Table
Original ABS pipe pressure rating multiplied by the "De-Rating Multiple" below equals the true pressure rating at the specified operating temperature. For example, a 9 bar pipe operating at 40°C will be 15 x 0.81 = 7.29bar.
Where Can I Find ABS Pipe Near Me?
ABS pressure pipe is a specialised type of plastic pipe, and you will not find it in DIY or plumbing stores (including the trade type ones). At Plastic Pipe Shop Ltd, we are a specialist supplier and stockist of ABS pipes and fittings, and can deliver to almost anywhere in the UK with a next day or morning service. If you are unsure of your requirements please call our highly experienced customer service department on 01786 472850 and they will help you find the best solution.