Video: How to measure plastic pipe (2 mins)

ABS 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 is quite a ductile material which means that it is less brittle at lower temperatures than PVC. ABS provides excellent resistance to impact damage at temperatures from as low as -40°C and up to 70°C.


Technical talk for metric pvc pipe

Tech Talk about Inch (Imperial) ABS Pipe


The inch measurement that specifies the size of an ABS pipe does not, unfortunately relate to an exact measurement of either the internal or external diameter. Instead, it relates to the approximate bore of the pipe (the technical term for this is nominal bore) The actual measurements of the pipe including wall thickness and internal / external diameters are shown out in a table below for the different pipe classes. 

Class C is 9 bar operational, Class D is 12 bar (but not many sizes are manufactured in this class) and Class E is 15 bar operating pressure.

    Class C Class E
  OD (mm) Wall (mm) ID (mm) Wall (mm) ID (mm)
½" 21.4 - - 2 17.4
¾" 26.7 - - 2.5 21.7
1" 33.6 2 29.6 3.1 27.4
1¼" 42.2 2.5 37.2 3.9 34.4
1½" 48.3 2.8 42.7 4.5 39.3
2" 60.3 3.6 53.1 5.6 49.1
2 ½" 75.2 5 65.2 - -
3" 88.9 5.2 78.5 8.3 72.3
4" 114.3 6.6 101.1 10.6 93.1
6" 168.3 9.9 148.5 - -

Dimensions of ABS pipe


ABS pipe and fittings are often the system of choice for the following industry sectors:

  • Ice slurries - Pumping of slurries at temperatures near or below zero is a frequent necessity in the food manufacturing industry. ABS pipe is particularly well suited to this as it is taint free, approved for potable water (WRAS approved) and retains a high impact strength down to -40C and below. At these kinds of temperatures, other materials such as PVC and PP become increasingly brittle, heightening the chance of breakage and production line down time.
  • Glycol Circuits - ABS is increasingly replacing Steel and other materials for chiller circuits operating at cold temperatures. The ductility of ABS pipe and fittings mean that they retain a good mechanical strength to very low temperatures (-40C). ABS systems are also far quicker and easier to modify and/or repair than steel.
  • ABS is often used in processes where chemicals are used that would otherwise compromise other plastics such as PVC. It offers a different solution for the engineer.