What to look out for when converting to engineered polymer piping systems __

What to look out for when converting to engineered polymer piping systems
24. November 2022 5 min.

Perhaps you are thinking about using engineered polymer piping systems instead of metal piping systems in your next project?

Then you need to pay attention to many different aspects when selecting, planning, and installing engineered polymer pipes. In the following, we explain which areas of application you can use engineered polymer pipes and which standards, guidelines, as well as certifications, have to be taken into account. 

The use of polypropylene is of great importance in pipeline construction due to its technical and ecological properties. aquatherm has been using the advantages of this material for many years and relies exclusively on this material for the production of its products.


Overview: For which fields of application are pipe systems made of polypropylene suitable?

Pipes made of polypropylene are particularly durable, have a high chemical resistance, a high dimensional stability in the temperature range 0°C to +80°C, a high pressure resistance, and can act as a good insulator.

These properties make PP pipes suitable for numerous applications:

  • Drinking water
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems
  • Local and district heating and cooling networks
  • Refrigeration systems
  • Surface heating and cooling
  • Sprinklers
  • Chemical transport
  • Renewable energies
  • Maritime applications

In our overview you will find out where and how you can use aquatherm green, aquatherm blue, aquatherm red and aquatherm black.

The change from metallic to polypropylene piping systems has many advantages from which you can benefit:

  • Engineered polymer pipes have a significantly lower weight than pipes made of metal.
  • They are not susceptible to corrosion.
  • Engineered polymer pipes are sustainable and recyclable.
  • Engineered polymer pipes are durable.
  • Engineered polymer pipes are highly resistant to most chemicals.
  • They have a high abrasion resistance.
  • No tools with open flames are needed when working with engineered polymer pipes.
  • Engineered polymer pipes are cheaper due to their raw material costs.

You want to know more about the strengths of engineered polymer pipes?
We reveal further details in our article "Plastic piping systems: What are the advantages?".


Standardisation, quality assurance, certification, approval: what you need to know.

If you are looking for a suitable engineered polymer pipe, there are standards and certifications to consider for every possible application and the respective PP pipe must be approved for your project.

Find out about important standards and guidelines

There are a number of rules and standards that you should be aware of if you want to use pipes made of polypropylene.

The standards and guidelines that you must observe for each application include:

  • DIN8077 contains specifications on dimensions for pipes made of polypropylene.
  • DIN 8078 describes the general quality requirements for PP pipes.
  • DVS 2207 und DVS 2208 deal with welding and equipment for welding thermoplastics.

If, for example, you want to use engineered polymer pipes for the transport of drinking water, you must comply with the standards and technical rules in the current version:

  • DVGW W 544 is a worksheet on engineered polymer pipes in drinking water installations.
  • DIN EN ISO 15874 contains information on engineered polymer pipe systems for hot and cold water installations.
  • DIN 16962 deals with pipe joints and performance parts for pressure pipes made of PP.
  • DVGW W 534 provides an overview of technical testing principles for pipe connections in drinking water installations.

You want to use engineered polymer pipes for a fire extinguishing system? Then the following must be taken into account when choosing a PP pipe:

  • DIN 4102 regulates the fire behaviour of building materials and building products throughout Germany. For sprinkler systems, pipes made of polypropylene must comply with standard B1 DIN 4102-1, ensuring the PP pipe is flame-retardant.
  • In addition, there are other certificates that engineered polymer pipes have to fulfil as distribution pipe systems for sprinkler systems (more on this under Certifications).

Perhaps you already know which application you want to use engineered polymer pipes for? Then you should take a look at our products. Under the technical specifications for each of our aquatherm engineered polymer pipes, we have listed in detail which guidelines have to be fulfilled. Furthermore, the Kunststoffrohrverband e. V. offers a useful overview of engineered polymer pipes and their possible applications.

Get an overview of the different certifications

You can tell whether a pipe made of polypropylene is suitable for your application not only from important standards and guidelines. Another indication of the suitability of the engineered polymer pipe for your application can be certificates.

aquatherm green has several certifications as a solution for drinking water pipes, such as certificates of the Hygiene Institute of the Ruhr Area Gelsenkirchen, the South German Plastics Centre Würzburg, type examination certificates of the German Association of Gas and Water Industries e.V. and many more.

aquatherm red can be used in piping systems for sprinkler applications, as it has, among others, the certification of the Association of Property Insurers (VdS).

Are you interested in other aquatherm products and their certifications? On our overview page we have summarised all certifications our products have received.

Approvals for pipes made of polypropylene

You should pay attention to these especially if you want to use PP pipes for very special applications like drinking water or fire protection. Corresponding information is provided on the product pages. For example, aquatherm green and aquatherm blue have an approval for shipbuilding from Det Norske Veritas-Germanischer Llyod (DNV-GL).

Quality of engineered polymer pipes

Certifications give you information about which quality standards are kept. For example, aquatherm has fulfilled the requirements of the quality management system according to DIN ISO 9001 since 1996. The TÜV certificate was extended in 2021 with ISO 14001 (environmental management system) and ISO 50001 (energy management system).

Or you can inform yourself about the compliance with quality standards during and after the production of your future piping system. At aquatherm, every component undergoes a quality control with associated function test during prefabrication.

Further areas where you can check the quality of the delivered engineered polymer pipes are transport and storage, installation, and acceptance:

  • During transport, load securing regulations should be considered.
  • During loading and unloading, it is important to use the appropriate and approved auxiliary equipment.
  • When the pipe systems are delivered, the engineered polymer pipes should be checked for damage.
  • As a pipe manufacturer, we provide you with regulations and instructions for installation that you must observe.
  • With appropriately qualified personnel, you ensure that the pipe laying is carried out correctly and that the finished pipe system has the quality you require.
  • Acceptance will ensure that standards, guidelines, and your expectations of the engineered polymer piping system are met.


Installation of engineered polymer pipes: What you need to pay attention to.

Before you start installing the PP piping system, you should consider the following steps:

  • Check the pipes for damage.
  • Keep the pipes in their protective sleeves and the fittings in their bags until you need them. This way you protect the components from scratches, dirt, and contamination.
  • Handle the PP pipes with great care - especially at low temperatures.
  • You can avoid bending the pipes by storing PP pipes on an even surface.

In addition to these general instructions, we as pipe manufacturers provide you with special regulations and tips for the installation of their products. Since every plastic pipe has different properties, different aspects must be considered during installation. Due to these differences, it is unfortunately not possible to give general tips for the installation of engineered polymer pipes.

Familiarise yourself as much as possible with the polypropylene pipe of your choice, its properties and installation instructions. If you do still have questions or uncertainties, you can contact our technical hotline, our sales department, or our field service. You will find these and all other contact possibilities on the aquatherm website.


Checklist: Factors influencing the choice of the right pipe

If you consider the following questions, it will be easier for you to choose engineered polymer pipe:

  • What are the maximum pressure conditions that the pipe system must withstand?
  • What are the maximum expected temperatures of the media to be transported with the pipe system?
  • Are there connections that need to be considered to existing piping systems during routing and installation?
  • What types of chemicals need to be transported in the piping system?
  • What loads is the piping system permanently exposed to?
  • Do thermal expansion and shrinkage play a role in your future piping system?


Conclusion: Benefit from many advantages by switching to engineered polymer pipes.

You may feel overwhelmed by the amount of references, standards, guidelines and certifications. However, dealing with this information is crucial for choosing the right engineered polymer pipe. If you don't keep all these things in mind, you are very likely to choose the wrong solution for your area of application.

But this effort is worthwhile. By switching to a piping system made of engineered polymer, you will benefit from many advantages such as corrosion and chemical resistance, durability, lower weight and much more.

Don't be afraid to ask for support and further information from the manufacturer of your choice. We would be pleased to support you with our aquatherm products in your conversion from a metal piping system to a engineered polymer piping system.

You are convinced of the conversion to engineered polymer pipes made of polypropylene and are wondering what to consider during processing? Read our blog post on this topic:

Blog: Processing of polypropylen pipes