15 Kinds of Pipes Used in Water Supply and Drainage Engineering

Posted on: May 11, 2021 by Madison Pipe Industry, 11 min read

There are many kinds of pipes used in water supply and drainage engineering. They play different roles in different fields and play their respective roles well. Here will introduce 15 kinds of pipes to you.

1. Rigid Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC-U) Pipe

PVC-U pipe is made of sanitary polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin as the main raw material. Adding appropriate amount of stabilizers, lubricants, fillers, colorants, etc., extruded by plastic extruder and injection molded by injection molding machine, and cooled by , curing, shaping, inspection, packaging and other processes to complete the production of pipes and fittings.


The Advantages of PVC-U Pipelines

  • Light weight
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Low water flow resistance
  • Energy saving
  • Quick installation
  • Low cost

Scope of Application:

  • Urban tap water and water supply projects
  • Water supply projects inside and outside buildings
  • Industrial and mining enterprise water supply projects
  • Buried fire water supply projects
  • Farmland water conservancy water supply and irrigation projects
  • Gardens and landscaping water supply projects
  • Aquaculture water supply and drainage projects

2. Random Copolymer Polypropylene (PP-R) Water Supply Pipe

PP-R pipe is also called three-type polypropylene pipe, which is made of random copolymer polypropylene through extrusion and injection molding into pipe fittings. It is a new type of plastic pipe product developed and applied in Europe in the early 1990s. In the late 1980s, PP-R used a gas phase copolymerization process to make about 5% of PE randomly and uniformly polymerized in the molecular chain of PP (random copolymerization) to become a new generation of pipeline materials. It has good impact resistance and long-term creep performance.

Advantages of PPR Pipe

  • Moderate price
  • Stable performance
  • Heat insulation
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Smooth inner wall
  • No scaling
  • Safe and reliable piping system
  • Impermeable
  • The service life can reach 50 years
  • It is said to never scale, never rust, never leak, green high-grade water supply material.

Disadvantages of PPR Pipe

High construction technology requirements, special tools and professionals are required for construction to ensure the safety of the system.

PPR Pipe Application

  • The cold and hot water system of the building, including the central heating system;
  • The heating system in the building, including the floor, wall panels and radiant heating system;
  • Pure water supply system that can be directly drinkable;
  • Central (centralized) air conditioning system;
  • Industrial piping systems for transporting or discharging chemical media.

3. Aluminum-plastic Composite Water Supply Pipe

The aluminum-plastic composite pipe is the first water supply pipe to replace the cast iron pipe. Its basic composition should be five layers, from inside to the outside is namely plastic, hot melt adhesive, aluminum alloy, hot melt adhesive and plastic.

The aluminum-plastic composite pipe has good thermal insulation performance. The inner and outer walls are not easy to corrode. Because the inner wall is smooth, the resistance to fluid is small. And because it can be bent at will, it is convenient to install and construct.

There are mainly three types of aluminum-plastic water supply pipes on the market:

Type 1: PE/AL/PE(Polyethylene/Aluminum/Polyethylene);

Type 2: PE/AL/PEX(Polyethylene/Aluminum/Crosslinked Polyethylene);

Type 3: PEX/AL/PEX(Crosslinked Polyethylene/Aluminum/Crosslinked Polyethylene).

Type 1 is that the inner and outer layers are polyethylene, type 2 is that the inner layer is cross-linked polyethylene and the outer layer is polyethylene, and type 3 is that the inner and outer layers are both cross-linked polyethylene, and the middle layer is both aluminum layers. Type 1 is generally used for cold water piping systems, and the another two are generally used for hot water pipes.

4. Copper Tube

Copper tube is a kind of non-ferrous metal pipe, which is pressed and drawn seamless pipe.


  • The copper pipe has a hard texture
  • Easy to corrode
  • High temperature resistance
  • High pressure resistance
  • It is the best water supply pipe.

Disadvantages: High price.

5. Thin-walled Stainless Steel Pipe

Stainless steel strips or stainless steel plates with a wall thickness of 0.6~2.0mm are pipes made by automatic argon arc welding and other fusion welding processes.

The thin-walled stainless steel water pipe is a new type of pipe that came out in the late 1990s in China. Due to its safety and health, high strength, good corrosion resistance, sturdiness and durability, long life, maintenance-free, beautiful, etc., The current development momentum of stainless steel water pipes is strong. It has been widely used in building water supply and direct drinking water pipelines.

Outstanding Advantages of Light Gauge Stainless Pipes

  • Excellent mechanical properties
  • Superior abrasion resistance
  • Good safety and sanitation
  • Good temperature resistance
  • Good heat preservation performance
  • Smooth inner wall and low water resistance
  • The appearance is beautiful, clean, stylish, 100% recyclable
  • Conducive to saving water resources
  • Wide range of use
  • Long service life and low overall cost

Steel Pipe

6. Hot-dip Galvanized Steel Pipe

Galvanized steel pipes are divided into cold galvanized pipes and hot-dip galvanized pipes. The cold galvanized pipe has been banned. The hot-dip galvanized pipe is to make the molten metal react with the iron matrix to produce an alloy layer, so that the matrix and the coating are combined. Hot-dip galvanizing is to first pickle the steel pipe. In order to remove the iron oxide on the surface of the steel pipe, after pickling, it is cleaned in a tank with ammonium chloride or zinc chloride aqueous solution or a mixed aqueous solution of ammonium chloride and zinc chloride, and then sent to In the hot dip plating tank.

Advantages of Hot-dip Galvanizing

  • Uniform coating
  • Strong adhesion and long service life
  • Strong corrosion resistance. The matrix of the hot-dip galvanized steel pipe undergoes a complex physical and chemical reaction with the molten plating solution to form a corrosion-resistant zinc-iron alloy layer with a compact structure. The alloy layer is integrated with the pure zinc layer and the steel pipe matrix. Therefore, its corrosion resistance is strong.

7. Welded Steel Pipe or Plastic lined Steel Pipe

Welded steel pipe and plastic lined steel pipe is similar. It can be divided into straight seam welded pipe and spiral welded pipe. It can be used in fire water supply pipe network.

It has the advantages of high strength and strong strain resistance, but its corrosion resistance is poor, so it should be treated with anticorrosion. Steel pipes of the same pipe diameter have different thicknesses, so the wall thickness should be indicated when selecting.

Longitudinal welded pipe: Simple production process, high production efficiency, low cost, and rapid development.

Spiral welded pipe: The strength is generally higher than that of straight seam welded pipes. A narrower blank can be used to produce welded pipes with larger pipe diameters, and the same width of blanks can also be used to produce welded pipes with different pipe diameters. But compared with the straight seam pipe of the same length, the weld length is increased by 30-100%, and the production speed is lower. Therefore, most of the smaller diameter welded pipes use straight seam welding, and the large diameter welded pipes mostly use spiral welding.

8. Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC-C) Water Supply Pipe

PVC-C resin is the master batch, added with anti-impact agents, stabilizers and other auxiliary materials through high-speed extrusion.


  1. Robustness: As PVC-C is stronger than PP-R, PB and PEX, it only needs fewer hooks and brackets. PVC-C can withstand higher pressures. At the same flow rate, compared with PP-R, PB and PEX pipes, PVC-C pipes can use a smaller diameter.

  2. Convenient installation: it can be connected with a special flux, no special tools are needed during installation, which is suitable for surface installation and concealed installation.

  3. Corrosion resistance: PVC-C is not easy to permeate oxygen, so the metal parts in the system will not cause corrosion due to oxidation.

  4. Good flame retardancy: The oxygen index of PVC-C is 60, and the burning ability is very low. It will be extinguished immediately after leaving the fire, and will not produce fire drops. It can also inhibit the production of smoke and toxic gases.

  5. Not affected by residual chlorine: Unlike polyolefin pipes, PVC-C pipes will not be affected by residual chlorine in the water after long-term use, and will not crack or leak.

  6. Acid and alkali resistance: PVC-C has strong anti-corrosion ability to acid or alkali, and can be used to transport HCL and NaOH liquids.

  7. Bacteria is not easy to multiply: After many tests, it has been confirmed that bacteria in PVC-C pipes are not easy to breed. The growth rate of bacteria is 1/60 of PEX pipes, 1/10 of copper pipes, and 1/4 of steel pipes. The measured amount of Legionella in the water sample is 1/13 of the PEX tube and 1/17 of the PP-R tube.

  8. Low thermal expansion coefficient and aging resistance: Compared with other plastic pipes, the thermal expansion coefficient of PVC-C pipe is smaller, about 1/2 of that of other plastic pipes such as PP-R, PB and PEX. PVC-C pipe has strong anti-ultraviolet ability and can be used outdoors, while general polyolefin pipe cannot.

  9. Superior sanitary performance standards: PVC-C hot and cold water pipes have been tested by many international water quality and sanitation authorities, and the results are better than the drinking water standards of the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health of the People's Republic of China.

9. Polyethylene (PE) Pipe

When PE pipe is processed, no heavy metal salt stabilizer is added, the material is non-toxic, no scaling layer, no bacteria breeding, and it solves the secondary pollution of urban drinking water.


  • Except for a few strong oxidants, it is resistant to corrosion by a variety of chemical media.
  • No electrochemical corrosion.
  • Under rated temperature and pressure conditions, PE pipes can be used safely for more than 50 years.
  • The PE pipe has good toughness and high impact resistance, and the heavy objects are directly pressed through the pipe, which will not cause the pipe to rupture.
  • The strength of the PE pipe's hot-melt or electric-melt joint is higher than that of the pipe body, and the joint will not be broken due to soil movement or live load.
  • The pipeline is light in weight, the welding process is simple, the construction is convenient, and the overall project cost is low.

10. Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) Engineering Plastic Water Supply Pipe

The material of the PE pipe is a mixture of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene, among which ABS resin is the main component, and only the additives needed to improve its physical and mechanical properties and processing performance are added, and the additives should be evenly dispersed. The density of propylene-butadiene-styrene (kg/m3) is: 1000≤ρ≤l070. The acrylonitrile in the acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene raw material should be greater than 20 (mass fraction), and other components should not be greater than 5% (mass fraction). The raw materials should be made into pipes, tested in accordance with GB/T 18252, the minimum required strength MRS≥14 MPa, and the minimum overall use (design) coefficient C is 1.6.

The production of ABS pipes and fittings should meet the requirements of GB/T 20207. The chlorinated polyvinyl chloride piping system used to transport drinking water should meet the requirements of GB/T 17219-1998.


  • Pressured water supply and drainage
  • Sewage treatment and water treatment
  • Petroleum, chemical industry, power electronics, metallurgy, mining, electroplating, papermaking, food and beverage, air conditioning, medicine and other industrial and construction fields transportation of fluids such as powder, liquid and gas.

11. Plastic coated Steel Pipe

The product uses seamless steel pipe and welded steel pipe as the base pipe, and the inner wall is coated with high-adhesion, anti-corrosion, food-grade sanitary polyethylene powder coating or epoxy resin coating. Caliber range DN15--DN1200 can be painted with flanges and pressure grooves. The wall thickness of the coating with length of 6m, 9m, 12m and indefinite length is between 100 microns and 500 microns, usually 350 microns.


  • Hygiene, non-toxic, no fouling, no microorganisms, and guarantee of fluid quality.
  • Resistant to chemical corrosion, soil and marine organisms, and cathodic disbondment.
  • The installation process is mature, convenient and quick, and the connection is similar to ordinary galvanized pipe.
  • Good weather resistance, suitable for harsh environments such as deserts and saline-alkali.
  • The pipe wall is smooth, which improves the conveying efficiency and has a long service life. Common steel-plastic composite pipes are: steel-lined polypropylene composite pipe (GSF.PP), steel-lined polyvinyl chloride composite pipe (GSF.PVC), steel-lined polyethylene composite pipe (GSF.PE), steel-lined polytetrafluoroethylene composite pipe Ethylene composite pipe (GSF.F4).

12. Cast Iron Pipe

Nodular cast iron pipe is a kind of cast iron pipe, which is used as a water supply pipe buried in the ground.

The Advantages:

  • It is cheaper than steel pipes
  • Easy to manufacture
  • Strong corrosion resistance

Disadvantages: Brittleness and heavy weight.

13. High-density Polyethylene (HDPE) Drainage Pipe

HDPE is a highly crystalline, non-polar thermoplastic resin. The appearance of the original HDPE is milky white, and the thin section is translucent to a certain extent. In the water supply and drainage piping system, plastic pipes have gradually replaced traditional pipes such as cast iron pipes and galvanized steel pipes as the mainstream pipes.

Compared with traditional pipes, plastic pipes have significant advantages such as

  • Light weight
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Low water flow resistance
  • Energy saving
  • Simple and rapid installation
  • Lower cost

HDPE pipes are mainly used for:

  • Municipal engineering water supply system
  • Building indoor water supply system
  • Outdoor buried water supply system and residential area
  • Factory area buried water supply system
  • Old pipeline repair
  • Water treatment engineering pipeline system
  • Gardening, irrigation and other fields of industry Water pipes, etc.

14. Reinforced Polypropylene (FRPP) Molding

The glass fiber reinforced polypropylene (FRPP) pipe is produced using glass fiber modified polypropylene raw materials treated with a coupling agent.

The Characteristics

  • Corrosion resistance
  • High strength,
  • Anti-leakage
  • Low internal resistance
  • Tensile strength
  • Bending resistance,
  • Low cost
  • Long life
  • Convenient installation and maintenance, etc.,

It is used as corrosive liquid transportation and process pipelines in petroleum, chemical, electric power, textile, metallurgy, pharmaceutical, papermaking , Food, mining, garbage disposal, construction and other industries. It's deeply trusted by users.

15. Glass Fiber Reinforced Plastic (RPM) Pipe

The pipe is made of high-strength glass fiber reinforced plastic as the inner and outer reinforcing layer. With cheap quartz sand/resin as the core layer in the middle to improve the rigidity of the pipe, and supplemented by the tough acid and alkali corrosion-resistant inner lining and the outer layer that meets the requirements of the working environment. The protective layer constitutes a composite pipe wall structure. RPM pipe can be produced by centrifugal casting or winding process. Therefore, there are two types: composite pipe winding pipe composite pipe and centrifugal casting pipe. When the centrifugal casting process is used, the glass fiber is chopped fiber; when the winding process is used, the glass fiber is long fiber. The maximum diameter of the centrifugal cast RPM pipe is 2400mm, and the maximum diameter of the fiber-wound RPM pipe can reach 4000mm. It is a thermosetting plastic pipe.

The Characteristics

  • Good corrosion resistance.
  • Lightweight and high strength.
  • Easy to install.
  • The inner surface is smooth and has a high flow capacity.
  • Good low temperature resistance.
  • Good heat insulation performance.

Contact Us Now