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Pressure Pipes

Pressure pipe systems

Since the mid-1950s, various types of polyethylene have been used to manufacture pressure pipe systems, starting with relatively small diameter water pipes. Over time, modern polyethylene PE80 and PE100 grades were developed, whilst the use of polyethylene continued to grow into a range of applications that now includes:

  • Water and gas distribution networks
  • Water transmission pipelines
  • Sewage and drainage pipelines
  • Various types of outfall and intake pipelines
  • The lining of new and existing pipelines
  • A variety of industrial applications including oil and gas, mining slurry and cooling water pipelines

Developments in material and production technologies have allowed pipe manufacturers to produce ever larger diameter pipes. Today, international standards cover pipes of up to 2,000 mm OD (Outside Diameter), with a number of manufacturers being able to produce even larger pipes.

BorSafe pipes

at Stenungsund

Borouge Borsafe™ with Borstar® technology

Borouge produces the Borsafe™ range of polyethylene (PE) pipe grades, employing the unique Borstar® bimodal technology that was originally developed by our partner Borealis. This has allowed us to develop high quality regular grades, together with unique materials that are targeted at specific market segments. All of our products meet the pipe industry’s demand for speed and ease of production and installation, combined with high performance to enable a system service life of at least 100 years.

Key features of Borsafe™ polyethylene pipe grades

  • Full compliance with international standards such as ISO 4437 for PE water supply systems and ISO 4437 for PE pipes supplying gaseous fuels

  • Mechanical joints can be used, but pipes and fittings should be fusion welded whenever practical to provide a continuous leak free system

  • Flexibility and strength that ensure structural integrity, even when subjected to a major earth movement and external loads caused by for instance earthquakes

  • Pipes have a smooth bore that remains smooth throughout the life of the system, reducing pumping costs and maintaining system capacity

  • High impact, abrasion and stress crack resistance, even at low temperatures

  • Employable at temperatures of up to 40°C on a regular basis and higher temperatures in special industrial applications

  • Corrosion free with a high level of chemical resistance

  • High material performance and durability to enable a system lifetime of a least 100 years at operating temperatures of 20°C

  • All Borsafe™ grades are certified for use in drinking water pipe systems, through the United Kingdom WRAS scheme which certifies that the material will not taint the water they carry and that they are suitable for being in permanent contact with potable water
BorSafe pipe joints

Borsafe pipe employed in the construction of cracking plant

Borsafe™ HE3490-LS
A high quality low sag PE100 for pipe production
Borsafe™ HE3490-LS is a PE100 pressure pipe compound that provides an excellent balance between production, installation and long-term operational properties. It is a high output material that has good low sag properties, enabling pipe producers to use only one material for their full range of pipes, from small diameter service connections to large diameter thick walled transmission pipelines. It currently forms the core of the Borouge range of BorSafeTM pipe grades.

Borsafe™ HE3490-LS is on the PE100+ Association’s list of high quality PE100 materials that meet their requirements and are tested on a regular basis by independent third-party laboratories.


Borsafe™ HE3490-IM
A PE100 that flows like a PE80 for the injection moulding of fittings
Regular PE100 pipe grades have a relatively low MFR, as a result of efforts to minimise sagging of the pipe wall during production. Consequently, it is difficult to produce high quality fittings using the injection moulding process. This problem led to the development of Borsafe™ HE3490-IM, a unique PE100 that employs a hexene co-monomer and advanced polymerisation technology to dramatically improve the flow characteristics of the material.

Borsaf™ HE3490-IM enables fittings manufacturers to reduce melt temperatures by 10 to 15°C and shorten cycle times, both improving production efficiency. The better flow characteristics result in improved weld line strength and allow for lower injection pressures and cycle times, thus reducing internal stresses, warpage and wastage. The surface finish of the fittings is improved with less flow lines, shrinkage marks and voids, creating fittings that appear as though they were produced using a PE80 material.


Borsafe™ HE3490-LS-H
A highly stress crack resistant (HSCR) PE100 for pipes facing the toughest conditions

As confidence in the use of PE100 pipes grew amongst engineers, PE100 pipes began to be used in ever more challenging environments. They are now installed using trenchless technology techniques and in trenches lacking any imported pipe bed or surround material. These tough conditions increase the risk of the pipe being scratched or scored during installation and being subjected to point loads from rocks and other hard materials during operation. Both situations can result in high stresses that cause a crack in the pipe wall. Over a long period of time, the crack can gradually grow through the wall, gradually reducing its effective thickness until it fails. This mechanism is referred to as Slow Crack Growth (SCG).

Borouge used a hexene co-monomer and advanced Borstar® polymerisation technology to develop Borsafe™ HE3490-LS-H, a low sag PE100 material that is exceptionally resistant to SCG. The notched pipe test shows that the time to failure of Borsafe™ HE3490-LS-H pipes is up to 10 times longer than that of regular PE100 pipes. HSCR materials, also referred to as PE100-RC materials, are increasingly being used for PE100 pipes that will be installed using trenchless technology or in challenging environments such as the seabed and rocky areas.

Borsafe™ HE3490-LS-H is also on the PE100+ Association’s list of high quality PE100 materials that are independently tested on a regular basis and meet their stringent requirements.


Borsafe™ ME3440
A unique bimodal MDPE PE80 material for gas and water pipes and fittings

In some parts of the world, medium density PE80 pipe grades continue to be used because of their higher flexibility and ease of welding, particularly in distribution networks and service connections. Employing our Borstar® technology, we are able to produce a unique bimodal PE80 material with best in class performance.

Due to its bimodal nature, Borsafe™ ME3440 has an outstanding resistance to stress cracking, together with a high impact resistance and a hydrostatic pressure performance far exceeding the requirements of the ISO standard. Being an MDPE, Borsafe™ ME3440 has a relatively high melt flow rate (MFR), which makes processing it easier and allows the material to be used in the production of injection moulded fittings without difficulty.