Whether you have a simple vegetable garden or a series of commercially valuable crop fields, the typically hot and arid climate of most parts of Australia often necessitates the installation of an irrigation system to keep your plants, vegetables and crops growing. However, there are many factors to consider if you are choosing to install an irrigation system on your land, from flow rates to the materials used to manufacture it.
Choosing the right materials for your irrigation system's water pipes is particularly vital, and a pipe that cannot supply adequate water to your sprinklers and rain guns can fatally undermine the system's effectiveness. There are a number of pipe materials to choose from, from traditional clay to high-end aluminium, but when it comes to providing durability and practicality at a reasonable price it's hard to beat plastic piping.
Why should I choose plastic piping for my irrigation system?
Plastic has a number of advantages over other piping materials that make it ideal for irrigation purposes:
- Affordable: Plastic piping is generally one of the cheapest options out there for irrigation pipes, and extensive piping systems can be installed on a surprisingly small budget. As you can imagine, this makes plastic piping a popular choice for larger irrigation projects requiring long tracts of piping.
- Chemically inert: Many piping material choices, such as steel or concrete, can become badly damaged as a result of chemical reactions provoked by highly acidic or salty soils -- steel is especially vulnerable to these soils as the tend to provoke extensive rust. Plastic pipes, on the other hand, are non-reactive to all but the most powerful corrosive compounds.
- Durable: This non-reactivity effectively combines with plastic piping's durability against physical damage and high internal pressures, producing pipes that can be left in place for many years with little maintenance or repair work required.
- Easy to install: Plastic pipes are relatively light, even when constructed with thick walls designed to handle high water pressures. This makes them much easier to install than other, heavier choices of piping material, and most plastic irrigation pipes can be installed without the need for mechanical hoists or other heavy equipment.
- Customisation: Plastic irrigation piping can be manufactured to order by plastic fabrication services across Australia, and can be made in a near-limitless variety of thicknesses, lengths and shapes.
So what type of plastic should I choose for my irrigation pipes?
No two types of plastic are created equal, and when it comes to irrigation pipes you generally have two types of plastic to choose from:
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC): Strong and rigid, this durable thermoplastic is a popular choice for irrigation pipes. When bedded firmly into a suitable substrate these pipes can handle surprisingly heavy overhead loads, and the rigidity of PVC gives it excellent resistance to the shearing forces produced by high water pressure.
- Polyethylene (PE): Irrigation pipes made from PE are slightly less durable than PVC pipes, and their flexibility means that extended periods of high water pressure can cause them to 'slither'. They are, however, extremely inexpensive, and their flexibility makes them ideal for smaller irrigation projects where the ability to route pipes around obstacles is particularly valuable.
For more information on plastic fabrication, contact your local plastics processor today!