Recyclable CPVC Pipe A Plus In Sustainable Design
With all eyes on the future of our planet, concern about sustainable building materials and solid waste disposal grows every year. Plastics typically are criticized for not being “biodegradable” and for having a high environmental footprint on that basis alone. While this might be a solid line of reasoning for single use plastics, it is not valid for CPVC. CPVC is recyclable into other useful products.
By their nature, thermoplastics can be heated and reprocessed without loss of key physical properties. Thus it has long been an industry best practice to reintroduce production trimmings and scrap as a raw material into the manufacturing process combined with new virgin material at a designated ratio.
CPVC Recycling Part of the Manufacturing Process
At this early stage of its lifecycle, virtually no CPVC processing waste ever reaches a landfill. “In-house regrind,” as it is called, is fed back into the process to make other piping and extruded profiles for products such as windows. In fact, ASTM D6263-15 recognizes the use of reground and recycled plastics in this way provided they can be shown to meet the standard’s requirements. As a thermoplastic, the regrind can be heated and pushed through a die to produce new CPVC pipe or other products.
CPVC can also be reground into pellets and granules for use in other products. Depending on the country, specialized recycling firms will travel to jobsites or have take-back programs to collect piping material and regrind it into pellets and granules, which can be used in products such as floor fillings, floor coatings, cable trays, speed bumps and car mats.
CPVC Properties Have Value in Other Products
According to the Plastic Pipe and Fittings Association (PPFA), these plastics recyclers blend recycled CPVC with recycled PVC (vinyl) into compound to be used for non-pipe products. The additional chlorine content in CPVC, if incorporated to a level of at least 60%, increases the new material’s impact strength and temperature resistance. If as little as 5% CPVC content is added to PVC, it imparts better flame and smoke resistance properties, PPFA says.
Unlike a composite material such as PP-R, which may have been reinforced with fiberglass or aluminum, the material that makes up FlowGuard® CPVC can be repurposed with ease. To find out more about CPVC and learn more about its environmental footprint, view the infographic How Energy Efficient Is CPVC Compared To Other Piping Materials?