The market for PVC-O pipe has seen huge growth numbers over the last eight years, according to estimates provided by Molecor (Madrid). Also growing is demand for increasingly larger pipe diameters. Molecor has seen tremendous growth in molecularly oriented PVC pipe, which was developed as an improvement to conventional PVC pipe.
PVC-O has been around since the 1980s, but the technology has evolved since that time, which has created demand worldwide. Installed PVC-O in North America in 2006 was estimated to be around 9000 tonnes annually. In Europe, installed PVC-O was approximately 14,000 tonnes annually. Total installed capacity worldwide is estimated at 38,000 tonnes per year.
Evolving properties over the last 25 years, the period during which PVC-O pipe came onto the market, have helped boost the 2006 figures by almost 100,000 tonnes/year. The estimated global installed capacity in North America for 2014 is 21,000 tonnes/year. In Europe, production capacity for PVC-O pipe has increased 242.8% in 2014 to 34,000 tonnes/year, of which 17,000 tonnes/year were produced by Molecor, with another 14,000 tonnes/year supplied by its licensees, according to the company.
The acceptance of PVC-O pipes is "highly recognized" in places such as Latin America, where use of the PVC-O pipe has "sharply increased," from 2000 to 36,000 tonnes/year, noted Molecor's report. "Molecor licensees represent 25% of the currently installed capacity [in South America]," said Molecor.
Thanks to the evolution of processing technology, pipe diameter has increased. The limit of 630 mm is no longer valid, said Molecor, because there are PVC-O pipes with diameters of 800 mm (30 in.), and "soon there will be pipes with diameters of 1000 mm," projects Molecor.
Molecor is certified to the latest ISO standards in polymer pipes, ISO 16422:2014, the latest edition to the first standard (ISO 16322:2006). "It is a minor revision of content but brings the standard up to date to what Molecor's new technology is bringing to the table," said Molecor, whose PVC-O pipe products range from DN 630 to DN 1000 mm. "Molecor is proud to push the limits beyond every year."