• Can You Use PVC Piping for Compressed Air?



    broken pvc pipe compressed air accidentPVC piping is inexpensive, versatile, and strong, considering how much it costs. It can transport liquids of all kinds, as it is highly corrosion-resistant. Despite how much it can do, there are certain jobs that PVC pipe just can't handle. One of those jobs is compressed air.

    When using PVC pipe with compressed air, you run serious risks. The most dangerous of these is that of explosion. If put under stress that it cannot handle, PVC pipe can explode, sending plastic shrapnel flying. There have been numerous cases of this happening in compressed air applications, so OSHA does not allow the transportation of compressed gases in above-ground applications.

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  • How to Operate and Actuate a Butterfly Valve



     

    butterfly valve with blue handle and packingButterfly valves are one of the most useful valves a piping system can have. They give an operator the ability to start, stop, or restrict flow in a system. This can be especially useful if repairs, cleanings, or alterations need to be made to a system and you want to ensure no fluid comes through the pipes.

    Despite its name, a butterfly valve doesn't really look much like a butterfly. Butterfly valves are quarter-turn valves, meaning they go from completely open to completely closed in 90 degrees. The "butterfly" name comes from the fact that the disc, or "wings," moves around a central axis, which acts like the body of a butterfly. But there is much more to butterfly valves than the central disc.

     

     

    Butterfly Valve Components

    Butterfly valves are, at their most basic level, made up of a disc, seat, body, and actuator. Most have more parts than those, but they are the necessary components of a butterfly valve. The illustration below shows where each of those parts are located.

    different components of butterfly valve orange handle

    Actuator: This part is also called a handle or operator. It controls how far opened or closed the butterfly valve is. It is often a handle that moves 90 degrees, but can also be a spigot-like turning handle. On the valve above, you would squeeze the handle to operate the actuator.

    Seat: The seat of a butterfly valve is usually made of some kind of rubber. It ensures that there will be a tight and secure seal when the valve is in the closed position. If a butterfly valve stops operating correctly, there is a good chance the seat has been damaged in some way.

    Disc: The disc is what gives a butterfly valve its name. When the disc turns, the valve opens, giving the disc a butterfly-like appearance. The disc is moved by the actuator, and can be fully closed, fully opened, or anything in-between.

    BodyThe body of a butterfly valve is what enables it to be connected to pipes and fittings. It is everything around the seat of the valve and makes up a good deal of the valve's structure.

    What is Actuation and Why is it Important?

    pvc butterfly valve with metal turning handleActuate literally means, "to put into action." Therefore, when you actuate a butterfly valve, you are putting it into action. The default state for a butterfly valve is closed; this allows no fluid to pass through. If you want fluid to flow through with hardly any reduction in flow pressure, you turn the handle 90 degrees to fully actuate the butterfly valve.

    When people usually talk about actuation in butterfly valves, they are actually talking about automation. When a butterfly valve has to be opened to a very specific degree, you may choose to get an electrically actuated butterfly valve. These can also be helpful if your butterfly valve needs to be opened and closed frequently.

    What makes these valves so valuable and different from others is that they have more than two positions. The can be opened anywhere from 0 to 90 degrees. The further they are opened, the more fluid they will let through. While some piping systems have no need for partial flow, many others do.

    Gas: When regulating flow of compressed air or other gases, controlling how much gas flows through is often extremely important. Butterfly valves work just as well with gases as they do with liquids. When properly used, these valves can act as dampers to control flow so that only the specified amount passes through.

    Liquid: The obvious application for butterfly valves is liquid transfer. In agriculture and manufacturing, regulating the flow of water and other liquids is vital. If you allow too much water through an irrigation system, you could over-water produce, destroying your crops. Butterfly valves allow you to choose how much or how little liquid you want to pass through a system.


    In conclusion, butterfly valves have a huge amount of utility and are easy to use, even in industrial applications where specific butterfly valves made of CPVC are required. With a quarter-turn of the handle, they completely shut on or off. They also allow for partial opening, which means the operator has complete control of how much fluid passes through a system! Find this valve and many more online at PVCFittingsOnline.com



  • DIY Complete Photo Booth Using PVC



     

    It's almost Christmas, and the excitement in the air is palpable! For many people, however, 'tis the season for wedding planning! The warm months of June-October are the most popular times to get married, so those getting married in the middle of next year are deep in preparation for the big day. If you have gone to a wedding anytime recently, you have probably seen or even used a photo booth.

    When you conjure up the image of a photo booth in your mind, you might think of the dark, cramped photo booth that used to be in your mall. This isn't the most glamorous thought, but never fear! This article will give you all the knowledge you need to make a spacious, bright, and fun photo booth that will capture all the memories from your special day! Renting a photo booth can be expensive, costing several hundred dollars for one day. This one can cost under $50 and can be reused! That's a great value if I've ever seen one.

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  • Is Using PVC Pipe for Potable Water Safe?



     

    These days, contractors have a number of great options when it comes to home plumbing pipe. The industry standard is copper pipe, as it is strong and compatible with a wide range of fittings and pipes. Another emerging favorite is PEX tubing, a flexible and durable piping option. The main problems with these plumbing materials are their high price tag. PVC is a cost-effective and durable option for potable water.

    For this reason, many thrifty contractors and home improvement enthusiasts turn to PVC pipe (product) and CPVC pipe (product) for their home plumbing needs. It is also a great insulator, so outside environments will not affect the heat of water inside the pipe. While many people only use PVC for drainage and cleanouts, it can be the sole piping material in a home when used in conjunction with CPVC. In this article, I will address some of the most common questions about using PVC for potable water.

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  • 4 Popular Applications for True Union Ball Valves



     

    PVC true union ball valves are a versatile valve. They allow fluid to flow through when in the "on" position and completely stop it when in the "off" position; all it takes is a 90-degree turn of the handle! The word "ball" comes from the semi-spherical shape of the inside of the valve. This causes the pipeline pressure to decrease gradually and saves the insides of the valve from damage that can be caused by fluid hitting against a flat surface. "True union" is a term that means this valve has multiple parts. The central body of true union ball valves can be unscrewed and removed from a pipeline, eliminating the need to completely disassemble a pipeline for routine valve maintenance and cleaning.

    These valves have a great number of practical applications, from fire safety to gas and oil transportation. Practically any job that requires starting and stopping flow can be improved by adding a ball valve, and the true union design makes maintenance easy.

    1. Irrigation Systems

    One of the most common uses of PVC valves is for drip irrigation systems. Often, these systems are placed over a large backyard garden and used to water a variety of different plants and vegetables. With no valves, all of the different produce would receive the same amount of water. If the irrigation is positioned in rows, one over each type of plant or vegetable, a true union ball valve can be placed right at the beginning of each row. This means that water flow can be cut off from certain rows when they do not need watering. This helps customize and increase the amount of control you have over your irrigation system and garden.
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  • Plastic vs. PVC



     

    Many people don't realize that PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, is a plastic. They also don't realize how many uses it has aside from piping. It is commonly used in imitation leather, shower curtains, window frames, and curtains. When curious people do an online search for "PVC vs Plastic," what they should really be searching for is "PVC and other plastics compared," so that is what I will do.

    PVC is an extremely versatile material which is most commonly used for piping because of its inexpensive production and high mechanical strength. In this post, we will outline the major properties of PVC and compare it to some other common plastics. For the highest-quality, least expensive PVC pipe and fittings available, check out our online store!

    Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

    gray and white pvc pipeAs a material, PVC has not changed much since 1926. It has high hardness and mechanical strength, meaning it is very strong. It has a low temperature tolerance, breaking down at temperatures over 140 degrees Fahrenheit and melting at temperatures over 160 degrees, unless it is put through an extra chlorination process; this makes it CPVC. As far as its electrical properties, PVC has good insulation, but, because it has polar elements to its composition, it has worse insulation than other plastics, such as polyethylene and polypropylene.

    PVC is extremely chemical-resistant, able to withstand acids, salts, bases, fats, and alcohols. For this reason, it is often used in sewage piping. It is even resistant to some solvents, such as fuel and paint thinners, but some may damage it; therefore, using PVC to drain or hold solvents isn't recommended. PVC can be produced in a variety of colors, but primarily comes in white, dark gray, or blue-ish clear. In addition to the applications listed in the introduction, PVC is used for home siding and gutters, skiing equipment, medical tubing, and much more.

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  • 3 Eagle Scout Project Ideas with PVC



     

    The rank of Eagle Scout is the highest rank one can achieve in the Boy Scouts of America. Most Boy Scouts reach this rank while they are in high school. Among other components, one of the requirements of becoming an Eagle Scout is completing a service project that benefits the community in some way. There are many types of Eagle Scout projects, such as helping improve conditions at a local park, making life better for shelter animals, organizing a litter pick-up day, and many more.

    If you are working on becoming an Eagle Scout and enjoy crafting or DIY, the following Eagle Scout project ideas may interest you! They all contain a PVC component. It is a versatile, strong, and inexpensive material that can help you bring your final project with the Boy Scouts to life.

    1. Build PVC Dog Beds for Your Local Animal Shelter

    pvc elevated dog bed with green fabric on grass
    Animal shelters can often lack sufficient funding to purchase all the supplies they need. This can leave dogs and other animals without beds. These elevated PVC dog beds are great for indoor and outdoor use and can be made for any size dog. This specific dog bed consists of four legs and a rectangular frame. Heavy duty, durable fabric is attached to the frame, allowing a dog to rest comfortably on something more comfortable than concrete or asphalt.

    While the sizes and lengths of pipes and fittings can vary depending on the type of dog that will be using the bed, the following PVC parts will be needed:

    In addition to the PVC materials, you will also need some strong fabric and bolts to hold the fabric onto the frame. To put it together you will need a screw gun and maybe another person to hold the frame steady while you attach the fabric. These usually take under an hour to make each!

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  • 5 Clear PVC Pipe Applications for Business



    clear pvc pipe tubing on white backgroundClear PVC pipe is an interesting material. It has all the practical properties of regular schedule 40 PVC pipe. It is tough, can handle high pressures, has a long lifespan, and is inexpensive. Well, compared to copper or stainless steel pipe it is inexpensive. For a 5-foot length, clear PVC is roughly four times the price of schedule 40 PVC of the same diameter. This is because clear PVC is much more difficult to produce than white or gray PVC. If clear PVC pipe and tubing is so much more expensive, why would anyone buy it?

    The clue is in the name; clear PVC allows you to watch as fluid flows through a pipeline. Visual monitoring is helpful in many circumstances. In food production and processing, it can be vital to see the product or a component of a final product as it is transported through the manufacturing process. This is true of many other processes, some of which I will explain below!

    1. Food Processing

    This is an industry in which close visual monitoring is key! The product must be closely watched through each stage of production to avoid contamination or other errors. Clear PVC pipe or tubing can be used to transport liquids, allowing those liquids to closely watched by overseers. Imagine trying to cook a meal with a blindfold on. That is what food production without visual monitoring is like: simply impossible. Health requirements also demand that food products be closely monitored throughout production.

    2. Pool and Spa

    Whenever chemicals are being mixed into water, visual monitoring is helpful. Clear PVC pipe is especially useful in larger pool backwash systems. When backwashing a pool, you are running water backwards through a pump system in order to clear dirt and debris from the filters. After water flows through the filters, clear PVC pipe can be used to show all the gunk and debris being pushed out of the system. This also lets you know when the filter is clean.

    3. Aquariums

    One of the most common clear PVC tubing uses is in professional aquariums. When rare or exotic fish are being kept, the cleanliness of their home is vital. When that water is passing through the filter, you want to see the difference from when it goes in to when it comes out. Clear PVC pipe can be used on both sides of a filter; one pipe showing dirty water going in, and another showing clean water coming out. If the water leaving the filter isn't as clear as it should be, you know to clean the filter.

    4. Labs

    Scientific labs are full of chemicals and gases that are found no where else. When creating complicated chemical mixtures in a lab, you want to see every step of the process. For this reason, clear PVC pipe or tubing should be used. While some more aggressive chemicals can break down PVC in liquid form, it excels and transporting gases.

    5. Medical

    The medical uses of clear PVC are almost limitless. From manufacture of pharmaceuticals to patient care, clear PVC pipe and tubing abound. PVC is perfect for medical uses because it is durable and easy to clean. In an environment where everything must be spotless and sterile, clear PVC is a useful material.


    These are just a few of the endless applications for clear PVC pipe. If you are considering purchasing some, you may be worried about the price. Just remember: only certain parts of a pipeline need to have clear PVC. You can make the majority of a pipe system out of white PVC and place clear PVC pipe at key locations where visual monitoring is most important!



  • How Strong is PVC Pipe?



     

    The above is a question very commonly asked. While it may seem like a simple question, how to define the strength of PVC pipe is far from straightforward. The term "strength" can mean a number of things, all of which cannot be covered in one blog post. The three types of strength measurements I will go into in this post are collapse pressure, burst pressure, and tensile strength. These are three of the most common ways to measure the strength of any type of pipe, so I will outline how different types and sizes of PVC compare in terms of those measurements. Included is a helpful PVC pipe strength chart for each, so you will know exactly how strong your PVC is.

    Tensile Strength

    Tensile strength is, to be put into simple terms, the maximum amount of weight that can be placed on something before it breaks or loses its original shape. PVC pipe tensile strength can be measured by hanging weight from the pipe until it bends or cracks.

    As you can see from the chart to the right, tensile strength of PVC pipe increases as the size of the pipe increases. 8" PVC pipe of either schedule is extremely strong for how inexpensive it is. The smaller sizes are exponentially weaker, but can still hold a great deal of weight if they must.

    pvc pipe strength chart tensile schedule 40 and 80

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  • National Hammock Day - PVC Pipe Hammock Stand



    hammock hanging between palm trees near beachNational Hammock Day is on July 22nd! While you may have never heard of this obscure holiday, that does not mean it isn't worth celebrating! Despite it not being a major holiday, National Hammock Day is a great opportunity to get creative with PVC! Before we look at the project, however, here are some fun facts about hammocks that you may not have known.

    A hammock is defined as "a sling made of fabric, rope, or netting which is suspended between two points, such as posts or trees." They were first invented by natives of Central and South America and were used for sleeping. Many early hammocks were woven out of tree bark! Later they were adopted by sailors as they saved space and did not take up as much space as beds. Today, hammocks are known to all as symbols of leisure, relaxation, summer, and easy living! It really doesn't get any better than a hammock.

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