The Controversial Pipe Materials Debate: Concrete versus Plastic


Reinforced concrete pipe (RCP) continues to provide drainage solutions for projects all across the world, but some are beginning to wonder if the alternative, corrugated high-density polyethylene pipe (HDPE), is the better investment.

On the surface, plastic pipes seem more affordable than precast pipes. However, as is the case with most products available at a lower price than a competitor’s, if you choose plastic over concrete, odds are you’re going to pay more in the long run.

For one, precast pipes comes to construction sites already meeting the standards needed for construction. Plastic pipe must be assembled on site in the presence of inspectors. Many critical elements such as load strength and soil condition must be checked and rechecked with plastic, whereas concrete has such a high threshold, we can safely predict when and where issues might occur.

Since plastic can bend under the right conditions, any absurd change in the environment can compromise the system, which means at some point you’ll have some cost intensive repairs or entire replacements to make on your projects.

Finally, concrete has history and reliability on its side, and plastic still has a long way to go before it can boast. For example, some concrete systems have been in place for well over fifty years and are still being used today.

Go with trusted materials so you don’t end up eating more costs later.

Interested in outfitting your concrete plant with precast materials? Learn more about our precast solutions here, and call us for customized solutions to fit your needs: (800) 325-8084.

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