Crosslinked polyethylene materials have been in use for around 30 years primarily in wire and cable application and for hot and cold water pipes in competition with copper. These materials are increasingly frequently used and tend to replace traditional materials such as copper or galvanized steel for plumbing, radiator connection or other applications to transport hot and cold water inside buildings.
There are three main types of crosslinked Polyethylene (PE-X) : PE-Xa - peroxide, PE-Xb - silane, and PE-Xc radiation crosslinked. The most commonly used process is the PE-Xb silane process with pipe crosslinked after extrusion by exposure to moisture. The pipe is crosslinked by immersion in hot water, normally in the factory, but it can be left to crosslink naturally even during initial service. These three types of PE-X are equivalent in term of properties and follow all the same classifications in the ISO 10508 standard.
INEOS O&P Europe proposes the best-in-class resin for silane (PEX b) technologies, both one step and Sioplas.