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Corzan® CPVC versus Metal

There is no single material that will be perfect for every application. The needs of each project must be individually assessed to find the best solution. But too often, system designers and contractors default to metal because they are most familiar with the material and assume it is stronger and more reliable than other non-metallic options. But for many projects, Corzan® CPVC is the more immediately affordable but also lasting choice. It is also approved for use in nearly all the same applications as metal.

Longer Service Life, Lower Total Cost of Ownership

The quickest way to waste money on a piping project is to default to metal when another material would be the hardier alternative. Metal systems often must be replaced or be significantly repaired after only a few years as the materials flowing through them take their toll on the system. The service life of a metal system is, in many cases, shorter than that of Corzan CPVC, which increases the total cost of ownership for the system.

Because the “backbone” of CPVC is its chainlike tangle of polymer molecules and smooth surface finish, it is inherently corrosion and scaling resistant. Because of this, systems made of Corzan CPVC can maintain expected water purity standards, compared to metal systems that are subject to flow-accelerated corrosion (FAC), under-deposit corrosion (UDC), pitting corrosion, crevice corrosion and corrosion from water treatment chemicals themselves. The various pHs that flow through pipes can quickly corrode metal, but CPVC stands up to salinity, alkaline and acidic materials.

When metal is considered the only option, corrosion is a necessary evil. But a two-year NACE International study, “International Measures of Prevention, Application and Economics of Corrosion Technology” (IMPACT), found that implementing corrosion prevention best practices can save $375-875 billion annually in corrosion mitigation costs on a global basis. Corrosion should be viewed as a preventable rather than an expected quality of piping systems, and Corzan CPVC can be a dependable way to prevent corrosion and scaling.

The long service life and minimal maintenance of Corzan CPVC is evidence of its dependability. While Corzan CPVC may have a higher material cost than some metals, the overall lifecycle cost must factor in energy efficiency and installation and maintenance costs, in addition to the length of service life. When all these costs are considered, a Corzan CPVC system often yields significant saving over metal alternatives, as well as other thermoplastics.

Corzan CPVC is also much more maintainable than metal. Not only is Corzan CPVC much less likely than metal to need maintenance in the first place because of its inherent resistance to corrosion and scaling, but it also can be repaired or replaced much faster than metal. Metal requires a pipe fitter who may need to reconfigure connections or welds in these inflexible systems. But a plant maintenance engineer can learn to properly solvent cement-weld Corzan CPVC, and the pipe itself is flexible enough to allow just two workers to make alignment adjustments without specialized equipment. The downtime reductions are significant.

Lower Initial Investment

Corzan CPVC is typically less expensive than metallic alternatives. Supply chain issues and material availability means that material costs shift. But the cost of materials isn’t the only contributor to initial investment: Transportation costs, labor and downtime for installation all contribute to the total cost of your initial investment. And compared to metal, Corzan CPVC is lighter and joins faster, which means it can be moved and installed faster and easier than metallic alternatives.

Six-inch schedule 80 Corzan CPVC weighs about six pounds per foot, whereas the equivalent pipe in steel weighs between 25 and 29 pounds per foot, or six times as much. That means that delivering steel piping from one location to another is more expensive than transporting Corzan CPVC. The U.S. Department of Energy found that, for each 100 additional pounds of weight, fuel consumption increases by 1-2%. When the difference in weight can be thousands of pounds, the cost advantage of CPVC is significant.

And this lighter material means a safer jobsite and faster installation process, as strain injuries and the need for large teams of workers are reduced. A job installed faster and with fewer people represents massive up-front savings, as installation and labor costs often comprise half of all initial money spent on a project.

Faster, Cheaper and Less Disruptive to Install

Corzan CPVC is much faster, cheaper and less disruptive to install because of its weight and joining methods. Instead of requiring the huge fabrications, welding and labor costs of installing a metallic system, Corzan CPVC can be installed using solvent cement welding in a fraction of the time by fewer workers with no specialized equipment. Any trained mechanical contractor or plant maintenance engineer can receive on-site training to learn proper solvent cement welding practices. This means less production downtime, fewer interruptions to surrounding workers or properties and more work done in the equivalent amount of time. And Corzan CPVC can be integrated into an existing metal system with minimal difficulty, rather than having to create an entirely new system.

Learn Why These Customers Switched from Metal to Corzan CPVC

These are just a few stories of customers who previously relied on metal systems and discovered the many benefits of Corzan CPVC for their applications.

Pacific Building Group in California

For a highly saline exterior installation, the Pacific Building Group in San Diego, California, chose Corzan CPVC to avoid the corrosion of metal.

A Hilton Garden Inn® in Michigan

A Hilton Garden Inn® in Michigan was pleased to minimize the noise of metal pipes by using Corzan CPVC instead.

Capital Health Plan in Florida

Capital Health Plan in Florida could replace copper pipe with Corzan CPVC, due to its reliability for high-temperature potable water.

The W Hotel and Residences in Florida

The W Hotel and Residences in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, saw significant savings and reduced corrosion by specifying Corzan CPVC instead of copper.