Mega-pipes get HAPAS approval after complex collaboration

02/05/2019

A technically demanding collaboration between Highways England, the British Board of Agrément (BBA) and the British Plastics Federation has delivered the first-ever HAPAS certification for plastic pipe drainage systems up to a 3500mm diameter.

The BBA’s Highway Authorities’ Product Approval Scheme (HAPAS) certification of Asset International’s HDPE Weholite pipe solutions from 1000mm to 3500mm is thought to be an industry first and comes after several years’ in-depth technical discussions and work between the various organisations and Asset International. 

The move gives projects the chance benefit from extra large capacity, lightweight surface and sub-surface drainage solutions.

BBA project manager Calai Vidjeane explained: 'Previously plastic pipes with an internal diameter of more than 900mm intended for installation beneath a road had been classified as ‘structures’ rather than pipes, limiting their scope of application. Asset International wanted to address this by achieving HAPAS approval for these larger systems but it had never been done before – there is no official technical standard for their use in highway applications.

'We therefore had to formulate and agree an assessment/test methodology with Highways England in order for the products to be fully evaluated. It was a challenging and technically demanding project that has created new opportunities for Weholite.'

Asset International technical director Vasilios Samaras added:  'It was a complex process with a number of parties involved. We were very impressed with the BBA, which moved the process forward quickly.

'It would not have been possible without the help and assistance of the British Plastics Federation and the British Board of Agrément, which have worked extremely hard in helping us to achieve this success.'

Asset International is now the first manufacturer of HDPE structured wall polyethylene systems of 900mm-plus to achieve HAPAS approval.

The HAPAS Certificate (18/H283) applies to 1000mm to 3500mm diameter pipes plus fittings. Key factors assessed by the BBA were:

  • Strength - adequate strength to resist the loads associated with installation and service
  • Joint performance - the fusion welded joints will remain watertight under normal service conditions
  • Flow characteristics - equivalent to thermoplastic pipes
  • Maintenance - can be cleaned using standard techniques
  • Durability - have a service life in excess of 100 years

The BBA certificate states: 'In the opinion of the BBA, Weholite Pipes from 1000mm to 3500mm internal diameter and fittings, when used in accordance with the provision of this certificate, will meet or contribute to meeting the requirements of Highways England for the design and construction of surface water drainage.'

The BBA HAPAS scheme was established in 1998 to provide a nationally recognised approval scheme for innovative products and systems used in highways works and construction. 

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