Many gas utilities and distribution companies can be traced back to the 19th century, particularly in the United States. Gas was first used for the light. The pipes were made of cast iron and had specific qualities that defined their operation and maintenance.
Natural gas distribution continued to develop with the advancement of steel pipe and related technologies. Another period would see the rise in polyethylene (PE), which is a type of plastic pipe used to distribute gas.
DWC PE Pipe was a better choice than steel pipes for several reasons. The system was more affordable and easier to install. Many utilities found it cheaper than steel. Because it doesn't require cathodic protection, PE pipe has an unbeatable, long-lasting lifespan. Phillips Petroleum pipe served as the original installation of PE-gas distribution lines in Caney Kansas in 1959. Around the mid-1960s, utilities made the transition to PE pipe from cast iron and steel.
Phillips Petroleum is the first developer of PE pipe. DuPont is also a pioneer in PE pipe development. Phillips developed buttfusion in 1956. He was soon installing pipes in the oilfield gathering applications. Engineers developed the extrusion technique, which made PE pipes more economically viable to make.
A medium-density high melt index piping system in the mid-1960s. High melting index (meaning that it is easy to melt when heated), allowed for hand socket-fusion through 4in. and hand fittings. Operators and contractors rarely used butt fusion using machines for pipes smaller than 4in. The beginning. Phillips quickly introduced the high-density Driscopipe700 product line. It had a low melting index, meaning that it was more viscous when heated.
In the beginning, several installation issues were found. There were two possible problems with the installation: rock impingement, and natural shifting of the ground. This could place strain on the fitting or pipe. To minimize the risk of such occurrences, it was necessary to follow specific installation guidelines. A plastic pipe would later be developed to protect against such events. Third parties might also "kink” the line in subsequent constructions, which could restrict the flow. This was an issue with steel installations. These incidents were not uncommon enough to discourage the use of PE pipe.
Future-oriented companies will no doubt be able to make PE pipes that can be used under high pressure. In the future, operators can use PE to provide high-pressure services. These can be done via direct burial or through insertion into steel pipes. The newer materials, as well as the higher pressures, make PE pipe suitable for gas transmission applications.