PVC PIPE EXPOSED TO UV LOSES ITS FLEXIBILITY. The only performance feature that has been negatively impacted by sunlight exposure is impact strength, which has dropped from its initial values. After two years of exposure, however, the average impact strength still surpassed the amount allowed for new pipe. This means that if it were installed properly and not exposed to the sun, this type of pipe can be expected to last at least 20 years.
The other types of pipe listed above should not be used in areas where they will be exposed to direct sunlight because they cannot with stand the heat. Over time, the plastic inside the pipe will melt and run down the outside of the pipe causing serious damage to any structure it contacts.
If you are considering installing outdoor lighting, plan to plant trees or shrubs around it to reduce stress on the pipe and prevent it from breaking under the weight of the bulb fixtures. Also consider using lower-wattage bulbs or turn off unneeded lights to save energy.
UV EXPOSURE HAS NO IMPACT ON PVC PIPE PERFORMANCE. Sunlight's ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage the PVC pipe's outermost surface. However, even after lengthy exposure, there is no practical influence on the performance characteristics of the PVC pipe. UV rays have two effects on PVC pipe material: The PVC Pipe Association has issued a technical note. It recommends that customers either cover or shade pipes that will be exposed to sunlight because sunlight causes deterioration of the plastic. You should also check with your local building code official to make sure that you are not required to protect these components from sunlight.
The other effect of UV rays is that they cause chemical changes that result in darkening of the PVC pipe's color. This change usually occurs over time and can be slowed by exposing the pipe to full sun for only several hours a day. However, it cannot be prevented entirely because any pipe left outside in direct sunlight would eventually darken at least somewhat. While this may not seem like a problem, it can be if you were to paint or stain the pipe and need its original color for visibility purposes. In this case, you would want to make sure that the pipe was completely protected from UV exposure during any painting or staining processes.
There are many different types of PVC pipe available today, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Some examples include: solid wall, half-wall, and open web. A good quality piping supplier should be able to help you choose the right type of pipe for your project based on your needs and budget.
According to research, extended sun exposure has little to no influence on PVC's tensile strength or elasticity. The only apparent deterioration is in impact strength. As a result, after prolonged sun exposure, the pipe may become somewhat more brittle. However, this can be remedied by either heat-treating it or simply covering it with soil.
Durability of PVC Pipe "No, not really," is the fast and straightforward answer. When exposed to ultra violet rays, PVC performs remarkably well (sunlight). Over time, UV light can cause colors in painted pipes to fade.
The primary cause of degradation for any plastic is oxidation which leads to loss of molecular weight and thus weakening of the material. Oxidation is much more rapid when plastics are exposed to sunlight. To prevent oxidation, store PVC pipe in a dark location out of reach of heat sources. This includes lights, radiators, and appliances such as hot plates and stovetops.
PVC does not absorb light energy and so cannot get hotter than 100 degrees C. It does, however, emit certain wavelengths when it breaks down organic molecules, which could be seen as heat if sufficient mass is broken down. But since PVC is a low-density plastic, even a small amount of breakdown product will lead to melting if enough volume is released. For this reason, PVC piping should never be used for heating applications.
In conclusion, yes, plastic pipe does break down in sunlight but it is not likely to cause any problems for its intended use.
This is only true after extended UV exposure to untreated PVC. Some PVC pipe and fittings have been treated to resist UV radiation (furniture grade PVC, for example). The color change simply indicates that the very outer layer of the pipe has been changed, impacting the pigment. This type of pipe should not be used for fluids that might contact the interior of the pipe.
The only effect of sunlight on plastic is to break it down. Solar light contains wavelengths that can break carbon-carbon bonds, resulting in fragmenting molecules. This is why plastics begin to break down after being exposed to sunlight for an extended period of time. Fragmentation releases energy, which is then available for other reactions to occur. For example, a molecule of oxygen may react with one of the fragmented molecules, producing ozone! Ozone is a good thing because it helps destroy many harmful substances in our atmosphere including sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.
Because plastics will always lose their original form after being exposed to heat or light, they cannot spontaneously generate any compounds that would increase in concentration as a result of this degradation. However, some compounds that were present in small amounts originally may become more abundant due to solar processing. For example, trees use the same types of chemical reactions as plastics do, but they can produce more than one compound per reaction because they have multiple copies of genes coding for enzymes that catalyze specific reactions.
The sun emits both visible and infrared energy. UV (ultraviolet) light is one type of non-visible radiation. UV light affects PVC polymers, as it does many other things. UV discoloration does not occur when PVC is not exposed to sunshine and stops when exposure is terminated. However, over time this will happen even if it isn't visible.
Infrared energy is energy that can't be seen but is still very powerful. It's all around us, even inside buildings, and has a major influence on how they are used. Infrared rays heat objects up, which is why you can hold your hand close to a fire and it won't burn you. This is also what makes heat lamps and ovens work. Warming food or objects outside of the normal range increases their volume and expands microscopic pores in the material, allowing more infrared radiation into your house and contributing to plastic degradation.
As plastics break down from ultraviolet light and high temperatures they become less durable and more likely to release harmful chemicals into the environment. These chemicals can be absorbed by animals, who can then pass them on to humans through food packaging or product wrappers. They may also find their way into water sources if they aren't removed from the material before it is discarded in landfill sites. Although most plastics do eventually decompose, there are some that contain chemical additives designed to slow down this process for longer than you need them to.