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ASTM offers proposed plastic piping systems standard.

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October 18, 2007 - Under jurisdiction of Subcommittee G04.02 on Recommended Practices, proposed standard WK15105 addresses design of plastic piping systems for low pressure oxygen and enriched air services. It is intended to give guidance to designers in terms of material selection, fabrication issues such as cleanliness and joining, and design features such as velocity, impingement points, and personnel exposure to minimize potential for ignition and combustion.

ASTM Committee on Oxygen Enriched Atmospheres at Work on Proposed Plastic Piping Systems Standard

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ASTM International
100 Barr Harbor Dr., Box C700
West Conshohocken, PA, 19428-2959

Press release date: October 16, 2007

Plastic pipe and components are used with low pressure oxygen and enriched air for a variety of applications, including medical and healthcare, agriculture (fish farming), welding and fabrication, waste water treatment and others. Despite this widespread use, there are currently no standards that help in the materials selection and design features of these systems. ASTM International Committee G04 on Compatibility and Sensitivity of Materials in Oxygen Enriched Atmospheres is currently developing one such proposed standard, WK15105, Guide for Design of Plastic Piping Systems for Low Pressure Oxygen and Enriched Air Services. The proposed standard is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee G04.02 on Recommended Practices.

Joseph Slusser, Engineer Associate - Materials, Global Engineering Organization, Air Products and Chemicals Inc., Allentown, Pa., says that the proposed standard is important because almost all plastics are flammable in oxygen and near-pure oxygen mixtures. "This proposed standard is intended to give guidance to designers in terms of materials selection, fabrication issues such as cleanliness and joining, and design features such as velocity, impingement points and personnel exposure to minimize the potential for ignition and combustion," says Slusser, who is chair of Committee G04.

Slusser notes that, while current G04 standards recommend limiting the use of plastics and elastomers to small components such as O-rings and valve seats, bulk plastic parts such as pipe and tubing are now being used by industry in low-pressure applications. "I think we have a responsibility to provide some guidance for these applications. I envision that WK15105 will be a short standard with concise do's and don'ts for use by the non-specialist."

All interested parties are invited to participate in the ongoing development of WK15105. Slusser says the subcommittee would particularly benefit from more input from the medical/healthcare industry, but that all are welcome.

For further technical information, contact Joseph Slusser, Air Products and Chemicals Inc., Allentown, Pa. (phone: 610/481-5887; Committee G04 will meet Oct. 30-Nov. 1 at October Committee Week in Tampa, Fla. For membership or meeting information, contact Jennifer Rodgers, Technical Committee Operations, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9694;
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