Choosing the Right PEX Pipe Brand For Your Plumbing Project2 min read
PEX, otherwise refereed to as Cross-linked polyethylene, is a form of tubing formed from a high density polyethylene substance to make tubes or pipes commonly used in a wide range of domestic as well as commercial applications. The technology used to create PEX tubing makes the appliances to be resilient against very high as well extremely low temperatures, making them ideal for plumbing and radiant heating.
Some of the common areas where you would need to use PEX include hydronic radiant heating and cooling systems in homes and industries, electrical cables with high voltage, in refrigeration systems and also in water piping. Due to their ability to resist chemical wear-down, PEX pipes are also idea for transporting chemicals, offshore oil, natural gas as well as slurries and sewage.
Classification of PEX Pipes
Basically, there are 3 types of PEX pipes; PEX-a, PEX-b and PEX-c. Although the types are not based on the rating of their application, having some basic knowledge about each can help you choose the best type of PEX pipe to suite your specific needs.
PEX-a is manufactured through a peroxide (or Engel) process by cross-linking the polyethylene molecules. The process is done on a high temperature, normally above the melting point of the peroxide crystals. The result is a material which is very strong and resilient to any sort of mechanical tear. PEX-a pipes are very strong yet flexible. They have fewer joints and require little fittings, making them most suitable for plumbing and radiant heating.
PEX-b is processed through a method called moisture cure, which uses Silane. Cross-linking of the substance elements is facilitated by a chemical agent under optimal temperature and moisture. The resultant PEX is a strong material, but which is a bit more stiff than PEX-a.
PEX-c is made through an electronic beam or radiation. The process involves passing the polyethylene through an electronic beam several times so as to achieve the needed degree of cross-linking. PEX-c is made through a much energy-conscious process, and so, the resultant material is not as resilient as PEX-a and PEX-b; it is a bit fragile. Consequently, PEX-c materials are less expensive than the other PEX tubing. These pipes are more suitable in environments where there are no extreme temperatures or high probability of mechanical hostility.