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FAQ – Solvent Cement Joining of Plastic Pipe

The solvents penetrate the plastic surface and cause the plastic to swell. The swelling continues until the gaps between the pipe and the fitting walls are closed and pressing against each other.

PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) , CPVC (chlorinated polyvinyl), ABS (Acetylonitrile-Butadiene- Styrene), polycarbonate [PC or Lexan] Styrene, Geloy and other plastic materials.

Polyethylene, polypropylene, polybutylene, nylon and other engineering plastics (usually polyolefins).

All solvent cements have the ability to absorb some water and still perform well enough to effect an adequate joint. However, research shows that the presence of 10% water in solvent cement can slow penetration and swelling by 65%. This joint with water inside will always be an inferior joint and subject to problems.

A pipe cleaner is a mixture of solvents used to clean any dirt or foreign materials on the surface of the pipe which could prevent the penetration of the cement into the pipe surface. The cleaner must be wiped off with a clean rag immediately. A primer is a mixture of solvents used to penetrate the pipe and fitting and start the swelling process ahead of the application of the solvent cement. It is not wiped off. The solvent cement is applied on top of the primer immediately while wet.

Set time is that initial period of swelling required to give the joint enough strength to be gently handled. Cure time is the total time period of required swelling for the joint to acquire enough strength that it can perform it’s job transporting materials through it (at whatever pressure and temperature required) without coming apart or leaking.

A) User selects the proper cement and follows proper procedures
B) Cut pipe square
C) De-burr pipe inside and out
D) Check the dry fit
E) Use pipe cleaner when necessary
F) Use pipe primer on every joint
G) Apply cement properly
H) Insert pipe into the fitting properly
I) Wait for the proper set and cure times

Polyethylene, polypropylene, polybutylene, nylon and other engineering plastics (usually polyolefins).

Polyethylene, polypropylene, polybutylene, nylon and other engineering plastics (usually polyolefins).