September 2018 Vol. 73 No. 9


PPI Publishes Latest Specs for Designing HDPE Conduit

An updated model specification for high-density polyethylene (HDPE) conduit has been published by the Plastics Pipe Institute Inc. (PPI), the major trade association representing all segments of the plastic pipe industry. Document MS-5 Model Specification for HDPE Solid Wall Conduit for Power and Communications Applications assists in preparing specifications for an HDPE conduit project.

According to PPI, while HDPE conduit and pressure pipe specifications may appear similar, there are technical differences that are critical to achieving the intended performance of products in specific applications. HDPE conduit is the preferred material to house and protect electrical power and communications cables in typical applications such as utilities, telecommunications, CATV, SCADA, FTTH, ITS, highway lighting and other underground utilities.

Its benefits include availability in long lengths without joints, high strength, flexibility, proven reliability and installation toughness. HDPE conduit, including cable in conduit, is widely used in trenching, horizontal directional drilling (HDD) and plowing installation methods.

Prepared with input from PPI members who are industry experts, MS-5 provides specifiers with a starting point in developing final specifications for a particular project’s needs. It includes reference to various product specifications by SDOs such as ASTM, CSA, NEMA, and UL, and describes when and how to utilize these industry documents.

“Major telecom firms should be certain their specifications are updated to match the latest industry standards,” said Tony Radoszewski, CAE, PPI president. “Specifying an incorrect standard for HDPE conduit can delay projects, increase costs, or result in an inappropriate material selection. This new model specification is written to help specifiers avoid those problems.”

MS-5 is available free on PPI’s website via its homepage (, under the “Publications & Resources” menu option, then “Technical Documents Index.” Complementary to the MS-5 is the recently updated Technical Note 50 (TN-50), Guide to Specifying HDPE Conduit, which advises specifiers on selecting the right type of conduit for various types of projects.

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