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High density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes for irrigation in Kenya by Grekkon Limited are manufactured and supplied in various diameter sizes and thicknesses for irrigation, and civil works purposes. These HDPE pipes are UV treated to slow UV degradation during use, particularly in our tropical climate where UV radiation is high. The company’s technical team advises on the required specs, and also conducts installations for growers.

1. Diameter size

The pipe diameter size determines the volume of water channeled through the pipe, so that the larger it is, the greater the volume water flowing through. A pipe is 100M long for 16mm, through 110mm, after which, the length decreases to 50M, then 6M for the very large diameter pipes.

Diameter sizes available are; 16mm, 20mm/1/2”, 25mm/3/4”, 32mm/1”, 40mm1-1/4”, 50mm/ 1-1/2”, 63mm/2”, 75mm/2.5”, 90mm/3”, 110mm/4”, 125mm/4.5”, 140mm/5”, 160mm/6”, 180mm/6”, 200mm/ 8”, 225mm/ 9”, 250mm/10”, 280mm/ 11”, 315mm/12”, 355mm/ 14”, 400mm/ 16”, 450mm/18”, 500mm/ 20”, 560mm/ 22”, 630mm/24”, and 710mm/28”.

2. Wall Thickness Size

The HDPE pipe wall thickness determines the amount of pressure that the pipe will hold. The higher it is, the greater the amount of pressure it will hold. Besides withstanding higher pressure, thicker pipes have a longer lifespan. The importance of thickness in HDPE pipes is more pronounced than in say PVC pipes because the former often run on the surface during use- exposing them to elements, while the latter are usually sub-surface during use.

Pressure Nominal, abbreviated as PN is a term used to describe the pressure that a HDPE pipe will withstand. A pipe’s PN number describes the nominal pressure in bars that it will withstand at 200 Celsius.

Available thicknesses are; PN6, PN8, PN10, PN12.5, PN16, PN20, and, PN25.

HDPE Pipe Fittings

HDPE pipe fittings are accessories used to join the pipe to another similar type, or to a different pipe type altogether like PVC, or PPR. These pipes could be of the same or different sizes. They also join the pipe to other key irrigation system components such as filters, ball valves, tank connectors, and so forth. Fittings also close the pipe at the terminal end, or orient the HDPE pipe to a different direction.

A saddle clamp, and a male adaptor joining a 1-1/2” HDPE pipe, to a 1” HDPE pipe

1. Connectors/ couplings. To connect the HDPE pipe to another one of a similar size

2. Reducing connectors/ couplings. Joins the pipe to a similar, but smaller pipe

3. They change the pipe’s direction

4. Threaded elbows. Change the direction of the pipe while joining it to another pipe type. They are either male; or female; with threads on the outside threaded on the inside. A male threaded elbow will be attached to a component that has threads on the inside, and vice versa for the female elbow.

PS: Elbows are either 450, or 900 according to the preferred angle

5. They join the pipe to 2 other pipes of a similar size

6. Reducing tees. Joins the pipe to a similar, but smaller pipe

7. Threaded tees. Join the pipe to other different pipe types. They are either male, or female

8. Connect the pipe to irrigation components. Adaptors are either male, or female.

9. End caps. They are attached at the terminal end of the pipe to prevent water flow beyond that point.

10. Saddle clamps. They work like tees, and reducing tees and can be used in their place.

Wamae Mwangi is a director at Grekkon Limited- Irrigation Hub