Because RCP continues to be the strongest, most durable, efficient, and environmentally friendly pipe available, these attributes yield a higher value over the course of its lifetime.
Plus, the continuous research and development of RCP within the industry continues to enhance its uses and instill confidence in installing concrete pipes.
Concrete pipe provides versatility in many project applications since it is available in a variety of shapes and sizes and is more forgiving during the installation process.
Lining and coating options also allow concrete pipes to handle even the most aggressive environments.
RCP is made to last for decades. Project owners can expect concrete piping to last 100 years, and in some cases, RCP has proven to last even longer.
RCP’s design compressive strengths of 4,000 – 6,000 psi are generally met within 24 hours of curing time and the concrete’s strength and durability only continue to increase once installed.
Concrete joints are easy to assemble and attach, making instillation of the entire system efficient and minimizes the time and effort needed by paid workers.
Concrete is the world’s most commonly used building material, so precast concrete pipes can be quickly integrated into ecosystems and are generally benign to the surrounding environment.
The pipe’s mass makes it more durable to install and resistant to flotation. RCP’s rigidity allows it to greatly outperform other flexible piping systems in terms of hydraulics and liquid mass conveyance.
American Society for Testing and Material
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
Buoyancy of buried pipelines depends on pipe mass and the weight of water it displaces. The performance of RCP is excellent, given that the mass of concrete pipe typically counteracts buoyant force, and the mass of liquid carried by RCP is enough to securely anchor it.
It might seem obvious, but concrete piping is immune to damage from exposure to flame and heat, unlike its thermoplastic counterparts.
The non-flammable nature of RCP means that fire and toxic fume hazards, and water contamination, are removed from the equation.
Standard setting bodies such as ASTM and AASHTO are able to exert quality control standards over RCP products and each step of their production.
In fact, the American Concrete Pipe Association (ACPA) implements an on-going quality assurance program called the “Quality Cast” Plant Certification Program, or Qcast for short. Additionally, precast RCP is manufactured in a controlled environment where each piece receives a quality check prior to shipping.
RCP resilience is a major factor in its excellence, even during exceptional weather events RCP will not buckle, burn, deflect, tear, or rust, and is immune to most environmental elements.
This means rigid RCP immediately provides structure and conduit when it arrives onsite, with minimal need for buttressing.
By maintaining structural integrity for decades, RCP reduces the costs of replacement and any environmental harm due to unearthing the pipelines and additional construction.
Effluent velocity does not create problems for RCP within the normal flow ranges, so abrasion damage to concrete piping is generally not a concern.
The acid typically only attacks the surface of the pipes and be neutralized there by the concrete’s alkalinity. So, without further acid replenishment, the reaction halts and the pipes are safe.
Additionally, RCP is typically buried with the earth providing insulation from the elements and from rapid temperature changes. Thaw damage is a concern for more porous types of concrete that are exposed, such as asphalt or segmental retaining wall blocks.
This is unlikely to occur with concrete piping, and no evidence has been reported that documents chloride-induced corrosion issues in RCP. Because of the additives and liners that can be incorporated in production, RCP in sanitary applications successfully resists corrosion attacks and H2S degradation, meeting or exceeding the100 year design life.