De-Beading the Interior of HDPE Pipes: What is it, and Why is it Important?

De-Beading the Interior of HDPE Pipes: What is it, and Why is it Important?

As experts in on-site HDPE pipe fusion, we know what it takes to install a pipe system that functions effectively, efficiently, and safely. One part of the process that often slips people’s minds is de-beading. But remembering to complete this step is critical if you want your pipe system to operate at maximum capacity.

Here’s what you need to know about de-beading HDPE pipes.

How Do HDPE Pipe Beads Form?

HDPE pipe beads form during the butt fusion process. Sections of HDPE pipe must be heated to fuse them together. When they’re heated, the HDPE material starts to melt — and when force is applied to fuse the pipes together, circular melt beads form as excess material is pushed inward or outward.

That excess material then forms to make HDPE pipe beads, which will form on both the outside and inside of the pipe. Here’s a good diagram from the Plastics Pipe Institute of what those HDPE pipe beads might look like:

pipe bead diagram

Butt fusion is one method of fusing two sections of HDPE pipe together. It employs a fusion machine to hold two pieces of pipe while the ends are heated with a heater plate. Once heated, force is used to firmly push the two ends together where they are left to connect, cool, and seal.

Butt fusion is the most common and best method of fusing two straight sections of pipe together. The fused joints often end up being stronger than the pipe itself. However, the process can create beads on the inside and outside of the fused joints that can be removed to achieve peak pipe performance in certain applications.

Why Is It Important to Remove HDPE Pipe Beads?

Not every application requires removal of HDPE pipe beads during butt fusion, but it is necessary in some circumstances (e.g. conduit lines). Here’s why.

Internal HDPE pipe beads can create blockages within the pipe. These blockages can restrict flow, trap bacteria and biofilms, and result in pipe wear due to turbulent flow. By removing internal beads, you can eliminate those blockages, reduce friction, and allow for better, healthier flow throughout the pipe.

How to De-Bead HDPE Pipes

HDPE pipe beads can be removed using special bead remover tools. Also referred to as “de-beaders,” these HDPE pipe installation tools help remove the beads on the inside or outside of the pipe.

  • An internal pipe de-beader is a longer, pole-shaped tool that can reach up the length of the pipe. It uses a drive handle and cutter head to reach in and cut the bead away from the interior. Standard internal de-beaders are ideal for pipe diameters between 3.5-17.7in, but larger ones are available to suit pipe diameters up to 31.5in.
  • An external pipe de-beader is a type of run-around planing tool. It digs into the bead and uses a ratchet motion to smoothly cut it off. These tools are also frequently used in sliplining and casing processes to repair leaks.

Either way, HDPE pipe de-beading is a relatively quick process if you have the right team and equipment. In most cases, contractors include it in their pipe installation and fusion services.

For Expert HDPE Pipe Installation Services, Contact US FUSION.

If you’re in need of HDPE pipe fusion and bead removal, trust US FUSION. With ASME Section IX-certified fusion technicians and a fleet of fusion machines in stock, we’re ready to provide experienced, reliable, and safe pipe fusion services for a variety of applications. Our processes meet the highest industry standards and environmental regulations, allowing us to ensure a job well done each and every time.

For more information, give us a call at (225) 647-2747 or contact us online.

Secondary Containment Requirements for Construction Sites

Secondary Containment Requirements for Construction Sites

Managing spills and leaks on construction sites is important in maintaining the safety of workers, facilities, and surrounding environments. A well-designed secondary containment system will help get you there. 

Here’s the scoop on what secondary containment is, what secondary containment requirements are, and how to find the secondary containment solution that’s right for your application.

What Is Secondary Containment?

Secondary containment is any system, device, or control measure that’s used to stop a substance from seeping into a specified area. You can think of it as your primary container’s backup plan. If your storage tank or oil drum leaks, your secondary containment solution will provide an extra layer of protection to keep the spill contained.

Why Is Secondary Containment Needed on Construction Sites?

It’s a safety precaution. There are a variety of materials and substances used throughout the construction process, some of which are hazardous to human and/or environmental health — think oil, fuel, combustible materials, hazardous waste, salts, pollutants, etc.

If the primary container holding that substance starts to leak, you need a secondary containment system to catch the spill and prevent a larger, more dangerous mess.

Types of Secondary Containment Systems

Since every construction application has different needs, there aren’t any requirements for what secondary containment systems need to look like. There are only requirements for what it needs to accomplish. 

Therefore, there are many different types of secondary containment systems used. Here are a few common ones:

Secondary Containment Requirements for Construction Sites

Secondary containment is required by several federal, state, and local regulations. These requirements vary based on entity, as well as by the type and quantity of hazardous substances handled. You may even have substances that are regulated by more than one agency under different regulations. In that case, it’s best to contact each agency and possibly schedule a joint meeting to discuss the best plan of action.

Since secondary containment requirements can vary, we’ll stick to some of the most common, generally accepted, and adhered-to standards from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Remember that this is not the full list of secondary containment requirements, so be sure to dig deeper into state and local regulations for your specific application. 

EPA’s Secondary Containment Requirements

The main EPA regulation that outlines secondary containment requirements is EPA 40 CFR 264.175. It dictates five main requirements: 

  1. Perviousness — Your secondary containment system must underlie primary containers, and be free of cracks and gaps so that leaks and spills are completely contained.
  2. Slope — Your secondary containment system base must be sloped, or it must be designed to drain and remove spilled substances. This is so your primary container doesn’t sit in its own waste.
  3. Retention Capacity — Your secondary containment system must have the capacity to contain 10% of the volume of all primary containers or 100% of the volume of the largest primary container — whichever is greater.
  4. Precipitation Prevention — Your secondary containment system must prevent precipitation from entering, unless it has enough capacity to hold that precipitation along with other substances and retention capacity requirements.
  5. Waste Removal — Any substances that have spilled into your secondary containment system should be inspected and cleaned up as soon as possible to prevent overflow.

How to Find the Secondary Containment Solution That’s Right for Your Application

Now that you have a preliminary understanding of secondary containment requirements, you may have a better idea of what secondary containment solution is suitable for your project. But to make sure you’re making the safest, more effective decision, it’s always best to talk with a secondary containment specialist like US FUSION. 

We’ll help you figure out which type of secondary containment is best and how to install it in a way that meets all requirements from applicable regulatory agencies. But most of all, we’ll install it in a way that keeps your people, facility, and environment free from harm.

Contact US FUSION’s Secondary Containment Specialists

To ensure your project and facility are in complete compliance, a secondary containment system is necessary. If you need help finding the right secondary containment solution for your specialty construction project, contact US FUSION. Our specialists can help answer your questions, supply the products you need, and install them for maximum environmental control.

HDPE Pipe vs. PVC for Specialty Construction Applications

HDPE Pipe vs. PVC for Specialty Construction Applications

In the specialty construction space, there’s a lot of talk about the best materials for a job, and for good reason. No matter your industry or use case, performance matters, and selecting the right solution for your specific application can make or break your construction project. This conversation is particularly important when it comes to piping, in part because you may not know the difference between the two key players: HDPE and PVC.

But HDPE and PVC pipe have some important differences when it comes to performance, installation methods, and applications. Keep reading to learn more about the differences between PVC and HDPE pipe and the implications for specialty construction.

HDPE vs. PVC Pipe: Material Differences

HDPE pipe is made of high-density polyethylene, a thermoplastic polymer that’s malleable at high temperatures. It is created by linking ethylene molecules, which are derived from natural gas.

HDPE has a high strength-to-density ratio and is corrosion-resistant, making it an extremely versatile and cost-effective material. In fact, HDPE is the most widely used type of plastic today.

PVC pipe is made of vinyl, not plastic. Specifically, it’s made of polyvinyl chloride, which is created by reacting monomer molecules of vinyl chloride to form a polymer, then adding plasticizing substances to increase the flexibility and other performance characteristics.

PVC has a high level of hardness and is resistant to corrosion. Depending on the formulation of the PVC, it can have better thermal performance than HDPE. PVC pipe is generally rigid, whereas HDPE has greater flexibility.

Joining Methods for HDPE and PVC Pipe

The methods of joining sections of pipe differ for PVC and HDPE.

PVC pipe, being rigid, is generally joined using solvent cements. These cements glue the pieces of pipe together by melting the adjoining surfaces of the pipe to each other. A particular benefit of this method of pipe joining is that it can be performed underwater.

A specific type of PVC, Fusible PVC®, can be joined with a specialized thermal butt fusion technology. This gives it an advantage over other types of PVC, especially in installation environments that are more difficult to work in. It also offers more durable performance and extended lifespans.

HDPE pipe is joined using plastic fusion, wherein the plastic of each pipe being joined is melted together under extreme heat. This results in seamless, leak-free joints between pipes.

Installation Methods for HDPE and PVC Pipe

PVC pipe can only be installed using open trench or drop burial methods. Additionally, it must be carefully installed to ensure that the pipe does not crack longitudinally or fail due to overbelling—a condition that occurs when a receiving pipe is not properly sized or fitted to the adjoining pipe, resulting in pipe bursting or breaking or leaking at the joint.

Fusible PVC® is the exception. Because of its unique thermal butt fusion joining technology, it’s built for streamlined, trenchless installations using horizontal directional drilling or sliplining.

When it comes to installation methods, HDPE pipe outperforms PVC pipe because it is more versatile. HDPE pipe can be installed via drop burial or open trench installation, but it can also be installed using horizontal directional drilling or sliplining. Depending on the application, these methods can be more time- or cost-effective.

Durability and Lifespan: Which Material Lasts Longer?

According to research by the Plastic Pipe Institute, HDPE pipe can exceed the conservative 50-year life expectancy generally assigned to it and can have a lifespan of over 100 years. A recent study has also found that PVC pipe can have a projected lifespan of 100 years, making both extremely long-lasting pipe materials.

HDPE, however, is most often the more durable material. Due to the flexibility of the material and the leak-free fusion joints, HDPE is better able to withstand impact, stress, and weather than its more rigid counterpart. PVC has potential, but only Fusible PVC® can truly compete with HDPE.


HDPE and PVC piping have many overlapping uses, as well as some uses specific to each type of pipe, due to their differing performance characteristics.

Applications for HDPE and PVC Pipe
HDPE Pipe PVC Pipe

Water mains

Gas mains


Stormwater and drainage


Slurry transfer

Electrical and communications conduit



Ocean cleanup

Outfall Lines

Brine Lines

Process Chemicals

Water mains

Household plumbing


Stormwater and drainage



Exhaust and fumes

Underwater piping

HDPE vs. PVC for Specialty Construction

For specialty construction, HDPE pipe is the right choice for most applications. There are some occasions where PVC, especially Fusible PVC®, is best, but HDPE ultimately reigns champ. It’s a durable, long-lasting, and flexible material that balances performance considerations with cost-effectiveness.

For most specialty construction use cases, the heat tolerance of HDPE pipe is perfectly adequate to the application, and the added cost and time savings from installation via sliplining or other innovative methods is a serious benefit.

Both HDPE pipe and PVC offer a flexible, durable, cost-effective solution for a variety of specialty construction applications. If you’re hoping to implement a piping solution in your next project, contact US FUSION. We have a complete line of products, in various sizes and configurations, so you can get the results you need.

How Long Does HDPE Pipe Last? And Other Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does HDPE Pipe Last? And Other Frequently Asked Questions

In the world of piping, HDPE pipe is a relatively new addition. While it’s been around for years, some of the older players in the game like copper and cast iron have been around for much longer. You’re likely familiar with the more traditional pipe materials but may still have questions about HDPE pipe. 

What is HDPE pipe? How long does it last? What are its applications? Keep reading for our answers to all your HDPE pipe questions.

What does HDPE stand for?

HDPE is an acronym for high-density polyethylene. High-density polyethylene is a polymer (a substance made of large molecules) that is thermoplastic, which means that it is malleable or moldable at high temperatures. HDPE is useful as a material because it is corrosion-resistant and has a high strength-to-density ratio.

HDPE is used in a variety of applications, not just in piping. Plastic bottles, house wrap, lawn furniture, plastic mailers, and even ropes and fabrics are made of HDPE. HDPE is cost-effective, making it desirable for a multitude of uses from playground equipment to fuel tanks.

What is HDPE pipe?

HDPE pipe is flexible, corrosion-resistant plastic pipe. It is generally lighter in weight and more cost-effective than metal pipe. HDPE pipe is joined by welding or fusing the plastic pipe sections together at heat, without jointing chemicals, rubber seals, anchors, or thrust restraint blocks. 

Plastic pipe is impact resistant and is not susceptible to the same environmental stressors as ferrous pipe materials. It also has a high flow capacity and is resistant to many chemicals. In addition, its low thermal conductivity cuts down on the need to insulate HDPE pipe, as it maintains more stable fluid temperatures.

How is HDPE pipe manufactured?

HDPE pipe is manufactured by extrusion. The material is heated, then pushed through a mold that shapes the material into a length of pipe at the desired diameter. It is then cooled in stages by spraying the pipe with water or submerging it in water. HDPE generally contains carbon black, which provides it with UV resistance.

How is HDPE pipe installed?

HDPE pipe can be installed using standard pipelaying practices, as well as sliplining, horizontal directional drilling, and other cost-saving methods. HDPE pipe works well for trenchless installation.

What is HDPE pipe used for?

HDPE pipe is used in myriad applications, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Water mains
  • Sewer mains
  • Stormwater drainage systems
  • Irrigation
  • Oil and gas pipelines
  • Mining
  • Firewater lines
  • Electrical conduit
  • Telecommunications conduit
  • Agriculture
  • Compressed air
  • Chemical manufacture and transport
  • Food manufacture and transport
  • Ground-source geothermal systems
  • Fertilizer
  • Desalination plants
  • Paper and pulp manufacture
  • Hazardous materials
  • Ocean cleanup
  • Brine pipelines 

How long does HDPE pipe last?

The typical benchmark for HDPE life expectancy is 50 years; however, per the Plastics Pipe Institute, HDPE pipe used in municipal potable water systems can have a lifespan of over 100 years. When compared with other traditional piping materials copper (40-75 year lifespan), cast iron (50-75 years), and galvanized steel (30-50 years), HDPE pipe demonstrates better longevity.   

What temperatures can HDPE pipe withstand?

HDPE pipe can operate in temperatures ranging from -220° F to 140°F. Of pipe materials, HDPE does not have the highest temperature resistance, and it does have relatively high thermal expansion. However, for most applications, the temperature range that HDPE pipe can withstand is more than adequate.

What’s the difference between HDPE and PVC pipe?

While both HDPE and PVC are plastic pipes that are lightweight and resistant to chemicals and corrosion, there are a few important differences. The first is that while HDPE pipe is made of high-density polyethylene, which is derived from petroleum, PVC pipe is made of a vinyl, polyvinyl chloride. This results in different performance characteristics.

PVC pipe is generally stiffer than HDPE, and it is joined with sealants and not heat fusion. PVC also has better thermal performance, expanding significantly less..

HDPE, however, outperforms PVC for certain applications. PVC can only be installed via open trench or drop burial methods, whereas HDPE can utilize horizontal directional drilling, sliplining, and other methods. HDPE piping boasts leak-free joints, unlike PVC, and is generally more durable and suited to a greater range of uses.

Is HDPE pipe safe for drinking water?

Absolutely. HDPE pipe is water and food-safe and is used extensively in drinking water and food manufacturing and transport applications. NSF, an organization that develops public health and safety standards for drinking water, has debunked study results that suggest that HDPE and similar plastic pipe is hazardous for drinking water applications.

At US FUSION, we do HDPE piping like nobody else in the industry. With decades of experience, high-quality materials, and complete solutions for every situation, we’re your trusted source for pipe installation, fusion, and repair. Reach out to our team to learn more about our services.

How Geosynthetic Materials Can Benefit Your Specialty Construction Application

How Geosynthetic Materials Can Benefit Your Specialty Construction Application

No matter what you’re building or where you’re building it, you have to think about the soil on your construction site. You may need to protect it from erosion, increase its stability, protect it from chemicals, or control how water flows through it. For each of these concerns, geosynthetic materials like geosynthetic liners or geocells can provide immense benefits.

If you’re building new fuel storage tanks or putting in a municipal septic system, you’ll need geosynthetic materials. But what are they and what do they do? Read on for a brief synthesis of geosynthetic materials and their applications and benefits.

What are geosynthetic materials?

Geosynthetic materials are man-made materials that are used to protect or improve soil quality. There are several key categories of geosynthetics:

  • Geotextiles
  • Geocells
  • Geogrids
  • Geomembranes


Geotextiles are fabric-like (hence “textiles”) and are felted or woven synthetic materials. These textiles often come on rolls and are similar in look and feel to landscape fabric. This geosynthetic cloth is used for its permeability and filtration characteristics, as well as its flexibility and tensile strength.


Geocells are webs of cells formed from synthetics molded into an accordion-like structure, expanding when unfurled. These cells can be filled with filtration or fill materials like gravel or soil when the cellular confinement system (the overarching term for geocells and similar systems) is spread on a landscape.


Geogrids are geosynthetics that are formed into flat, intersecting grids—they look like temporary construction fencing. The open spaces in geogrids (called apertures) vary in size, depending on the desired stiffness of the material, and this design helps distribute loads over wider areas, increasing soil stability. Geogrids can be created via extrusion, weaving, or welding and extrusion.


Geomembranes are the least permeable of the geosynthetic materials we’ve covered, as they’re generally used to control the movement of fluids. They are made of polymer sheets or from geotextiles treated with polymer spray.

What are geosynthetic materials used for?

At a high level, geosynthetic materials are used to protect soil. This includes reinforcing soil, preventing soil movement or loss, improving load distribution on level or sloped soil, separating soils, controlling water flow through soil, and containing liquids or preventing fluids from permeating soil. This means that when we get into specifics, geosynthetic materials and geosynthetic liners have hundreds of specialized applications for a variety of industries.

Geosynthetic material applications in the construction industry

One of the main uses of geosynthetic materials is for secondary containment. Secondary containment systems are used in conjunction with primary containment systems (that is, containers or tanks) to prevent discharge from escaping into an uncontained area. Essentially, it’s a backup containment system in case the main system you’re using to contain a material leaks or fails.

Secondary containment applications for geosynthetics include:

  • Aboveground storage tanks and foundation ringwall liners
  • Secondary containment levees, berms, and dikes
  • Spill containment berms
  • Leach fields

Geosynthetic liners can also be used for primary containment and storage, particularly for water. Some use cases include:

  • Pond liners
  • Brine ponds
  • Stormwater ponds
  • Temporary storage pits
  • Fuel reserve pits
  • Landfill Liners

It is also the case that some sort of containment is needed for situations where hazardous or potentially hazardous materials are being used or stored as a spill pad, kind of like putting down a tarp before you paint something. Potential uses in this category include:

  • Concrete protection
  • Drilling pad liners
  • Remediation pads
  • Frac tanks
  • Decontamination liners

Additionally, in some applications, like erosion control or environmental restoration, geosynthetic materials like mats and tubes may be used in combination with biodegradable materials, such as blankets made from coconut, straw, jute, or other natural fibers. This is generally to prevent soil erosion and to protect germinating plant life from stormwater runoff, wind, and animals.


Geosynthetic materials and systems are used in many industries requiring specialty construction. Here are just some of the industries that commonly require the use of geosynthetic materials and liners:

  • Agriculture
  • Fertilizer
  • Landfill
  • Wastewater treatment
  • Petrochemical
  • Chemical
  • Construction
  • Industrial construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Infrastructure
  • Water resources management
  • Environmental services
  • Power and energy
  • Industrial waste management
  • Mining
  • Industrial wastewater management

What are the benefits of using geosynthetic materials?

Each type of geosynthetic material has its own specific uses and, therefore, its own performance characteristics and benefits. But generally speaking, the benefits of geosynthetic materials are their tensile strength, durability, and permeability or impermeability, depending on the use. For containment or water flow control, impermeability is essential; for erosion control or soil stabilization, permeability is necessary to allow for natural soil behavior and health, as well as to avoid creating unintended water flow or runoff issues.

Geogrids and geotextiles are excellent for soil reinforcement and stabilization because of their resistance to environmental and construction damage, as well as their high tensile modulus and strength. Geomembranes are also resistant to damage, particularly chemical and hazardous material damage, which, paired with their impermeability, make them ideal for primary and secondary containment applications.

If you’re in need of a foolproof secondary containment system, geosynthetic liners are a great choice. And at US FUSION, our experts have decades of experience in installing them properly, safely, and efficiently. Contact our team to learn more about how we can help with your project.