Though Reinforced concrete or plastic tubes/pipes seems like a simple question, it is not. These two materials have different properties altogether. Based on the availability Reinforced concrete pipes are preferred over plastic pipes in places such us Sanitary sewers, storm drains, culverts and in irrigation.
The other important factors in selection are Personal preference, geographic location, logistics, tradition, traffic, reliability, ease of installation, longevity, conformance to existing standards and most importantly cost.
Both Concrete and plastic are modern, new generation materials designed to fulfill the important purpose of moving or diverting liquid substance from one place to another. In reality there is need to replace aging pipes and channels. The short comings of the older generation modals can be rectified by newer materials.
Longer span and reliability are the most important norms according to current standards for environmental protection. Cost of maintenance, compatibility issues and initial cost causes us to choose one material over other, but Efficiency and Durability are most important considerations.
The following are the most important basis for comparing reinforced concrete pipes with plastic
In a recent study, there was a comparison between HDPE and RCP, conducted by NPCA. Explicit applications such as Soil condition, profundity of establishment, and so on are referred to by different Highway divisions.
Every material has quality and shortcoming in specific things and everything must be introduced appropriately so as to act in the ideal manner are the essential detract from the study. Plastic pipes are a recent advancement whose long-term performances are under study while concrete pipes are proven to perform for a long period.
In case of Reinforced concrete pipes they arrive at the site in its full structural strength. Its quality is well defined and the installation process is well defined. On the other hand, Plastic pipes are site assembled, installation process is more demanding and structural integrity must by test. On site inspection and post installation checkups are required. Fact is, the total cost is always more than just the cost of the materials.
The leaders in this Industry are pointing out that making decisions based on only certain criteria can lead to false results. The common perception that concrete pipes have poor joints is false and misleading. These joints have never been designed in order to prevent water infiltration in some cases water infiltration is a desired result, it is only after mid-twentieth century that water tightness is added as a design criteria in high-pressured water mains.
While concrete is the most desired mode of construction material, in other cases for various other uses plastic may be used. With continuous development Reinforced concrete will be predominantly used in most places.