Calcium/zinc stabilizers for PVC pressure pipe

In Western Europe, PVC potable water pipes are predominantly stabilized using lead salts. Although completely acceptable in terms of performance and water quality, the use of lead stabilizers may be reviewed on the grounds of reducing exposure to all forms of lead in the workplace. Calcium and zinc fatty acid salts are regarded as possible alternatives, although there are technical difficulties to be overcome. Ca/Zn systems are less efficient than those based on Pb and can undergo rapid degradation reactions. In addition both Ca and Zn stearate act as lubricants of PVC, and Ca stearate promotes fusion and can increase melt viscosity. Hence careful attention must be paid to lubrication in this application. The success of Ca/Zn stabilizers depends upon the use of synergistic compounds, such as polyols, β-diketones, hydrotalcites and zeolites, which improve stabilizer efficiency. Literature relevant to the development of Ca/Zn formulations for u-PVC pressure pipe is reviewed in this paper.

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