Will Acetone Damage the HDPE Pipe?

Will Acetone Damage the HDPE Pipe?
Assessing the Effects of Exposure on High-Density Polyethylene Piping

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe serves well for chemical transport thanks to its inertness. But will acetone damage HDPE piping if spilled or flushed through the system? This article examines acetone’s effects and steps to protect against damage.IFAN factory with 30+ years of manufacturing experience supports color/size customization and free samples. Welcome to consult for catalog and free samples. This is our Facebook Website: www.facebook.com.

HDPE Chemical Resistance Properties

HDPE offers broad chemical resistance thanks to its nonpolar molecular structure. It can safely contain and convey:

  • Most aqueous solutions like acids, bases, and salts
  • Alcohols, glycols, and weak organic acids
  • Aliphatic, aromatic, and halogenated hydrocarbons
  • Petroleum oils, fuels, and non-oxidizing chemicals

HDPE demonstrates immunity in concentrations and temperatures that degrade other plastics and metals.

Acetone Interaction with HDPE

The ketone solvent acetone can degrade and damage HDPE over prolonged exposure. However, several factors are important:

  • Acetone must be nearly pure – Water inhibits solvent action.
  • Damage requires constant contact over months or years.
  • Swelling and loss of properties occur only near the surface.
  • Acetone permeation into HDPE is slow even at elevated temperatures.

With limited, intermittent exposures, acetone does not significantly affect buried HDPE pipe integrity or performance.

Recommendations for Using HDPE Pipe with Acetone

IPS understands you may need to transport solvents like acetone in HDPE pipes. To prevent damage:

  • Confirm concentrations below 20% in water.
  • Limit velocity to maximize transit time through the pipeline.
  • Use thick wall DR7 or DR9 HDPE pipe.
  • Join and test for tight, fused joints.
  • Consider PFA or PTFE liners in critical applications.
  • Inspect and replace any sections showing damage over time.

Contact IPS Engineers to review your application and pipe selection for optimal acetone service life.

Effects of Acetone on HDPE

At high enough exposure levels, acetone degrades HDPE through:

  • Swelling – Acetone diffuses into HDPE, expanding and distorting the structure.
  • Chain Scission – Acetone ruptures polyethylene molecular chains, reducing strength.
  • Solubility – Dissolving of amorphous regions increases crystallinity.
  • Stress Cracking – Forces enlarge cracks formed during swelling and scission.
  • Property Loss – Acetone reduces tensile and impact properties through embrittlement.

However, limiting acetone velocity and contact time curtails degradation rates to safe levels.

Acetone Exposure Guidelines for HDPE

Considering all research, IPS recommends:

  • Maintain velocities under 5 ft/sec for intermittent acetone exposure.
  • Use DR11 HDPE piping for concentrations from 10% to 20%.
  • Keep exposure below 100 hours for 20%+ acetone with DR7 or DR9 HDPE.
  • Inspect periodically for damage and replace affected sections.

Proper design enables years of acetone service with quality HDPE pipe. Contact our engineers for your specific transportation requirements.

Protecting HDPE Piping Against Acetone Damage

To proactively minimize degradation from acetone exposure:

  • Coat interiors with impermeable epoxy or thermoplastic.
  • Select lined piping like Fab-Seal HPDE or frankline.
  • Join and support to prevent leaks, pooling, and permeation.
  • Ventilate enclosed tanks and basins.
  • Flushing and drainage after contact.
  • Monitor for damage and replace/repair affected sections.

With protective measures, HDPE piping safely withstands intermittent acetone service.

Acetone Service in Perspective

While acetone can damage HDPE, effects take extensive contact over months or years. Properly engineered HDPE pipe contains and transports some acetone solutions.

HDPE remains far superior to metal piping for acetone service. For critical applications, liners or coatings enhance service life. In summary, with prudent design HDPE can safely manage acetone exposure.


IFAN factory started in 1993. And IFAN has a workshop of 120000 square meters with 610 staff. IFAN can design and produce all plumbing pipe and fitting including PPR, PVC, CPVC PPSU HDPE PEXA PEXB PERT pipe and fitting, brass fitting, brass ball valve, heating system, gas system, sanitary faucets, and hose, In the past 30 years, IFAN has never forgotten his mission-To protect health and safety. And IFAN factory uses the best materials to produce high-quality pipe and fittings with an automatic production line and high-tech quality control machines. 



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