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Gas Pipe Industry Experience

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For the past 35 years Dr. Gene Palermo has been primarily involved in plastic piping systems for the natural gas distribution industry. Most of those years were with the Dupont Company where he worked with Aldyl “A” polyethylene gas pipe. He presented several industry papers on the use of the Rate Process Method (RPM) to forecast the life expectancy of polyethylene gas pipe and fittings. At Plastics Pipe XII in Milan (April 2004) Dr. Palermo will present a paper correlating RPM projections with actual field performance for polyethylene gas pipe materials. While with DuPont, Dr. Palermo also conducted several failure analyses of Aldyl “A” polyethylene pipe components and wrote several failure analysis reports for gas companies.

Dr. Palermo was hired by Elf AtoChem in 1995 to develop an all plastic piping system made from polyamide (PA) 11 to be used for high-pressure gas distribution systems as a replacement for metal pipe. He wrote several ASTM and CSA  standards for  the  polyamide 11 piping  system. He worked with PPI member companies to develop polyamide 11 pipe, butt fusion fittings, mechanical fittings, meter risers, transition fittings, and valves and also developed a butt fusion procedure for joining polyamide 11 pipe and fittings using the same butt fusion equipment that gas companies use for polyethylene pipe and fittings.

He has been actively involved in the AGA Plastic Materials Committee (PMC) since 1981. He presented several papers at various AGA PMC Winter Workshops. He has provided PMC members with liaison reports for PPI and ISO activities and is currently the chairman of the Code, Standards and Regulatory task group for AGA PMC. Dr. Palermo has also been an active member of the AGA Gas Pipe Technology Committee (GPTC) since 1995. He has chaired several projects in the Plastics task group and the Design task group. He is currently a voting member on the Main Body Committee of GPTC.

Dr. Palermo was also one of the original members who served on the Plastic Pipe Database Committee, which is a joint government/industry committee to develop a database of plastic pipe and fitting failures that occurred in the gas industry. This database will confirm that industry standards for plastic pipe systems used in the gas industry result in outstanding performance for the end user.

More recently, Dr. Palermo has developed a one-day technical seminar for plastic pipe materials used in the gas industry. This seminar is intended to provide a background on plastic pipe materials, primarily polyethylene, to update gas engineers on recent developments in ASTM and ISO standards for the gas industry, and to provide information on new plastic pipe materials for the gas industry. These include polyamide 612 for high pressure gas applications to replace metal pipe, bimodal PE 100 materials that require increased slow crack growth resistance, bimodal PE 2708 materials that are considered the next new generation of medium density polyethylene materials with excellent SCG and RCP resistance, and multi-layer pipe for pressure up to 1500 psig.


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