Manual welding of water pipes
Polyethylene pipe is a low-cost, reliable, and durable material widely used in the water industry around the world. In low-income countries one of the problems with its use is the high cost of fittings. This is a particular problem for small communities who are responsible for the maintenance of their own water supplies. It can be a serious barrier to sustainability. One solution is to replace fittings with hand butt fusion: a simple technique for welding pipes together. The technique was widely used in Nepal but has latterly fallen out of favour. This is a pity since it could still have wide application around the world. This paper describes in detail the manual butt welding technique and demonstrates that the joint is at least as strong as that produced by mechanical joints.