Showing specific performance and cost benefits, high-performance plastics are a definite improvement on metal. The advantages range from lighter weight, stronger resistance to oxidative aging, greater strength at elevated temperatures, higher chemical and chlorine resistance as well as higher heat resistance. Their injection-molding process too provides easier forming, fewer finishing phases and a faster production cycle. Further critical advantages include:

  • Corrosion resistance: Metals are sensitive to oxidizers such as sodium hypochloride, which is widely-used in tap water sanitation. Over time, tap water in stainless steel can provoke rust formation. As a copper and zinc alloy, brass is sensitive to galvanic corrosion. This leads to dezincification and the formation of microporous holes during installation. Brass-fittings in multilayer pipes containing aluminum leads to electric potential between the aluminum and the brass as well as subsequent galvanic corrosion of the aluminum
  • No scale deposit: Depending on the hardness level of tap water, it can easily precipitate a high level of calcium and magnesium carbonate. Better known as scale, this precipitate can stick hard to metal surfaces. It is significantly diminished on polymer surfaces, thanks to their high smoothness and low surface tension
  • No biofilm adhesion: The elevated surface smoothness achievable in polymers considerably reduces biofilm adhesion - limiting bacteria build-up, even in dead zones, and so resulting in cleaner water
  • No contamination by heavy metals: Unlike for metal plumbing systems, with polymeric installations there is no contamination of tap water by heavy metals
  • Ease of assembly: Assembly of metal installations usually comprises hot gas welding at high temperatures. For systems based on multilayer pipes and polymeric fittings, professionals have a wide variety of fixation systems available, as well as do-it-yourself installers. No welding is required
  • Low noise: Polymeric piping systems transmit less noise from the motion of water – important for waste water pipes. For pressure piping systems however, this is only a factor in areas where there are connections to older installations with different diameters
  • Good thermal insulation: In plumbing, thermal conductivity for polymers is a factor 100 to 1000 times lower than it is for metals. The "intrinsic" insulation properties of polymers thus make them the material of choice, especially for hot water distribution and heating systems
  • Lower cost: The cost of corrosion-resistant metal fittings – brass in particular – is about 50% higher than it is for polymer fittings. That difference is partly due to volatile metal prices, while those of polymeric raw material have remained at approximately the same level. Manufacturing costs are another important factor. Whereas metal fittings need several manufacturing steps, polymeric fittings can often be produced in one injection-molding step
  • Reduced environmental footprint: High-performance polymers are produced through injection-molding, which replaces earlier machining for metals. This requires less elaborate manufacturing, considerably limiting the environmental footprint of processes