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NSF International’s new lab expands plastic pipe testing capabilities


April 28, 2020
By Drainage Contractor

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NSF's new, larger Willow Run Lab offers pipe manufacturers a fast turnaround for testing. Photo courtesy of NSF International.

NSF International, a public health and safety organization, completed the moves of two of its laboratories to one new 20,000-square-foot space in Ypsilanti, MI.

The expanded location brings together all of NSF’s plastics testing and certification capabilities under one roof. NSF International is an independent testing and certification organization for the plastic industry, including PE, PE-RT, PEX, PP, CPVC and PVC pipes. They conduct advanced chemical and structural testing on plastic pipes, fittings and valves, metal fittings and components, manifolds, solvent cements, thread sealants, PVC ingredients and plastic materials for global applications.

The plastic testing laboratories have been relocated from Aurora, ON and from within the NSF International global headquarters in Ann Arbor, MI. The new facility, the Willow Run Laboratory, is about 15 miles from NSF’s headquarters.

Because of its large capacity, the new Willow Run Lab offers pipe manufacturers a fast turnaround time for testing. That same large capacity, along with the lab’s testing capabilities, allow plastics manufacturers to take advantage of their certification needs and their R&D projects under the same roof.

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The new facility offers nearly 2,000 test stations, including stations for long-term pressure/stress testing and hydrostatic design basis (HDB) and minimum required strength (MRS) ratings, as well as short-term burst and other pressure performance requirements.

The new Willow Run lab can also facilitate faster market entry for plastic piping companies. These products are heavily regulated by the plumbing codes and some utilities. Therefore, manufacturers need to obtain third party certification, such as certification offered by NSF International, which includes extensive plastics material and product testing.

Plastic products are tested to verify they meet the required durability, performance and safety criteria of 150 methods and standards used in commercial and residential applications. These applications include drinking water, radiant heating, gas distribution, sprinkler/fire safety, electrical conduit and geothermal systems.