Better. Stronger. More reliable.
Australian manufactured SharkBite PEX-b pipe, previously manufactured using a PEX80 raw material, has undertaken a transformation from 2021. Now using a more advanced PEX100 raw material that enhances its temperature, and pressure performance, without compromising on flow rates.
In Australia, PEX pipe is categorised as either PEX-a, PEX-b or PEX-c. As many would know, PEX stands for Cross-linked Polyethylene. However, the letter that follows simply represents the type of manufacturing method used to cross link the polyethylene as follows.
- PEX A: made using the Peroxide, or Engel, method.
- PEX B: formed using Silane, or Moisture Cure, method. This is the most common PEX pipe available.
- PEX C: created using the Electronic Irradiation, or Cold, method of cross-linking.
PEX-a commonly has a thicker pipe wall. This allowed pipe suppliers who used it within their system, to promote a higher temperature, and pressure pipe performance, than a PEX-b or PEX-c alternative. Although, they all still meet AS2492 requirements.
By using a superior PEX100 raw material, SharkBite PEX-b pipe is now equal to, or better than, other thicker walled PEX-a competitors. This means both are rated to a maximum operating temperature of 1000kPa, at 70°C. The main difference now, however, is that SharkBite PEX-b pipe has a thinner wall providing a significant flow rate advantage. For the plumber, as far as the installation goes, nothing changes, as the pipe diameter remains the same, except for the benefits of a superior performing PEX100 material.