Large-diameter pipe demand in the U.S. is forecast to grow 2.3% yearly to 194 million feet in 2005, valued at $7.4 billion, according to a Freedonia Group study, "Large Diameter Pipe."

Growth stimulants include efforts to meet clean water mandates, and to revitalize aging and obsolete sewer and drain networks. Plastic pipe will present the best growth opportunities, especially in sewer and water distribution applications, based on improvements in crush resistance and pressure tolerance. Cast iron and steel pipe will advance in the water distribution arena, although overall growth will be below average due to competition from plastic pipe.

Large-diameter plastic pipe demand is expected to grow nearly 5% per annum to nearly 41 million feet in 2005 due to attributes such as lower cost, lighter weight, corrosion and chemical resistance, durability and installation ease. PVC will exhibit the best growth prospects based on increased sanitary sewer and water distribution uses. Good opportunities are also expected for high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe in corrugated and natural gas pipe applications.

Concrete pipe will remain dominant in many applications, although growing at a fairly sluggish 1.8% annual rate to nearly 106 million feet.

Storm sewers will remain the leading large diameter pipe market based on ongoing sewer upgrading programs and rising highway expenditures. Concrete will remain the dominant material, although significantly higher growth rates are anticipated for corrugated HDPE in storm sewers due to advantages over concrete such as higher chemical and abrasion resistance and easier installation. Best large diameter pipe growth is anticipated for natural gas and sanitary sewer pipe as a result of growing energy demands and efforts to meet more stringent clean water standards.

"Large Diameter Pipe" is available for $3,600 from The Freedonia Group. Contact Corinne Gangloff at 440-684-9600, fax: 440-646-0484, or e-mail: Information may also be obtained through