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February 2024 | VOL. 4 | ISSUE 1



For many, steel pipe is the solution for all applications, especially in power plants where pressures and temperatures exceed thermoplastic pipe's pressure and temperature limits. There are some exceptions to this unwritten rule, and for this article, we will discuss a few of these applications where polypropylene pipe works exemplarily in the correct application.

Polypropylene (PP) is a resin material suitable for a wide range of applications with a pH range from 1 to 14 and at temperatures that just exceed 200° F. Pipe sizes range from 1/2" to 48" in SDR 11, 150psi rated and from 4" to 55" SDR 33, 45psi rated. PP is also offered in SDR 17, 90psi rated.

One manufacturer—Borealis—classifies their PPr as RA130E-8427, DIN 8078, and DIN 8077. RA130E-8427 is a high molecular weight, random copolymer resin that exhibits a high weld strength, impact resistance, and faster relaxation due to a lower modulus of elasticity. This material is suitable for recycling using modern recycling methods.




Beginning in 2021, Asahi/America started dedicating time and research to understanding and penetrating the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) market. CEA represents an advanced and intensive form of hydroponics-based agriculture where plants grow within a controlled environment for optimized yield.

Unlike conventional greenhouses, CEA demands sophisticated engineering considerations for success and encompasses vertical farming, hydroponics, aquaponics, greenhouses, and, more recently, variations of cannabis cultivation. With the expectation that this market will grow exponentially into 2030, it is essential to understand where thermoplastic materials, like the products offered by Asahi/America, can fit into the control space of these facilities. 


In the CEA market, thermoplastic valves and piping find widespread applications due to their durability, corrosion resistance, and suitability for various agricultural processes. 


The purpose of an aquatic life support system is to monitor and control the conditions of a body of water that is holding aquatic life. The six specific conditions of the water being controlled in these systems are quality, chemistry, biology, temperature, turnover, and clarity. Some of those conditions are more relevant than others, depending on the purpose of the vessel holding the aquatic life. In an aquarium setting, the purpose is to display the life in the tank; thus, clarity is more important than in a fish farm, where the visibility of the fish is less crucial. All aquatic life support systems can be categorized into one of three general styles: open systems, semi-open systems, and closed systems. Each of these three systems has varying degrees of required components and design complexity depending on the purpose and scale of the water body being maintained.

Open aquatic life support systems have some body of source water that runs through a culture facility before being discharged without any form of recirculation.

November 2023 | VOL. 3 | ISSUE 4




The number of new semiconductor fabs being built in the U.S. has reached an unprecedented high. Shortages of on-site skilled labor are pushing the industry to adopt off-site manufacturing (OSM) and modularization strategies. While there are many advantages of utilizing an OSM approach, it also introduces new challenges and requires strong collaboration between the design firm, module integrator, and pipe spool fabricator, as well as other principles.

This article is written as a brief guide to highlight several areas where problems can arise in the design and construction of modular piping systems.

Pipe hangers and their placement can result in significant pipe stress issues. Improperly located fixed points can prohibit the proper functioning of expansion loops. Additionally, weld beads can interfere with the desired sliding movement of pipes. The design firm and module integrator should take care to provision appropriate supports beyond the adoption of manufacturer-recommended spacing. 





Recently, a Brazilian company asked Asahi/America for a recommendation on three chemical applications. The company produces metal sheets in a variety of materials and uses a galvanization process to galvanize its end product. The chemicals used in this process are: potassium permanganate, chrome hexavalent, and chrome trivalent. The company uses these to galvanize 316 stainless steel for their customers, and they are having ball valve issues related to said chemicals.

The application is in a low-temperature setting with a max pressure of 4 bars. The companies who sell the valves competing for this application were between a German and Brazilian company that cover ball valves and provide SST-lined valves.

The customer reach out to Asahi/America's sales, engineering and business development teams to assess these applications and make appropriate material recommendations on valves.


Based on the application and request, here were Asahi/America's material recommendations:


As we publish our closing issue of the Inner Circle in 2023, it seems timely and appropriate to reflect on the key contributions to this year's volume and the impact made. The year has been marked by notable progress, from highly technical discussions on the finer aspects of polypropylene (PP) to revolutionary shifts in energy strategies.

Advancements in Polypropylene: Navigating the Complexities—Polypropylene, a versatile plastic with applications spanning multiple industries, took the spotlight in 2023. Josh Goldberg's article emphasized the importance of understanding PP's physical properties, which can vary significantly based on crystalline content and structure. Exploring isotactic PP (iPP) crystalline structures, including alpha and beta variations, brought insights into properties like impact strength and elasticity. Notably, the choice between homopolymer and copolymer PP proved significant, with random copolymer PP emerging as a preferred option for its higher impact strength and better stress crack resistance.

August 2023 | VOL. 3 | ISSUE 3


The world of polymers can sometimes be confusing with all the different types of plastic. To make things even more confusing, a polymer can sometimes take on different properties when made into a copolymer. Adding to the level of confusion, the way a polymer crystallizes can also affect its final properties. Polypropylene (PP) is one such simple plastic that can transform significantly depending on its crystalline structure and copolymer content. It is a plastic common throughout our daily lives to the point where we no longer pay attention to its existence. Part of the reason is that polypropylene has so many different grades and types that it is hard to recognize anymore. For the discussion here and for the sake of brevity, we will narrow the scope of polypropylene down to the world of pipes.

First, let's start with PP's crystalline content and structure and how it affects the final properties. Typically, you will see PP with a crystalline content >90% for pipes. The reason is that the more crystalline the material is, the better the physical properties. 


The Use of Performance Plastics in Food and Beverage Processing: Due to its inherent advantages, performance plastics are utilized in a wide range of applications in the food and beverage industry. These applications include the transport of drinking water, wastewater, and chemicals. Replacing stainless steel process components such as piping, valves, filter housings, and tanks with plastics is becoming more common as the benefits of plastics become more recognized in various industries.

The Craft Beer Industry: For example, commercial craft brewers have used plastic vessels for fermentation as an economical alternative to stainless steel. A fermenter, in regard to brewing beer, is a vessel that brewers use to convert the wort into alcohol. Wort is the mixture of water and grains that has been boiled by the brewer. Fermentation is carried out by adding yeast to the wort.

Plastics have also been used in yeast recovery systems as part of the beer brewing process. Yeast from one fermentation needs to be recovered and used to manufacture the next. 


The newest addition to Asahi/America’s Series 19 actuation product line is the MultiPack® rotary electric actuator. The Series 19 MultiPack® is specifically designed for multiturn and non-rising stem valves such as Asahi’s type-14 diaphragm and gate valves.

The Series 19 MultiPack® is a rotary electric actuator, specifically designed for precision flow control. What is a rotary electric actuator? In simple terms, an electric actuator is basically just a geared motor. From a more technical viewpoint, a rotary electric actuator’s motor generates electromagnetic power, which causes a mechanical rotation of the gears to turn the output shaft to open and close the valve.

The Series 19 MultiPack® also offers a brushless DC motor, which differs from a traditional brushed motor. The brushes in a brushed DC motor deliver a current from the commutator through the coils on the rotor. In a brushless DC motor, there is a permanent magnet, which will rotate and has its rotation facilitated by the direction of the magnetic field generated by the coils.

May 2023 | VOL. 3 | ISSUE 2


Clean-in-Place (CIP) Systems are commonly used in pharmaceutical and biopharma-ceutical facilities. It is a method of cleaning manufacturing equipment, including elements such as pipes, filters, and fittings, without disassembling it. The equipment is cleaned using a series of cleaning solutions that are pumped through the system and flushed out with water.

Frequently used chemicals in CIP systems include caustics, such as sodium hydroxide, phosphoric and nitric acids, as well as sodium hypochlorite, chlorine dioxide, and peracetic acid.


Although CIP systems are frequently constructed with either 304 or 316 stainless steel, polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) or polypropylene (PP - pigmented or unpigmented) can be a viable alternative. Advantages include reduced installation costs, corrosion resistance, fewer insulation needs (for hot systems), and no passivation. Thermoplastic materials will outperform metal systems exposed to caustics, acids, or chlorinated media.


With the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill in 2022, the US Government has now initiated the conversion of the US economy from a hydro-carbon-based economy to a hydrogen-based economy. The governmental agency tasked with this conversion is the Department of Energy (DOE) under Section 814 of the National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap. This roadmap is a multi-year conversion strategy starting in 2023. By 2030, the goal is that 5% - 7% of the US economy will be converted to hydrogen (H2) usage; the percentages will increase every decade until 2060, when the entire US economy and infrastructure will be converted to H2 usage. How is this going to happen?

What codes and specifications are to be used? Those are the big questions. Congress and the current administration have said this is what will happen, but gave no clear path. The roadmap tells us where we're headed, but no roads, exit ramps, towns, or speed limits are provided on the map. It just says, "go this way."


When typical Americans dispose of their nearly 140,000,000 tons annually of dinner scraps, yard waste, and dusty old worn-out clothing, they might not realize the feats of engineering that go into designing the modern landfill. Aside from the sheer organizational requirements to collect, sort, and dispose of all that waste, there is big business in the contemporary landfill, with alternative energy sources for power creation being one the largest sources of income.

For example, Waste Management, one prominent landfill company, has 124 landfill gas-to-energy plants that generate 600 megawatts of energy – enough to power more than 400,000 homes daily and save the equivalent of more than seven million barrels of oil per year.

Asahi/America has a strong history of critical application services in the landfill business with success in simple applications such as small-bore ball valveschemical resistant piping, and highly-critical double containment piping with leak detection technology.

February 2023 | VOL. 3 | ISSUE 1


Confidence is essential when researching what material to use in an application. Beyond the function of valves, the material selection remains the most critical decision. Combining body material and elastomeric material compatibility to ensure a long service life is why customers continue to rely on Asahi/America for our recommendation.

Asahi bases chemical resistance rating on lab tests and real-world application testing; when we designate any material as incompatible, either it did not satisfy the application/ performance testing in the lab, or a failure occurred while the product was in service. When field failures occur, we try to duplicate the customers' experience in our laboratory. There is often some uncertainty because the reported application may not be correct, but we cannot ignore the incident.

Our chemical compatibility is available on our website and is specific to our products.


Plastics—it's all the same, right? In my last article, we saw that that statement is not necessarily true, and many high-performance polymers fall under the "plastics" moniker. This article will concentrate on one of the most common polymers, polyethylene, and unlock the mystery behind its confusing, convoluted naming scheme.

Polyethylene first came about in the 1930s from Imperial Chemical Industries, but this material's makeup was highly branched, creating LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene). Additionally, the material was made under high-pressure conditions, around 20,000-30,000psi. Shortly after LDPE's creation, a process was discovered that could create a more linear molecule under pressures of only about 100psi. It took almost 20 years before Paul Hogan and Robert L. Banks at Phillips Petroleum Company discovered the chromium catalyst to make HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) that is responsible for jumpstarting the polyethylene industry.


The CSA is the National Standards Council of Canada, and a CRN is a Canadian Registration Number allotted by a provincial authority that allows the use of a boiler, pressure vessel, or fitting in the province. The TSSA is the Technical Standards and Safety Authority, which ensures the safe design, construction, maintenance, use, operation, and repair of all pressure-retaining components. Said com-ponents include those that produce hot water, steam, compressed air, and other compressed liquids and gases.

Asahi's familiarity with these standards and codes can help navigate projects and the selection of material that customers requiring CRN and TSSA can efficiently employ. First, we'll discuss when CRNs are necessary, then how TSSA ties into the conversation. 

When are CRNs required for fittings? The guiding question is whether the liquid is more hazardous than water and, if so, whether it is lethal.

November 2022 | VOL. 2 | ISSUE 4


It is an enormous privilege to supply products to important markets utilizing our research laboratory, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics capabilities. The projected budget for laboratories of all types: human pharma, veterinary pharma, university research, and pure research is large and still growing.

As of right now, the TAM for all new or rebuilt labs over only a 12-month future forecast is, at minimum, approximately $33 billion nationwide, comprising of 209 sites. In addition, that momentum will likely produce new plants, as President Biden recently introduced the Cancer Moonshot Program. This introduction indicates renewed government support for R&D and includes incentives of several billion dollars more to reduce cancer deaths by 50% by 2035. Additionally, pharma continues to increase spending for many of its drug programs and will begin to require an increasing number of laboratories moving forward.


Leak detection in process piping can be a complicated part of any system, so why should it be used? The simple answer is that we are stewards of our environment and responsible for our people's safety. However, it has much more nuance than such a simple statement can capture, so here are some thoughts on the subject.


There are three types of leak detection systems. The first is visual detection (i.e., simply watching for leaks), which is used everywhere, from our homes to offices to production plants. It is also as straightforward as it sounds; you see a leak on a pipe and follow it to its source. While it may be simple, effective, and low cost, visual leak detection can't always accurately pinpoint leaks, and it relies on human operation in most cases.


That's where a method such as visual leak detection can turn dangerous. Say you encounter a cyanide or phosgene leak. Is that a chemical you would want to pinpoint the source of manually? 


Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), in its simplest form, is not a new development. It dates back to the Roman Empire when Emperor Tiberius became so infatuated with having his daily cucumber that his gardeners had to use a mobile cart to transfer the plants in and out during the day and lined wooden frames with Selenite to keep them warm. Later in the 17th century, pioneers of botany experimented with the earliest forms of greenhouses, but it wasn't until the early 1800's that the first modern greenhouse was invented by a French botanist named Charles Lucien Bonaparte. As humanity spread across the globe, traders began sharing crops between regions, and agricultural techniques had to be adapted to provide food consistently.


Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) is an advanced and intensive form of hydroponic agriculture where plants grow within a controlled environment to optimize yield. 

August 2022 | VOL. 2 | ISSUE 3



As we are all too aware, demand for PVDF resin has climbed to an unprecedented level. In part, this is the result of a large number of new semiconductor fabs being built worldwide and the increased use in the production of lithium-ion batteries. Despite aggressive capacity expansion efforts by resin suppliers, demand continues to outstrip supply, and there appears to be no relief for the foreseeable future.

In the meantime, we need to support our customers as best we can. This situation presents a particularly difficult challenge to engineers responsible for specifying suitable piping for high purity water distribution systems in the semiconductor and life science industries. If PVDF availability is going to cause an unacceptable delay in a project schedule, alternatives may be discussed. Depending on the end-user application, natural and pigmented polypropylene, as well as Halar® (ECTFE), are all candidate materials that may be suitable as an alternative to PVDF.



We are brought up in a world surrounded by plastics, but why are there so many of them, and what is the difference? To a polymer chemist, there is an entire field of exciting materials based on what properties are essential for a given job. However, the rest of the world sees plastic as just plastic. So what the heck is a polymer, and why are we bringing chemistry into this discussion?


A polymer is a macromolecule composed of several repeating units called a monomer (mono meaning 1). The mixing, cross-linking, and molecule size determine the type of properties a polymer has and how it is manufactured. Examples of polymers are polyethylene, PVC, PVDF, rubber, inks/paints, adhesives, proteins, nucleic acids, and the list goes on and on. The point is that polymer covers a vast spectrum of materials. When we think of plastics we tend to think of things like water bottles, Tupperware, cling wrap, shower curtains, and cheaply made parts, not polymers like polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), PVC, and PVDF. 


High purity water is used extensively in manufacturing pharmaceutical and biotech medicines. Piping material for generating and transporting high purity water includes stainless steel and thermoplastics such as polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) and polypropylene (PP).


The use of thermoplastics in high purity water systems for pharmaceutical and biotech offers many advantages over stainless steel systems. It is essential to understand the material properties of thermoplastics when evaluating their suitability for your system requirements. Considerations such as thermal expansion, operating pressure, and system temperature must be accounted for when choosing a system to match the process. Should a water system's requirements fall within the acceptable range of the thermoplastic operating conditions, the choice of plastics over metals can provide many benefits, including years of trouble-free and low-maintenance operation.

May 2022 | VOL. 2 | ISSUE 2



Plastics get a bad rap in everyday life due to domestic recycling issues and a lack of infrastructure capable of managing the reusable material. Casual environmentalists categorize industrial thermoplastics as less than desirable solutions for many applications. The reality is that plastics used by Asahi/America’s customers offer decades-long solutions to what could not be well-managed with other materials.

Our products are specified for applications where conventional materials like metal are costly to produce or offer minimal life expectancy. Asahi/America piping systems for chemicals are designed for a minimum of 25 years, often lasting much beyond the minimum life expectancy. 



There are limited, acceptable thermoplastic pipe options for compressed air because of safety concerns, high costs, and unsuitable application conditions. OSHA’s issued standards state that if thermoplastic piping materials are to be used for compressed air or gas applications, “the pipes must either be constructed of or encased in, shatter-resistant material” (OSHA standard interpretation dated February 28, 1991).


Polyvinyl chloride/chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (PVC/CPVC) pipes should not be used for compressed air. They fail in an unsafe, catastrophic manner. These materials can shatter and fragment during a failure, creating a hazardous situation from exploding PVC shrapnel.


Asahi/America’s end users have trusted the use of our valves and actuators for their critical applications in chemical, water, wastewater, ultrapure water, and oil and gas for more than 50 years. Asahi offers the broadest range of non-metallic control valves.


How does an engineer decide which type of valve to select? What are the differences between all the options? What impact does this selection make on project cost and lifetime cost? How will it affect the control scheme? Read further to see how Asahi/America Inc.’s portfolio of products and engineering expertise can help you decide.


February 2022 | VOL. 2 | ISSUE 1


We usually describe the different pipe classes and materials in very basic sizing terms (for example ½”, 2”, 6” pipe, and sched 40 or DR 11). Sometimes, we clarify by saying metric or IPS, but do we really appreciate the nuances of what we are saying? Do we really understand how the thickness, type of material, or even size, impacts the performance of a system?

The materials, classes, and construction all play significant roles in the critical characteristics of a piping system. They influence flow rate, velocity, and pressure drop.

In this article, we will review several common piping materials and how nominal sizes can vary.


It only takes a quarter turn of the handle to understand the quality of an Asahi/America Type-21 ball valve because of the smooth and consistent turn of the handle. Our valves are designed for various applications including chemical service, so we take extra steps during our production to ensure that the highest quality product is created.


Before our current ball valve model, we pioneered various markets with our Asahi Duo-Bloc ball valve model, which was among the first true industrial thermoplastic valve. I visited and toured multiple facilities and am no longer surprised to see our Duo-Bloc still performing well 30 years after installation.


Asahi/America frequently fabricates spools and assemblies out of our engineered thermoplastic pipes to meet our customers' dimensions, specifications, and delivery needs. We’ve been fabricating double containment systems since before we received our first fabrication patent in the late ’80s. Asahi continues to expand our capabilities and capacity through new equipment and personnel. We fabricate multiple types of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe geared toward the water filtration industry that support skid builders with higher quality, longer-lasting filtration headers. We also focus on complicated assemblies to support large prefabricated projects that can ship directly to the job site, thus reducing field welds while drastically increasing cost savings for our customers.

NOVEMBER 2021 | VOL. 1 | ISSUE 3


Thermoplastic valves offer a dependable and economical way to handle corrosive chemicals in some of the harshest environments. When comparing nonmetallic valves to metal valves there are many criteria the specifier must consider, including:

  • Process pressure

  • Temperature boundaries (high & low) of material

  • Corrosion resistance

  • Abrasion resistance

  • Cost

In many cases, clients want materials for a project at the lowest cost possible. This doesn’t equate to total cost of ownership, which is the long-term value that addresses the performance and operating costs over a product’s lifespan.



There are numerous factors the design community must consider when choosing the proper material for a specific application. Some of these factors include: type of media, temperature, pressure, flow rate, environment, local codes, project cost, project schedule, and total install cost. For this article, we will focus on two thermoplastics: (1) PP-RCT and (2) special formulated PE 100 that offer numerous advantages over traditional metallic systems like copper, steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. If a thermoplastic pipe system meets the criteria of the application, why would anyone want to use a material that is heavier, corrodes, and increases the total building cost? Hopefully this article will provide an answer to this question. First, let’s take a look at how some of the materials have been used, past and present.



For over three decades, Rodney Van, an Asahi/America veteran, brings significant and unmatched experience to the thermoplastic valve, actuator and piping industry. It’s obvious he goes above and beyond in providing solutions and educating his customers on the benefits of thermoplastic valve and piping systems.

Currently as a Business Development Manager at Asahi/America, Van’s main task is educating engineers at Architecture and Engineering (A&E) firms about the many options and solutions available for water and wastewater treatment, pharmaceutical, food processing, aquaculture and metal treatment industries.




The purpose of classifications, certifications, standards, or codes is to aid an industry and its regulatory bodies with regards to safety, based on a vast accumulation of their knowledge. Organizations worldwide define their activities by providing some form of classification services. At Asahi/America, we volunteer on several industry standards and code groups including, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), American Welding Society (AWS), Plastic Pipe Institute (PPI), and Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI). If you also volunteer on any of these or other groups, let us know how we can participate further and advocate for the safety of that industry.


While typically the most common and thoroughly discussed component of any process system is the valve, one component that is equally critical, yet often misunderstood, and sometimes even overlooked is the actuator. Whether it's a simple manual valve, severe service flow control valve, or critical on/off isolation valve, engineers and suppliers spend hours discussing, specifying and designing valve packages that can withstand a multitude of factors for operation. Similarly, there are a variety of factors engineers and specifiers must consider when choosing an actuation production to automate these valves. 

There are a few factors and questions to consider when deciding whether to automate a valve. Below is a non-exhaustive list that reviews some of these important considerations.



Shane McDaniel, who recently joined Asahi/America’s business development team, is a seasoned problem solver and brings over two decades of experience in areas ranging from instrument and controls, outside sales, and aftermarket sales and service. His welcoming and outgoing personality, curiosity, and strict attention to detail is evident in all that he does.

As a business development manager for Asahi/America’s actuation products, McDaniel takes pride in “building solid, meaningful relationships with both colleagues and customers. He says he “looks to identify potential roadblocks to his customer’s success and provide them with a product or solution that moves their goal forward.”

The business development title is more than the name suggests, he explains.

MAY 2021 | VOL. 1 | ISSUE 1

In both semiconductor manufacturing and the life science industry, purified water (PW), deionized water (DI) and ultrapurified water (UPW) play critical roles in final product quality. The specification of appropriate pipe materials and joining methods is an important consideration for MEP system engineers. Specifying engineers in these disciplines already have a knowledgeable understanding of material selection, but did you know that joining methods may have a bigger impact on system performance? A specifier must strike a balance between reliability, performance, regulatory compliance and economics. Let’s take a look at joining methods, typical applications, and limitations of those methods.


Thermoplastic resins are in constant development to enhance specific characteristics that may offer value for a myriad of applications. With so many thermoplastic piping materials offered today for applications ranging from potable water to hot sulfuric acid, it’s not always clear which are best suited for particular applications. Temperature, pressure, support spacing, chemical resistance, regulation and code conformance all come into play, and must be considered.


Fortunately, there are many tools that can help MEP designers determine the proper sizing, flow rate, materials and methods of construction for the myriad plastic pipes available.


Asahi/America’s Rob Marsiglia possesses an attentiveness and animation that’s hard to ignore. It’s obvious from the first hello that he’s passionate about what he does, and that the wheels are always turning.


As a business development manager for Asahi/America products in the commercial market, he says his purpose is to “lay the groundwork for future business by educating engineers, designers and end users on the benefits of the Asahitec and Air-Pro product lines,” and his approach is very thorough. Using a combination of presentations (both in-person and online) and comparisons of Asahi products versus other materials and methods, as well as assisting with specifications, and demonstrating thermoplastic fusion technologies, Marsiglia will leave no stone unturned when it comes to assisting customers and potential clients.

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