What is reinforced concrete pipe?

Posted on March 22, 2022

Reinforced concrete pipe is a vital part of the utility infrastructure in cities, towns, and agricultural areas. A reinforced concrete pipe (RCP) offers distinct advantages and a range of uses compared with alternative products.

What is reinforced concrete pipe? Find out what RCP pipe is made of, where it’s used, and why it’s so popular compared with other sewer and irrigation materials. 

What is reinforced concrete pipe?

A reinforced concrete pipe is designed to be durable, sustainable, and effective for up to 100 years. These precast concrete pipes are made using the following materials:

  • Cementitious materials
  • Aggregates
  • Steel to create reinforced concrete pipes

The specific aggregates and cementitious materials used can vary, as many RCP pipe manufacturers source materials locally. Once reinforced, the concrete pipe lengths can be used in agricultural or municipal projects without concerns of disruptive events or external stressors that would damage other pipe products.

High-density polyethylene and other building materials are also used for storm sewers or sanitary sewer systems. While plastic piping may offer a lower initial cost, the low structural strength, rigidity, and load-carrying capacity make high-density polyethylene a less reliable option for long-term installations.

Where is reinforced concrete pipe used?

From storm drains to sewer systems, RCP pipe is used in a range of situations. Concrete pipes have been used since the times of ancient Rome, and some reinforced concrete pipe is still in use thousands of years later.

But what is RCP pipe used for? Take a look at these examples of RCP pipes in action:

  • Concrete culvert: RCP pipe allows a river or drainage ditch to continue to flow under a bridge. And thanks to reinforced concrete culvert technology, you can also build a railway line or road that doesn’t create storm drain issues or require extensive maintenance
  • Sewer pipe: Safely channel the contents of municipal sewer systems with RCP pipes. Sewer pipes created using the appropriate reinforced concrete pipe dimensions are capable of operating for at least 100 years. RCP pipe holds up to corrosion and other environmental effects better than other sewer pipe materials. 
  • Stormwater drain: Storm drains constructed with RCP pipes allow rainfall runoff and other potential water issues to safely drain away from city streets, parks, and other municipal areas.
  • Irrigation: Unlike a storm drain, an irrigation system uses reinforced concrete pipe to channel water to fields, greenhouses, and other agricultural locations.

Why is reinforced concrete pipe used?

There are many reasons to choose RCP pipe for your next application. Here’s a quick look at why RCP pipes are practical alternatives to high-density polyethylene:

  • Reduced maintenance requirements: Quality RCP pipe from a leading manufacturer meets ASTM and AASHTO industry standards. This means a reinforced culvert or concrete sewer pipe can last 100 years or more with professional installation.
  • Non-flammable design: Unlike other pipe choices, RCP pipes won’t burn, melt, or collapse when exposed to fire or high temperatures. Non-flammable RCP pipe is less likely to need repairs after a fire or other incident.
  • Affordable long-term investment: The total long-term cost of reinforced concrete pipe means that the overall value is higher than competitor products, which is a significant reason to choose RCP pipe for municipal projects.
  • Environmentally friendly option: RCP pipes use both natural and recycled products that are produced locally. Ask your RCP pipe supplier about the particular materials used in your products to see how you can reduce the environmental impact of a new installation or sewer pipe repair project.
  • Improved joint and hydraulic performance: Thanks to the reinforced concrete pipe dimensions and mass, these rigid pipes offer soil- and water-tight joints and improved hydraulic performance. RCP pipes outperform plastic pipes and alternative materials in both of these features.
  • Streamlined installation: Rigid, pre-formed RCP pipes are easier to install than alternative products. The durable RCP pipe joints reduce the assembly steps and installation challenges related to line and grade. Reinforced concrete pipe joints use single offset, tongue-and-groove, and confined designs for an efficient, secure fit.

Where can you find reinforced concrete pipe?

Before installing RCP for your next project, be sure to source it from a leading industry provider. While it’s produced around the world, local RCP pipe may be more affordable and allow for more convenient deliveries.

Consider AmeriTex Pipe & Products for reinforced concrete pipe that meets federal, state, local, ASTM, and AASHTO standards and specifications. AmeriTex plants in Conroe, Seguin, and Gunter, TX, proudly use local materials and labor to construct RCP pipes.

Where can you learn more about reinforced concrete pipe?

What is reinforced concrete pipe? Find out more about this product and connect with reinforced concrete pipe suppliers near me. Contact AmeriTex Pipe & Products to schedule a consultation or learn more about RCP pipe specifications, applications, and benefits.