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Who Makes Porous Plastic Pipe?


Many years ago I became acquainted with porous PVC or polypropylene pipe that was useful for air agitation piping in plating and rinse tanks because it eliminated the need for drilling holes in the pipe. My article in the Metal Finishing Guidebook about "Solution Agitation and Rinsing" makes reference to the availability of this material. This has come back to haunt me because people keep asking me where to get it, and I no longer know of a source :-(

So, is anyone familiar with porous plastic pipe and who supplies it?

Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey



Yes, a porous plastic pipe does exist, made from PVC and not, I think, from PP. This is something I've never used but apparently THIS is the way to go if you are in the Oyster business. I may be wrong (am often wrong, says my wife) but I believe that this piping originated in Japan. Oyster breeders use it because being 'porous', marine life attaches itself to it quite easily unlike regular PVC pipe. Once marine life is 'aboard', then (but don't ask me why) the oyster seedlings (?) adhere to it. Then they grow. Then they get pulled up and ergo, a PEARL, perhaps. Where to get it? Certainly not from the regular plastic supply houses. Try a boat chandler ... or ask your favourite oyster Company or a hatchery. In Canada I'd go to the Dept. of Fisheries to find out or to the Hatchery Association.

Regarding useage for air agitation, wouldn't you need a helluva pressure? If you want to achieve micro sized air bubbles (I did this for a R & D project at RCA Victor in Montreal back in '65) there is one really super way. This demo unit had a TV front glass that clouded up with these little bubbles and pleased RCA very much. Also easy to make. EXAMPLE: Let's say we can use 1" dia PVC. Ah! At the beginning of the spray pipe, at the very end and at say 3 ft intervals, make some 1/2" to 1" thick rings @ 2" or so in diameter. The pipe itself could have a few fairly large holes in in BUT at the far end go to 3/8" dia. Why? Because when you start up the air, there will be a tendency NOT to force air out of all the farthest holes. Having done that, get some cloth. Say a boat TERYLENE sail cloth (Polyethylene terephalate, I think it's properly called) from a chandler if you want some longevity. If you don't, use a shirt! Wrap the cloth over the 2" dia rings. Tie it down tightly. (an expert welder might be able to weld through the cloth to achieve this!). When you turn on the air under the water, the cloth will 'expand' and you will get superb distribution and clouds of super fine bubbles. This will achieve a very, very fast reaction versus normal agitation due to the enormous available surface area vis-a-vie regular agitation.

I hope this is of some interest. CHEERS !

freeman newton portrait
Freeman Newton [deceased]
(It is our sad duty to advise that Freeman passed away
April 21, 2012. R.I.P. old friend).

Hi Ted,

There are a number of companies in USA making porous tubes. These micro-porous tubes can be made of several plastics, including PVC, PP and Teflon. For anodizing, PP porous tubes are pretty good and not too expensive. People should specify both pore size and tube dimension when they order the porous tubes. Porex Porous Products Group is one of them. However, porous tubing air agitation often causes problems with over foaming if organic additives are added to anodizing bath. People should be aware of its disadvantages when taking advantage of it.

Good luck.

Ling Hao
- Grand Rapids, Michigan

Porous Plastic Pipe is available from Atlantic Screen & Manufacturing, Inc., Milton, De. Hope this helps.

Todd J. Syska
- Clinton Corners, New York

We have been making high quality porous pipe for irrigation and aeration since 1989. It is appropriate for aquaculture, wastewater treatment, etc. It is also used for mixing/sparging.

Mike Kelley
Precision Porous Pipe - McKenzie, Tennessee


July 5, 2008

October 22, 2008

Sir, indeed micro porous pipe is available through ourselves, representing Approtech Porous Pipe, which is a micro porous pipe made from recycled rubber with an estimated life span of 50 years plus.

It is fabricated from typically waste rubber and polymers to create such a life span and has uses from sub surface irrigation, to aeration for fish, prawn and oyster tanks/farms.

Thank you.

Stewart Sibley
- Seka, Thailand

Hi Ted,

You should also consider the UHMWPE material as an option. This engineering plastic material has very high melt viscosity, and in actual terms doesn't get melted. This is the very important property to maintain the actual pore size and porosity in the porous pipes.
UHMWPE also has very high chemical resistance, highest impact and abrasion resistance among all thermoplastics available. You can achieve pore size varying from 5 microns to 100 microns, giving effective filtration.

Rajesh Bhor
- Mumbai, India
May 7, 2009

We have had some success with rubber soaker hose. I believe it's made from recycled tires. Not perfect for all chemistries, but cheap and available. When used with air it wants to float. We put a small stainless rod inside and it stays down.

Brian Ward
- Compton, California
August 26, 2010

August 30, 2010

Thanks for the good ideas, everyone!


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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