Rigid PVC Continues to Dominate Plastic Conduit Demand

Demand for plastic conduit is forecast to increase 3.0% annually through 2024, reaching $1.4 billion. Rigid PVC continues to dominate plastic conduit demand, but flexible HDPE conduit has seen increasing use.

PVC conduit is primarily used in residences and will account for the majority of demand gains going forward. It can be installed in both above- and below-ground applications, depending on what is permitted by local building codes. PVC competes with HDPE in commercial and underground applications such as telecommunication conduit.

  • HDPE will also see healthy growth through 2024, due to growing interest in its flexibility, which offers a number of advantages including:
  • reduced likelihood of damage that could impair wiring or cables
  • less costly shipments to jobsites compared to PVC, as HDPE can be wound onto reels several thousand feet long
  • no need for manufactured bends
  • trenching and direct plow installation
  • suitability for installation into existing main pathways (e.g., sliplining, conduit pulling, and pipe bursting)
  • amenability to directional boring, which can breach obstacles like highways or rivers

Corrugated HDPE conduit is especially attractive in areas with shifting soils, rocky terrain, or seismic activity due to its flexibility.

Conduit made from other resins, such as fiberglass, polypropylene, and nylon, accounted for a small share of plastic conduit demand in 2019. In most cases, the higher cost of these resins compared to PVC and HDPE limits their use to all but a few specialty applications.

Conduit Pipe, published January 2021, analyzes the US conduit pipe industry. Historical data (2009, 2014, and 2019) and forecasts for the years 2024 and 2029 are provided for competitive pipe materials.