Origins of CPVC Pipe

Harvey Wismer, founder of Harvel Plastics (now Georg Fischer Harvel LLC), helped develop the nation’s first CPVC pipe more than 55 years ago. As a leading plastic pipe manufacturer, Harvel’s broad experience with CPVC piping was instrumental to the successful introduction of BlazeMaster® CPVC pipe to the fire sprinkler industry. In fact, more than 25 years ago, Harvel was the first in the plastics industry to develop and manufacture specialty plastics for fire sprinkler applications. Many of the first tests UL performed on CPVC fire sprinkler systems employed pipe manufactured by Harvel. Since day one, Harvel (GF Harvel) has remained committed to the successful use of CPVC pipe in the fire sprinkler industry.

In the mid 1980’s, the TempRite division of the BFGoodrich Company invented and introduced BlazeMaster® CPVC compounds to a select group of pipe & fitting manufacturers (licensees) to help develop and manufacture CPVC piping products for the fire sprinkler industry. Based on GF Harvel’s experience with CPVC and commitment to quality, GF Harvel was one of the original licensees called upon to manufacture BlazeMaster pipe for the fire sprinkler industry. BFGoodrich, GF Harvel and the other two original licensees (R&G Sloane and Spears) worked together to expand listing and approvals for the product as it continued to gain market acceptance. Today, with greater acceptance and demand for the product, additional companies participate in the manufacture of CPVC fire sprinkler pipe. This has lead to some confusion concerning raw material trade names and the manufacturers of the finished piping products. As a leader in the plastic pipe industry, and the original manufacturer of CPVC pipe in the U.S., GF Harvel remains committed to producing the highest quality CPVC piping for the fire sprinkler industry – GF Harvel® BlazeMaster® CPVC fire sprinkler pipe.

Understanding Material Trade Names
GF Harvel® utilizes BlazeMaster® CPVC compounds to manufacture GF Harvel® BlazeMaster® CPVC fire sprinkler pipe. BlazeMaster® is a trade name of the raw material (CPVC compound – powder or pellets) supplied by Lubrizol Advanced Materials, Inc. (formerly Noveon, Inc., formerly the BFGoodrich Company). Lubrizol is a supplier of CPVC raw material, they do not manufacture CPVC pipe or fittings. GF Harvel is Licensed by Lubrizol to use the BlazeMaster® CPVC compound and its trade name in the manufacture of CPVC fire sprinkler pipe – hence the name GF Harvel® BlazeMaster® CPVC.

Understanding Quality
The successful acceptance of CPVC pipe for use in the fire sprinkler industry is directly related to the quality of the piping produced. It takes the experience and capabilities of a qualified plastics manufacturer to ensure consistent quality in the product manufactured. Although the raw materials utilized to manufacture the end product are important, the materials utilized are one aspect of the manufacturing process. Regardless of the raw material used, it is the capabilities of the manufacturer that determine the ultimate quality of the product produced. The physical properties of the materials utilized must be optimized during manufacturing to create a quality product. This is accomplished during the processing of the material into the finished product. Factors such as material properties, material consistency, material work, the homogeneity of the material melt, melt flow, tooling design, downstream control, and equipment utilized are examples of manufacturing variables that can influence the quality of the finished product. Other key factors include quality control, performance testing, packaging, storage, and delivery of the end product. Simply put, experience, know-how and dedication are the determining factors in providing a high quality product consistently. Ultimately it is the manufacturers’ responsibility to provide quality end products. Who better to provide plastic pipe for critical life safety systems than a qualified plastic pipe manufacturer? Georg Fischer Harvel LLC meets these qualifications – always has, always will – that’s what we do.

Understanding Listings and Approvals
To eliminate confusion in the field, GF Harvel BlazeMaster CPVC is UL and C-UL Listed for use with all other manufacturers CPVC fire sprinkler pipe manufactured from BlazeMaster CPVC compound (i.e. Tyco BlazeMaster, Viking BlazeMaster, and Ipex BlazeMaster etc.). In addition, Spears FlameGuard CPVC fire sprinkler fittings are listed for use with GF Harvel BlazeMaster CPVC pipe when installed in accordance with our installation instructions. Certain other manufactures of Listed CPVC pipe and/or fittings may have had their products cross listed for use with GF Harvel CPVC products as well – consult the appropriate manufacturer when questions arise.

CPVC piping products are required by NFPA to be Listed by UL for use in fire sprinkler applications. This Listing requires extensive testing and follow-up services to ensure it is safe for use in these applications; listed product bears the mark of the listing agency. GF Harvel CPVC fire sprinkler piping products are Listed by UL for use in wet fire sprinkler applications per NFPA 13 Light Hazard, NFPA 13R and NFPA 13D occupancies when installed in accordance with our installation instructions and appropriate NFPA requirements. This Listing includes follow-up testing and facility audits to ensure the products manufactured meet industry standards and performance requirements. GF Harvel’s design and installation manual (installation instructions) comprises a part of our UL Listing, and must be followed to ensure the highest system integrity.

Each manufacturer of CPVC pipe and/or fittings for fire sprinkler service is required to maintain their own UL Listing on the products they manufacture. The manufacturer of the product (not the raw material supplier) maintains their own listing on the product they manufacture, regardless of the trade name of the raw material used to produce their pipe and fittings. Note: Listings, approvals, and listing limitations (applications where the products can be used) may vary among manufacturers. Consult with the appropriate manufacturer regarding suitability for use should questions arise. Several manufacturers of CPVC piping products have their products cross listed for use with other manufacturers Listed CPVC products. Each manufacturer of CPVC piping products should be consulted concerning cross listing questions.