Considering Chemical Resistance When Selecting a Pipe Plug

Considering the chemical resistance is one of the main criteria for selecting the correct Pipe Plug. We are usually considering water and wastewater applications while talking about inflatable Plugs. However, PlugCo Pipe Stoppers can be used in different applications other than sealing or testing a gravity, sewage, or drainage pipeline. We can use them to seal and block petroleum, gas, oil, and hydrocarbons pipelines as well. Thus, taking into account the chemical resistance while choosing the Pipe Balloon is primordial.

What Is the Chemical Resistance of Different Rubbers for Plugs?

PlugCo manufactures diverse models suitable for different applications. There are two primary types: Pipe Plug Models (PP) and Hydrocarbons Plug Model (GP). The difference between these two models is the type of rubber.

Pipe Plug Models (PP) are used for sealing/blocking, testing, or even bypassing and diverting the water or sewer flow. They are made of a mix of SBR (Styrene-butadiene) and NR (Natural) rubbers reinforced by nylon cord, Kevlar cord, and other strong fabrics.

Hydrocarbons Plug Models (GP) are made of Nitrile Rubber, which has a high resistance against petroleum, gas, oil, other hydrocarbons and chemicals.

Plugs Failure Due to the Effect of Chemicals

Using the PP Model, for example, in an oil pipeline will damage the Pipe Plug, which may burst and result in injuries or even death. One of our customers in UAE purchased the PP Model for his sewage pipelines, but he used them later for an oil pipeline, which damaged the Plugs as shown in the following photo. The lateral cracks obviously seen are due to the aggressive structure of oil. Our customer was lucky in this case, as only the Plugs had been damaged. Otherwise, they could have been burst and resulted in serious bodily injuries or worse.


The only difference between the PP Model and Hydrocarbons Plug Model is the type of Rubber. That’s why the end user should always check the Pipe Plug’s rubber resistance against different chemicals. PlugCo products are mainly divided into three categories in terms of raw material; NBR (Nitrile) for Hydrocarbons Plugs, CR (Neoprene) for Conical Plugs and SBR-NR mixed rubber for other Models.

What’s the Best Plug for My Application?

PlugCo Engineers always work on providing the most suitable product for their customers. So, do not hesitate to contact us for any inquiries about Pipe Plugs, Joint Testers, or Flexible Packers, even if you think your application is outside of the standard range for these products. Our Engineers will do their utmost to select the correct model for your application.