A recent survey of key customers of drainage pipe has found that concrete pipe rates highest, by a wide margin, on several important criteria.

Specifiers, departments of transportation, public agency officials, and consultants rated concrete pipe best among all pipe products on several key criteria. These include most durable (87 percent), easiest to design or specify (62 percent), least flammable (84 percent), least installation inspection required (55 percent), least installation sensitive (62 percent), and "greenest" (34 percent).

When asked, "If price were not an issue, which pipe would you specify," 85 percent chose concrete. Just 9 percent preferred high density polyethylene (HDPE).

Contractors were asked to rate the various pipe options on three key criteria. Concrete pipe was their overwhelming choice based on longest service life (59 percent versus 16 percent for second-ranked HDPE) and least installation sensitive/least dependent on backfi ll (66 percent versus 12 percent for HDPE). Polyvinyl chloride (44 percent) ranked highest for ease of installation.

"The results confirm what we have known for decades–that concrete pipe is a superior drainage product on the most important criteria such as durability, ease of design, and service life expectancy," says Matt Childs, president of the American Concrete Pipe Association (ACPA). "As with anything, there are always cheaper alternatives. But what might seem less expensive in the short term, costs you more in the long run when you have to repair or replace it sooner than you expected."

More than 400 respondents completed the survey, which was distributed in November 2011 to industry professionals by ACPA. For more information, visit www.concrete-pipe.org.

The following products will be of interest to precast concrete producers.

T form is easy to set up, strip

The Horizontal Pour T Form is easy to set up and strip with collapsible cores for both the pipe and manhole sections, and a tapered end section which helps alignment during set up. Built for durability and long life, the form features pantographed reinforcing supports that assure jacket shape and heavy-duty door hinges. Other features include a standard riser shovel plate, groove forming header closed with lift eyes, and end fork truck pockets. Besser. 800- 530-9991. www.besser.com

Rebar bending angle control

The company's rebar bending equipment is now available with a new programmable angle control option. The simple-to-operate plug-in pendant controller holds up to six programmable angles in memory and automatically sequences through them as the shape is being formed. Spring-back compensation is adjustable in 1-degree increments. A running counter keeps track of finished parts. Fascut Industries. 608-643-6678. www.fascut.com 

Customized precast wall panels

The Xi Plus product line of insulated precast concrete wall panels is custom-made for each project. The panels feature superior strength and insulation for creating dry, warm, and energy-efficient foundations. Features include 5000-plus PSI concrete reinforced with rebar and polypropylene fibers, four precast and insulated access holes in each standard stud to provide greater ease in wiring and plumbing, and horizontal steel rebar inside top and bottom beams. Superior Walls.800-452-9225 www.superiorwalls.com

Double-beam mobile gantry crane

The new DB crane series provides safe and quick picks, and minimizes costly maintenance and downtime. Value-added options include Wireless Remote Control, Automatic Variable Throttle, Wireless Load Read-Out, All Wheel Electronic Steering, and the Auxiliary Power Hoist System. Shuttlelift. 920-743- 8650. www.shuttlelift.com