Manufacturing Process of PEX Pipe

Introduction to PEX Pipe Manufacturing

PEX (Cross-linked Polyethylene) pipe is a versatile plastic tubing widely used in plumbing, heating, and hydronic distribution systems. The manufacturing process of PEX pipe involves several steps to ensure its quality, durability, and performance. Understanding the manufacturing process provides insight into the features and benefits of PEX pipes.

Extrusion of PEX Material

1. Polymer Resin Selection:

The manufacturing process starts with selecting high-quality polyethylene resin. The resin choice relies on its molecular structure and properties to guarantee the final PEX pipes product meets industry standards and specifications.

2. Polymer Cross-linking:

The selected polyethylene resin undergoes a cross-linking process to enhance its strength, flexibility, and resistance to temperature and chemicals. Cross-linking methods include physical or chemical processes, such as peroxide or electron beam irradiation.

3. Extrusion Process:

After cross-linking, the resin enters an extrusion machine with a cylindrical screw. The resin undergoes heating and pressurization, melting and flowing through a die to form a continuous tube. This extrusion process shapes the PEX pipes into its cylindrical form with uniform dimensions.

4. Cooling and Sizing:

As the molten PEX material exits the die, it passes through a cooling chamber or water bath to solidify and stabilize its shape. After cooling, the PEX pipes is passed through sizing tools to ensure precise dimensions and smooth surfaces.

Cross-linking Methods for PEX Pipes

1. Peroxide Cross-linking:

In this method, a small amount of peroxide is mixed with the polyethylene resin before extrusion. When exposed to heat, the peroxide decomposes, forming free radicals that initiate cross-linking reactions between polymer chains.

2. Electron Beam Cross-linking:

Electron beam irradiation is another method employed to cross-link PEX material. This process involves directing high-energy electrons at the polymer resin, which breaks molecular bonds and allows them to recombine into a cross-linked structure.

3. Silane Grafting:

Silane grafting involves the use of silane compounds that react with the polyethylene molecules to create cross-links. This method is often used in PEX-Aluminum-PEX composite pipes, where an aluminum layer is sandwiched between two layers of cross-linked polyethylene.

Quality Control and Testing

1. Dimensional Accuracy:

PEX pipes undergo rigorous quality control measures to ensure dimensional accuracy and consistency.

2. Cross-linking Density:

Quality testing evaluates the degree of cross-linking in the PEX material. Techniques like gel content analysis and infrared spectroscopy measure cross-linking density, ensuring ideal mechanical properties.

3. Hydrostatic Pressure Testing:

To evaluate the strength and leak resistance of PEX pipes, they undergo hydrostatic pressure testing. Water is pressurized within the pipes to a predetermined level, and any leaks or defects are identified through visual inspection or automated monitoring systems.


The manufacturing process of PEX pipe involves extrusion of cross-linked polyethylene resin, followed by cooling, sizing, and quality testing. Various cross-linking methods, including peroxide, electron beam, and silane grafting, are used to enhance the material’s properties. Strict quality control measures ensure that PEX pipes meet industry standards for dimensional accuracy, cross-linking density, and performance characteristics.


IFAN is a professional manufacturer with 30 years of experience, dedicated to producing high-quality plastic pipes, fittings, and valves. Our products include brass valves, PPR valves, as well as various pipes and fittings to meet different customer needs. Whether you need plumbing and drainage pipes or valve products, IFAN can provide a diverse range of high-quality, cost-effective products to support your projects. Below is our contact information.

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