Pipe expansion is a common and widely used pipe joining method, especially for convenient cross-linked PEX-A pipe. When expanding the PEX-A pipe, a series of special tools are required to ensure the connection. This article will introduce the main tools that may be used for the expansion of the PEX-A pipeline.

Expansion process

1. Working of PEX-A Expansion

    PEX-A expansion widens the pipes and tubes. It also enlarges the sleeve. It makes both pipes and sleeves enlarged to slide in the fitting easily.The plastic sleeve slides and joins on the connection point. As we know, PEX-A has a capacity of expanding and contracting; it can shrink back to its own original size and shape around the fitting. It makes the fitting tight.

1.1 PEX-A pipe

     In European standards, there are three classifications referred to as PEX-A, -B, and -C. The classes are not related to any type of rating system. PEX-A pipe is produced using Peroxide.During the manufacturing process, free radicals are created when HDPE polymer is melted and cross-inks between molecules occur at temperatures that exceed the decomposition temperature of the polymer.



Advantages of PEX-A compared to PEX-B

  • higher flexibility and softness
  • higher degree of cross-linking
  • more resistant to burst pressure
  • eliminates the risk of flow restriction
  • kinks can be repaired with a heat gun
  • easier installation

1.2 PEX Cutter

The PEX cutter is a tool specially designed for cutting PEX-A pipes, ensuring smooth and accurate cutting.



1.3 Expansion Ring

An expansion ring is a metal ring, usually made of copper, covered with a polymer material. Once expanded, the expansion ring is securely seated on the joint or fitting and forms a tight seal with the pipe.

1.4 Caliper

Caliper is used to mark the expansion size and depth of PEX-A pipe. Before performing the expansion, mark the pipe with caliper to ensure that the expansion size meets the requirements and ensure the reliability of the connection. Some PEX expansion tools may already come with a measurement marker feature, or you can purchase a measurement marker tool separately.



1.5 PEX Expansion Tool

The PEX expansion tool is usually operated by hand or power and are designed to accommodate pipe fittings by expanding the diameter of the pipe. The corresponding expansion head can be selected according to the diameter of the pipe.


1.6 Expansion Head

The expansion head is an accessory of the PEX expansion tool, which is used to adapt PEX-A pipes of different diameters. When choosing an expansion head, make sure to choose the head that matches the pipe specification to ensure the accuracy of the expansion process. There are usually three sizes of 1/2 inch, 3/4 inch, and 1 inch.



2. Advantages and Disadvantages of PEX Expansion

    We know that this expansion causes flexibility. It can cause a change in direction and lessens the links ad connection number. This flexibility expands and shrinks the tubes to their original shape. In this way, it resists the damage of frozen water in the tubes and pipes.The fitting process is easy and fast. It also reduces the leakage points and also avoids corrosion. It is more durable than copper or brass.But it also has some disadvantages. Pests and chemicals can damage PEX-A expansion. It does not occur in areas where the temperature is high. It is sensitive to the radiations coming from the sun to the Earth. As pex is partially permeable, water can easily enter the pipe.

3. Final thought

    The PEX-A pipe expansion tools ensure the successful and safe pipe connection. When performing expansion work, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and directions for use closely. Proper tools and correct operation are the key to ensure the quality of PEX-A pipe connection. Using professional PEX expansion tools will help improve work efficiency, reduce connection problems, and ensure long-term stable operation of the system.