CSST Seismic Safety

In the January 1994 earthquake in Northridge, California, it was reported that there were at least 50 gas-related fires in structures above ground, where rigid pipe had been the predominant gas piping material for decades. In the 1995 Kobe earthquake in Japan, where flexible gas piping had been in general use for more than 25 years, there were a negligible number of gas leaks reported in CSST piping systems compared to those reported in threaded rigid pipe. In the larger cities in Japan, CSST is now mandatory for house gas piping.

In April 2012, engineers at the University of California San Diego conducted seismic testing using mock up of a 5 story hospital, including intensive care unit, surgery suite, piping, air conditioning and fire barriers, to evaluate reaction of various building systems to sever earthquakes modeled on the 1994 Northridge earthquake.  Included in the hospital building was 2 lines of gas piping; one made of rigid gas piping and the other made of CounterStrike CSST.  There were 103 junctions in the rigid pipe system, but only 22 junctions for the CounterStrike CSST system.  During the seismic testing, the CounterStrike CSST withstood the highest levels of seismic movement without any damage, while the rigid black steel pipe easily fractured.  See the attached case study for additional details.