Polyethylene (PE) pipes have been increasingly used in the water distribution industry in the last decades. Major advantages of this kind of material over its competitors (e.g. cast iron or PVC pipes) include flexibility, low costs and ease of installation. Despite of its popularity, PE pipes, which are expected to present service lives of about 50 years after installation [
], suffer from premature failures by fracture due to time-dependent deformation (creep). These failures lead to both environmental and economic (water loss and maintenance) costs.