During the rotation extrusion of polyethylene (PE) pipes, with the rotating mandrel, compressed air as a cooling medium was introduced through their interior to achieve the quick cooling of the inner wall. The experimental results showed that the hoop stress exerted by mandrel rotation could promote the molecular orientation in the hoop direction; moreover, the introduction of compressed air could quicken its inner wall's cooling rate so as to slow down the relaxation of the oriented molecule and to reserve the orientation structure. Therefore, the hoop orientation degree increased with the increasing inner wall's cooling rate. As a result, the performance of the PE pipe was greatly enhanced. The hoop tensile strength of the PE pipe produced by the novel extrusion method increased from original 24.1 MPa up to 35 MPa; the pipe's crack initiation time increased from 27 to 60 h and the crack growth rate slowed down. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 50:1743–1750, 2010. © 2010 Society of Plastics Engineers