The qualities of polyethylene pipe are piquing the interest more civil engineers of potable water systems in Canada And America.
The telecommunications and utility industries have long used PEX-AL-PEX pipe to guard fiber optic cables and deliver natural gas, but utilisation of the material for water systems continues to be trickling slowly toward acceptance in some places.
In Michigan, L . A .-based JM Eagle’s offer to exchange all lead service lines (LSLs) in Flint, where toxic levels of lead leached from damaged pipes, with free PE pipe prompted not simply a study of three types of pipe materials – PE, cross-linked PE (PEX) and copper – but a lunch-and-learn session about PE pipe with engineers.
Dustin Langston, an engineer at WL Plastics Corp., which can be situated in Fort Worth, Texas, said inside a telephone interview that his presentation went within the allotted hour without having objections.
“The information was taken well; that they had plenty of great questions. It had been an extremely productive meeting,” he stated.
With estimated annual sales of $2.45 billion and yearly pipe sales of $340 million, respectively, JM Eagle and WL Plastics are the first- and 11th-ranked manufacturers of plastic pipe, profiles and tubing in The United States, as outlined by Plastics News’ latest ranking. Their overall PE pipe sales are down during the last year because of a 40 % drop in demand in the oil and gas gathering industry, based on the Plastics Pipe Institute (PPI), a trade association situated in Dallas. However, potable applications show big promise as United states cities look to find the lead out of their systems making some $1 trillion of upgrades over the next 25 years.
Langston said about 15 people attended the meeting with the Flint office of Rowe Professional Services and some others Skyped in. Rowe handled engineering work with Flint until June 30 – the area intends to hire a staff engineer now – however the firm will probably be solicited for future work, the metropolis said inside a statement.
The presentation dedicated to high density PE pipe and installation methods. Rowe’s engineers’ main knowledge about HDPE currently is utilizing it for horizontal directional drilling (HDD) under rivers, Langston said, adding he got a great deal of wide eyes when he described cellular phone means of pipe bursting. Several attendees had heard about the technology before.
A trenchless method for replacing buried pipelines, pipe bursting was employed in the 1970s in england. The process involves digging roughly 3-foot-by-3-foot entry and exit pits through the house and street, the location where the service line meets the distribution line or water main. A cone-shaped drilling head having a slightly larger diameter in comparison to the old pipe is inserted into an opening. The leading end from the bursting head is mounted on a pulling cable and the back end is connected to HDPE pipe fittings. As the bursting head is pulled through, it breaks the existing pipe into pieces and simultaneously expands the diameter from the cavity for the new pipe.
That old pipe pieces just stay in the earth. Experienced crews can replace 3 or 4 service lines a day at 75 percent of the price of cut-and-bury installation methods, Langston said.
“You take 25 percent away from the price,” he added. “You don’t need to dig up people’s lawns or sign up for people’s driveways. You save cash on needing to replace those ideas and you’re not disturbing the community. In civil engineering, there’s a brand new aspect that’s rarely taken into account and that’s social interference. We always focus on cost but what isn’t measurable cost wise are the calls and complaints to city offices about construction, noise, debris and dug-up yards. Several things are suddenly avoided using trenchless technologies.”
Livonia, Mich., used HDPE pipe from Charter Plastics Inc., which is the No. 77 ranked PPT extruder, to exchange 27,000 feet of cracking, leaking iron pipes from April through October 2008. The Titusville, Pa.-based company has estimated sales of $35 million each year.
Livonia reportedly saved $200,000 on Charter’s pipe material alone compared to ductile iron then used pipe bursting to install it. Todd Zilinick, Livonia’s chief engineer, still tells his colleagues in regards to the social and environmental great things about PE pipe.
“One of the greatest benefits of high density polyethylene pipe is it’s easy to install, it’s less disruptive … plus it saves trees,” Zilincik said in a May 2016 testimonial to the Alliance for PE Pipe, which happens to be operating out of Tulsa, Okla., and promotes the application of HDPE pipe for municipal water systems within the U.S. and Canada as “the responsible infrastructure choice.”
HDPE pipe is joined by heat fusing above grade, which essentially generates a single pipeline without any leaks that could be miles long.
“It’s completely welded together,” Langston said. “It won’t leak, corrode or rust and it’s durable using a 100-year service life. It’s also completely inert. Nothing leaches out from polyethylene pipe. Should you examine all of the food packaging, whether it is milk, soda, water bottles or food, the fantastic most of which is PE.”
Plastics Pipe Institute PE pipe has about 10 % of the municipal water market, according to estimates.
PPI President Tony Radoszewski isn’t surprised cellular phone procedures for HDPE pipe got lots of attention on the lunch-and-learn.
“There’s an incredible story for the plastic pipe – polyolefin type pipes like polyethylene – with regards to trenchless installation,” he was quoted saying within a telephone interview. “What it might do regarding cost benefits is an important deal.”
Together with pipe bursting, smaller-diameter HDPE pipe enables you to replace existing pipes by using a technique called slip lining.
“You don’t burst the previous pipe; you make use of it a host pipe,” Radoszewski said.
Then, there’s HDD for installing completely new lines of pipe. A drilling head is sent down an entry pit in an angle and leveled out to get a distance. It comes down back with an exit pit pulling new pipe behind it.
While telecom uses remain the single largest market for HDD with a 24.1 percent market share, water uses are on the rise, increasing from 19.5 percent of HDD applications in 2015 to some projected 19.9 percent this season, in line with the 18th annual Underground Construction HDD Survey released in June. Gas distribution is yet another strong HDD market with 18 percent share.
HDPE is still the No. 1 pipe materials used for HDD with a whopping 49.9 percent market share in comparison with 22.3 percent for PVC, 14.2 percent for steel pipe and 9.1 percent for ductile iron, the survey also says.
Flint is looking to replace approximately 5,000 LSLs and 10,000 galvanized steel lines, which corrode by leaving nooks where lead can settle, with copper. The current pipes were damaged when lead leached in the system once the source of water was switched from Lake Huron for the caustic Flint River without incorporating any anti-corrosive agents.
Estimates to mend Flint’s water system using traditional copper pipe cover anything from the city’s estimate of $55 million to $80 million and a lot more by others. Bids to switch LSLs at 500 homes that are seen as the highest risk for lead exposure arrived in “extremely high,” Mayor Karen Weaver said. The city was expecting the cost to get about $4,000 per house. No bids were awarded in that round and after follow-up meetings the city plans to go on with just work at 250 houses by two contractors.
“I believe the bids arrived in at least 50 % higher at $6,000 a property,” Langston said. “Copper may be the only material they’re allowing to spec now for service lines and ductile iron for distribution lines. Not just is copper pipe for service lines 4x the price of polyethylene pipe, however, you have very extreme techniques for getting that copper pipe in the earth and that’s cut and bury, which entails digging up yards and streets.”
A minumum of one Michigan lawmaker has publicly questioned why Flint doesn’t accept the “generous offer” from JM Eagle.
Nationwide, it can cost $1 trillion across the next 25 years to repair existing water systems that are reaching the ends in their useful lives and also to serve growing populations, in accordance with the American Water Works Association.
The precise makeup of your buried water pipes isn’t known. Returning to the 1870s, the rollout of varied pipe materials has evolved from cast iron, to cement-lined cast iron to asbestos cement then from the 1950s-60s ductile iron, PVC and PE.
Globally, the plastic pipe marketplace is forecast to boost in a compounded annual growth rate of 6.8 percent to 2020, based on a March 2016 market report by Lucintel, a researching the market firm located in Dallas.
The HDPE pipe market in America enjoyed a sales worth of about $5.54 billion in 2015 with JM Eagle holding about 18.48 percent of sales, according to Acute Market Reports. Along with h2o, HDPE pipes carry wastewater, slurries, chemicals, hazardous waste and compressed gases.
Other PE pipe potable players include Performance Pipe of Plano, Texas; Dura-Line Corp. of Knoxville, Tenn.; and Pipeline Plastics LLC of Westlake, Texas. The firms rank seventh, eighth and 43rd, respectively, in Plastics News’ latest ranking.
While PE may be the No. 1 pipe materials used in water systems in Europe, it can be still making inroads in america. Langston estimates that PE pipe has 10 percent of dexqpky02 municipal market for both water and sewer applications. PVC has most of the plastic pipe market share.
“We’re 10 percent nationwide but when you go to states like California we’re 50 % because HDPE pipe is definitely the only material that is certainly earthquake and ground-movement resistant,” Langston said. “A study by Cornell University performed on 16-inch pipe showed you might have 4 feet of lateral shift as well as the pipelines won’t yield. It stays intact.”
Freeze-thaw cycles in northern states like Michigan and drought conditions in Texas also result in the ground to go, making PE pipe an excellent choice, Langston said.
“It doesn’t matter where you reside in the country, you’re likely to have ground movement,” he added. “When you peer at pipe failures, the key reason for the is bell-and-spigot separation. The pipe pulls apart. But if you have a fused, welded system, like polyethylene, the pipe just moves together with the ground. You will find no problems.”
Florida is an additional big market for PEX-AL-PEX pipe as a replacement material for corroded metal pipes, Langston said.
Elsewhere, material acceptance can appear like a slog. You can find mayors, council members, administrators, engineering firms and public works employees that require to get in the switch to PE.
“We are constantly going all over the country discussing PE pipe,” Langston said. “The interest is exceedingly amazing however the change process is slow.”