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 HDPE pipe fittings to guard fiber optic cables and deliver natural gas, but utilisation of the material for water to drink systems remains trickling slowly toward acceptance in certain places.
In Michigan, La-based JM Eagle’s offer to exchange all lead service lines (LSLs) in Flint, where toxic quantities of lead leached from damaged pipes, with free PE pipe prompted not just 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., that is located in Fort Worth, Texas, said in a telephone interview that his presentation went on the allotted hour with no objections.
“The information was taken well; they had a lot of great questions. It was an extremely productive meeting,” he said.
With estimated annual sales of $2.45 billion and yearly pipe sales of $340 million, respectively, JM Eagle and WL Plastics are the initial- and 11th-ranked manufacturers of plastic pipe, profiles and tubing in Canada And America, in accordance with Plastics News’ latest ranking. Their overall PE pipe sales are down over the last year because of a forty percent drop needed from 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 obtain the lead from their systems and then make 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 a handful of others Skyped in. Rowe handled engineering work for Flint until June 30 – the city intends to work with a staff engineer now – however the firm will likely be solicited for future work, the area said within a statement.
The presentation dedicated to high density PE pipe and installation methods. Rowe’s engineers’ main experience with HDPE so far is utilizing it for horizontal directional drilling (HDD) under rivers, Langston said, adding he got lots of wide eyes as he talked about cellular phone approach to pipe bursting. Few of the attendees had heard about the technology before.
A trenchless way of replacing buried pipelines, pipe bursting was first found in the 1970s in the United Kingdom. The method involves digging roughly 3-foot-by-3-foot entry and exit pits by the house and street, the location where the service line meets the distribution line or water main. A cone-shaped drilling head by using a slightly larger diameter than the old pipe is inserted into an opening. The front end in the bursting head is connected to a pulling cable as well as the back end is associated with HDPE pipe fittings. Since the bursting head is pulled through, it breaks existing pipe into pieces and simultaneously expands the diameter from the cavity for your new pipe.
That old pipe pieces just stay in the earth. Experienced crews can replace three to four service lines every day at 75 percent of the expense of cut-and-bury installation methods, Langston said.
“You take 25 percent off the price,” he added. “You don’t need to dig up people’s lawns or obtain people’s driveways. You save money on having to replace those ideas and you’re not disturbing the neighborhood. In civil engineering, there’s a whole new aspect that’s rarely made up and that’s social interference. We always talk about cost but what isn’t measurable cost wise are definitely the calls and complaints to city offices about construction, noise, debris and dug-up yards. Lots of 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 switch 27,000 feet of cracking, leaking iron pipes from April through October 2008. The Titusville, Pa.-based company has estimated sales of $35 million per year.
Livonia reportedly saved $200,000 on Charter’s pipe material alone when compared with ductile iron after which used pipe bursting to set up it. Todd Zilinick, Livonia’s chief engineer, still tells his colleagues regarding the social and environmental advantages of PE pipe.
“One of the greatest advantages of high density polyethylene pipe is it’s an easy task to install, it’s less disruptive … plus it saves trees,” Zilincik said within a May 2016 testimonial to the Alliance for PE Pipe, that is operating out of Tulsa, Okla., and promotes using HDPE pipe for municipal water systems in 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 free from leaks that could be miles long.
“It’s completely welded together,” Langston said. “It won’t leak, corrode or rust and it’s durable with a 100-year service life. It’s also completely inert. Nothing leaches away from polyethylene pipe. Should you take a look at all the food packaging, whether it be milk, soda, water bottles or food, the excellent largest part of which is PE.”
Plastics Pipe Institute PE pipe has about 10 % from the municipal water market, according to estimates.
PPI President Tony Radoszewski isn’t surprised the installation methods for HDPE pipe got lots of attention with the lunch-and-learn.
“There’s an excellent story for the plastic pipe – polyolefin type pipes like polyethylene – when it comes to trenchless installation,” he explained in the telephone interview. “What it might do when it comes to cost savings is an important deal.”
In addition to pipe bursting, smaller-diameter HDPE pipe can be used to replace existing pipes with a technique called slip lining.
“You don’t burst that old pipe; you make use of it a host pipe,” Radoszewski said.
Then, there’s HDD for installing brand-new lines of pipe. A drilling head is sent down an entry pit at an angle and leveled out for any distance. It appears backup through an exit pit pulling new pipe behind it.
While telecom uses remain the one largest marketplace for HDD having a 24.1 percent market share, water uses are increasing, increasing from 19.5 percent of HDD applications in 2015 into a projected 19.9 percent this season, in line with the 18th annual Underground Construction HDD Survey released in June. Gas distribution is another strong HDD market with 18 percent share.
HDPE has become the No. 1 pipe materials for HDD using a whopping 49.9 percent market share compared to 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 exchange an estimated 5,000 LSLs and 10,000 galvanized steel lines, which corrode and leave nooks where lead can settle, with copper. The existing pipes were damaged when lead leached in the system after the supply of water was switched from Lake Huron to the caustic Flint River without the addition of any anti-corrosive agents.
Estimates to mend Flint’s water system using traditional copper pipe range from the city’s estimate of $55 million to $80 million and much more by others. Bids to change LSLs at 500 homes that are considered the highest risk for lead exposure started in “extremely high,” Mayor Karen Weaver said. The town was expecting the price to be about $4,000 per house. No bids were awarded because round and after follow-up meetings the city offers to go ahead with work at 250 houses by two contractors.
“I believe the bids arrived no less than one half higher at $6,000 a home,” Langston said. “Copper is the only material they’re allowing to spec now for service lines and ductile iron for distribution lines. Not simply is copper pipe for service lines four times the cost of polyethylene pipe, nevertheless, you have very extreme methods for getting that copper pipe in the ground and that’s cut and bury, which entails digging up yards and streets.”
One or more Michigan lawmaker has publicly questioned why Flint doesn’t accept the “generous offer” from JM Eagle.
Nationwide, it is going to cost $1 trillion within the next twenty five years to mend existing h2o systems which are reaching the ends in their useful lives as well as to serve growing populations, in accordance with the American Water Works Association.
The actual makeup in the buried water pipes isn’t known. Returning to the 1870s, the rollout of varied pipe materials has changed from cast iron, to cement-lined cast iron to asbestos cement then inside the 1950s-60s ductile iron, PVC and PE.
Globally, the plastic pipe industry is forecast to boost at the compounded annual growth rate of 6.8 percent to 2020, as outlined by a March 2016 market report by Lucintel, a consumer research firm situated in Dallas.
The HDPE pipe market in Canada And America possessed a sales importance of about $5.54 billion in 2015 with JM Eagle holding about 18.48 percent of sales, in accordance with Acute Market Reports. In addition to water, 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 businesses rank seventh, eighth and 43rd, respectively, in Plastics News’ latest ranking.
While PE will be the No. 1 pipe material used in water systems in Europe, it is still making inroads in america. Langston estimates that PE pipe has 10 % of dexqpkyy02 municipal niche for both water and sewer applications. PVC has the majority of the plastic pipe market share.
“We’re 10 % nationwide but when you go to states like California we’re one half because HDPE pipe will be the only material that may be earthquake and ground-movement resistant,” Langston said. “A study by Cornell University performed on 16-inch pipe showed you can 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 increase the risk for ground to advance, making PE pipe a good option, Langston said.
“It doesn’t matter where you reside in the united states, you’re planning to have ground movement,” he added. “When you look at pipe failures, the key reason for that is bell-and-spigot separation. The pipe pulls apart. But when you have a fused, welded system, such as polyethylene, the pipe just moves together with the ground. There are actually no problems.”
Florida is an additional big niche for PEX-AL-PEX pipe as an alternative material for corroded metal pipes, Langston said.
Elsewhere, material acceptance can seem such as a slog. There are mayors, council members, administrators, engineering firms and public works employees that require to acquire in the change to PE.
“We are constantly going throughout the country speaking about PE pipe,” Langston said. “The interest is incredibly amazing although the change process is slow.”