The qualities of polyethylene pipe are piquing the interest of more civil engineers of potable water systems in Canada And America.
The telecommunications and utility industries have long used PEX-AL-PEX pipe to protect fiber optic cables and deliver gas, but using the material for h2o systems continues to be trickling slowly toward acceptance in certain places.
In Michigan, L . A .-based JM Eagle’s offer to exchange all lead service lines (LSLs) in Flint, where toxic amounts of lead leached from damaged pipes, with free PE pipe prompted not only a study of three kinds 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 is operating out of Fort Worth, Texas, said within a telephone interview that his presentation went within the allotted hour without objections.
“The information was taken well; they had a great deal of great questions. It had been an incredibly productive meeting,” he was quoted saying.
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 America, according to Plastics News’ latest ranking. Their overall PE pipe sales are down during the last year because of forty percent drop popular in the oil and gas gathering industry, in accordance with the Plastics Pipe Institute (PPI), a trade association located in Dallas. However, potable applications show big promise as Usa cities look to obtain the lead out of their systems making some $1 trillion of upgrades across the next twenty-five years.
Langston said about 15 people attended the meeting at the Flint office of Rowe Professional Services and a number of others Skyped in. Rowe handled engineering work with Flint until June 30 – the city wants to employ a staff engineer now – although the firm is going to be solicited for future work, the area said inside a statement.
The presentation dedicated to high density PE pipe and installation methods. Rowe’s engineers’ main exposure to HDPE so far is applying it for horizontal directional drilling (HDD) under rivers, Langston said, adding he got plenty of wide eyes as he mentioned cellular phone way of pipe bursting. Few of the attendees had heard about the technology before.
A trenchless method for replacing buried pipelines, pipe bursting was basically used in the 1970s in the uk. The method involves digging roughly 3-foot-by-3-foot entry and exit pits through the house and street, where service line meets the distribution line or water main. A cone-shaped drilling head having a slightly larger diameter compared to the old pipe is inserted into an opening. The front side end from the bursting head is attached to a pulling cable along with the back end is attached to HDPE pipe fittings. As being the bursting head is pulled through, it breaks the current pipe into pieces and simultaneously expands the diameter from the cavity for the new pipe.
The old pipe pieces just stay in the earth. Experienced crews can replace three or four 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 have to dig up people’s lawns or obtain 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 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 will be the calls and complaints to city offices about construction, noise, debris and dug-up yards. Many things are suddenly avoided using trenchless technologies.”
Livonia, Mich., used HDPE pipe from Charter Plastics Inc., 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 each year.
Livonia reportedly saved $200,000 on Charter’s pipe material alone compared to ductile iron and then used pipe bursting to install it. Todd Zilinick, Livonia’s chief engineer, still tells his colleagues about the social and environmental great things about PE pipe.
“One from the greatest great things about high density polyethylene pipe is it’s easy to install, it’s less disruptive … and it also saves trees,” Zilincik said in the May 2016 testimonial for your Alliance for PE Pipe, that is situated in Tulsa, Okla., and promotes the usage of HDPE pipe for municipal water systems from the Usa and Canada as “the responsible infrastructure choice.”
HDPE pipe is joined by heat fusing above grade, which essentially produces a single pipeline clear of leaks that may be miles long.
“It’s completely welded together,” Langston said. “It won’t leak, corrode or rust and it’s durable by using a 100-year service life. It’s also completely inert. Nothing leaches from polyethylene pipe. In the event you have a look at all the food packaging, whether it is milk, soda, water bottles or food, the great largest part of that is certainly PE.”
Plastics Pipe Institute PE pipe has about 10 % in the municipal water market, in accordance with estimates.
PPI President Tony Radoszewski isn’t surprised cellular phone approaches for HDPE pipe got plenty of attention with the lunch-and-learn.
“There’s a fantastic story for our plastic pipe – polyolefin type pipes like polyethylene – with regards to trenchless installation,” he stated in the telephone interview. “What it could do in terms of cost savings is a big deal.”
Along with pipe bursting, smaller-diameter HDPE pipe can be used to replace existing pipes with a technique called slip lining.
“You don’t burst the previous pipe; you use it as a a host pipe,” Radoszewski said.
Then, there’s HDD for installing new lines of pipe. A drilling head is sent down an entry pit in an angle and leveled out for the distance. It appears backup through an exit pit pulling new pipe behind it.
While telecom uses remain the only largest marketplace for HDD by using a 24.1 percent market share, water uses are on the rise, increasing from 19.5 percent of HDD applications in 2015 to a projected 19.9 percent this season, in line with the 18th annual Underground Construction HDD Survey released in June. Gas distribution can be another strong HDD market with 18 percent share.
HDPE continues to be the No. 1 pipe materials for HDD having 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 replace approximately 5,000 LSLs and ten thousand galvanized steel lines, which corrode and leave nooks where lead can settle, with copper. The existing pipes were damaged when lead leached into the system right after the source of drinking water was switched from Lake Huron towards the caustic Flint River without the addition of 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 exchange LSLs at 500 homes that are considered the highest risk for lead exposure came in “extremely high,” Mayor Karen Weaver said. The area was expecting the charge to get about $4,000 per house. No bids were awarded because round and after follow-up meetings the city wants to go ahead with just work at 250 houses by two contractors.
“I believe the bids started in at least fifty percent higher at $6,000 a house,” 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.”
At least one Michigan lawmaker has publicly questioned why Flint doesn’t accept the “generous offer” from JM Eagle.
Nationwide, it would cost $1 trillion on the next 25 years to fix existing h2o systems that are reaching the ends of the useful lives and to serve growing populations, in line with the American Water Works Association.
The precise makeup from 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 within the 1950s-60s ductile iron, PVC and PE.
Globally, the plastic pipe marketplace is forecast to boost with a compounded annual growth rate of 6.8 percent to 2020, in accordance with a March 2016 market report by Lucintel, a market research firm situated in Dallas.
The HDPE pipe market in North America experienced a sales importance of about $5.54 billion in 2015 with JM Eagle holding about 18.48 percent of sales, according to Acute Market Reports. As well as drinking 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 companies rank seventh, eighth and 43rd, respectively, in Plastics News’ latest ranking.
While PE may be the No. 1 pipe material used in water systems in Europe, it is still making inroads in the states. Langston estimates that PE pipe has 10 % of dexqpkyy02 municipal marketplace for both water and sewer applications. PVC has the majority of the plastic pipe market share.
“We’re 10 percent nationwide but when you visit states like California we’re fifty percent because HDPE pipe is definitely the only material which is 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 and also the pipelines won’t yield. It stays intact.”
Freeze-thaw cycles in northern states like Michigan and drought conditions in Texas also cause the ground to advance, making PE pipe a great choice, Langston said.
“It doesn’t matter your geographical area in the nation, you’re likely to have ground movement,” he added. “When you look at pipe failures, the biggest reason for your 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 yet another big marketplace for PEX-AL-PEX pipe as an alternative material for corroded metal pipes, Langston said.
Elsewhere, material acceptance can appear just like a slog. There are mayors, council members, administrators, engineering firms and public works employees which need to buy to the change to PE.
“We are constantly going nationwide discussing PE pipe,” Langston said. “The interest is very amazing although the change process is slow.”