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 safeguard fiber optic cables and deliver gas, but using the material for drinking water systems remains to be trickling slowly toward acceptance in many places.
In Michigan, La-based JM Eagle’s offer to change all lead service lines (LSLs) in Flint, where toxic quantities 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 operating out of Fort Worth, Texas, said inside a telephone interview that his presentation went across the allotted hour without any objections.
“The information was taken well; they had plenty of great questions. It was an incredibly 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 in the last year as a result of forty percent drop in demand in the oil and gas gathering industry, in accordance with the Plastics Pipe Institute (PPI), a trade association situated in Dallas. However, potable applications show big promise as United states cities look to have the lead from their systems making some $1 trillion of upgrades on the next twenty five years.
Langston said about 15 people attended the meeting at the Flint office of Rowe Professional Services and some others Skyped in. Rowe handled engineering benefit Flint until June 30 – the area intends to hire a staff engineer now – although the firm will likely be solicited for future work, the area said in a statement.
The presentation focused entirely on high density PE pipe and installation methods. Rowe’s engineers’ main knowledge of HDPE to date is employing it for horizontal directional drilling (HDD) under rivers, Langston said, adding he got a lot of wide eyes when he talked about cellular phone approach to pipe bursting. Few of the attendees had been aware of the technology before.
A trenchless way of replacing buried pipelines, pipe bursting was first used in the 1970s in the uk. The procedure involves digging roughly 3-foot-by-3-foot entry and exit pits with the house and street, 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 top end of your bursting head is attached to a pulling cable and the back end is associated with HDPE pipe fittings. Because the bursting head is pulled through, it breaks the existing pipe into pieces and simultaneously expands the diameter in the cavity for the new pipe.
That old pipe pieces just stay in the earth. Experienced crews can replace 3 or 4 service lines each day at 75 percent of the cost of cut-and-bury installation methods, Langston said.
“You take 25 % 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 the need 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 discuss 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. 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 a year.
Livonia reportedly saved $200,000 on Charter’s pipe material alone when compared with ductile iron and after that used pipe bursting to install it. Todd Zilinick, Livonia’s chief engineer, still tells his colleagues concerning the social and environmental features of PE pipe.
“One of the greatest great things about high density polyethylene pipe is it’s very easy to install, it’s less disruptive … and yes it saves trees,” Zilincik said in the May 2016 testimonial for that Alliance for PE Pipe, which can be situated in Tulsa, Okla., and promotes the use of HDPE pipe for municipal water systems inside the United states and Canada as “the responsible infrastructure choice.”
HDPE pipe is joined by heat fusing above grade, which essentially generates a single pipeline free of leaks that can 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 of polyethylene pipe. When you have a look at each of the food packaging, be it milk, soda, water bottles or food, the fantastic greater part of that is PE.”
Plastics Pipe Institute PE pipe has about 10 percent in the municipal water market, based on estimates.
PPI President Tony Radoszewski isn’t surprised cellular phone techniques for HDPE pipe got plenty of attention in the lunch-and-learn.
“There’s a fantastic story for your plastic pipe – polyolefin type pipes like polyethylene – in terms of trenchless installation,” he said inside a telephone interview. “What it can do regarding cost savings is an important deal.”
In addition to pipe bursting, smaller-diameter HDPE pipe enables you to replace existing pipes with a technique called slip lining.
“You don’t burst that old pipe; you employ it as being a host pipe,” Radoszewski said.
Then, there’s HDD for installing new lines of pipe. A drilling head is sent down an entry pit at an angle and leveled out for any distance. It appears back through an exit pit pulling new pipe behind it.
While telecom uses remain the only largest marketplace for HDD having a 24.1 percent market share, water uses are on the rise, increasing from 19.5 percent of HDD applications in 2015 into a projected 19.9 percent this coming year, according to 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 used for HDD having 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 looks to switch an estimated 5,000 LSLs and ten thousand galvanized steel lines, which corrode leaving nooks where lead can settle, with copper. The current pipes were damaged when lead leached to the system right after the source of h2o was switched from Lake Huron for the caustic Flint River without the addition of any anti-corrosive agents.
Estimates to repair Flint’s water system using traditional copper pipe range from the city’s estimate of $55 million to $80 million and more by others. Bids to change LSLs at 500 homes that are considered the highest risk for lead exposure arrived “extremely high,” Mayor Karen Weaver said. The town was expecting the cost to become about $4,000 per house. No bids were awarded because round and after follow-up meetings the town intends to go on with work at 250 houses by two contractors.
“I believe the bids came in at the very least one half higher at $6,000 a property,” Langston said. “Copper is definitely 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 4 times the expense of polyethylene pipe, but you have very extreme tips to get that copper pipe in the earth and that’s cut and bury, which entails digging up yards and streets.”
A minimum of one Michigan lawmaker has publicly questioned why Flint doesn’t accept the “generous offer” from JM Eagle.
Nationwide, it can cost $1 trillion over the next twenty five years to mend existing drinking water systems which can be reaching the ends in their useful lives and also to serve growing populations, in line with the American Water Works Association.
The actual makeup from the buried water pipes isn’t known. Going back to the 1870s, the rollout of varied pipe materials has changed 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 industry is forecast to enhance in a compounded annual growth rate of 6.8 percent to 2020, according to a March 2016 market report by Lucintel, a market research firm operating out of Dallas.
The HDPE pipe market in America possessed a sales value of about $5.54 billion in 2015 with JM Eagle holding about 18.48 percent of sales, based on 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 firms rank seventh, eighth and 43rd, respectively, in Plastics News’ latest ranking.
While PE is the No. 1 pipe materials used in water systems in Europe, it really is still making inroads in america. Langston estimates that PE pipe has 10 % of dexqpky02 municipal niche for both water and sewer applications. PVC has most of the plastic pipe market share.
“We’re 10 % nationwide but when you go to states like California we’re 50 % 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 might 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 result in the ground to maneuver, making PE pipe a great choice, Langston said.
“It doesn’t matter where you reside in the nation, you’re likely to have ground movement,” he added. “When you gaze at pipe failures, the primary reason for your is bell-and-spigot separation. The pipe pulls apart. But for those who have a fused, welded system, like polyethylene, the pipe just moves using the ground. You can find no problems.”
Florida can be another big industry for PEX-AL-PEX pipe as a substitute material for corroded metal pipes, Langston said.
Elsewhere, material acceptance can appear such as a slog. There are mayors, council members, administrators, engineering firms and public works employees that want to buy to the alteration to PE.
“We are constantly going across the country speaking about PE pipe,” Langston said. “The interest is incredibly amazing although the change process is slow.”