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 safeguard fiber optic cables and deliver gas, but utilization of the material for h2o systems remains trickling slowly toward acceptance in many places.
In Michigan, La-based JM Eagle’s offer to switch all lead service lines (LSLs) in Flint, where toxic levels of lead leached from damaged pipes, with free PE pipe prompted not only a study of three forms 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 inside a telephone interview that his presentation went on the allotted hour without having objections.
“The information was taken well; they had a great deal of great questions. It absolutely was an extremely 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 Canada And America, according to Plastics News’ latest ranking. Their overall PE pipe sales are down in the last year due to a 40 % drop in demand through 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 Usa cities look to get the lead out of their systems making some $1 trillion of upgrades across the next 25 years.
Langston said about 15 people attended the meeting at the Flint office of Rowe Professional Services and a few others Skyped in. Rowe handled engineering work with Flint until June 30 – the town offers to engage a staff engineer now – although the firm will be solicited for future work, the city said in the statement.
The presentation dedicated to high density PE pipe and installation methods. Rowe’s engineers’ main experience with HDPE up to now is using it for horizontal directional drilling (HDD) under rivers, Langston said, adding he got a great deal of wide eyes as he mentioned the installation method of pipe bursting. Several attendees had read about the technology before.
A trenchless method for replacing buried pipelines, pipe bursting was initially utilized in the 1970s in britain. The process involves digging roughly 3-foot-by-3-foot entry and exit pits from 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 than the old pipe is inserted into an opening. The front end in the bursting head is mounted on a pulling cable as well as the back end is connected to HDPE pipe fittings. Since the bursting head is pulled through, it breaks the existing pipe into pieces and simultaneously expands the diameter of your cavity to the new pipe.
The existing pipe pieces just stay in the earth. Experienced crews can replace 3 to 4 service lines per day at 75 percent of the fee for cut-and-bury installation methods, Langston said.
“You take 25 percent off of the price,” he added. “You don’t ought to dig up people’s lawns or sign up for people’s driveways. You spend less on the need to replace those ideas and you’re not disturbing the neighborhood. In civil engineering, there’s a fresh aspect that’s rarely accounted for and that’s social interference. We always speak 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. 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 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 when compared with ductile iron then used pipe bursting to put in it. Todd Zilinick, Livonia’s chief engineer, still tells his colleagues in regards to the social and environmental great things about PE pipe.
“One in the greatest advantages of high density polyethylene pipe is it’s easy to install, it’s less disruptive … and it also saves trees,” Zilincik said in a May 2016 testimonial for that Alliance for PE Pipe, that is located in Tulsa, Okla., and promotes the application of HDPE pipe for municipal water systems within the United states and Canada as “the responsible infrastructure choice.”
HDPE pipe is joined by heat fusing above grade, which essentially produces a single pipeline free 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 out of polyethylene pipe. In the event you look at all the food packaging, whether it be milk, soda, water bottles or food, the truly amazing greater part of that is PE.”
Plastics Pipe Institute PE pipe has about 10 percent of the municipal water market, as outlined by estimates.
PPI President Tony Radoszewski isn’t surprised the installation approaches for HDPE pipe got lots of attention at the lunch-and-learn.
“There’s a fantastic story for our plastic pipe – polyolefin type pipes like polyethylene – when it comes to trenchless installation,” he was quoted saying in the telephone interview. “What it may do when it comes to cost savings is an important deal.”
Along with pipe bursting, smaller-diameter HDPE pipe could be used to replace existing pipes having a technique called slip lining.
“You don’t burst the previous pipe; you make use of it as 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 with an angle and leveled out for any distance. It appears support through an exit pit pulling new pipe behind it.
While telecom uses remain the single largest marketplace for HDD with a 24.1 percent market share, water uses are rising, increasing from 19.5 percent of HDD applications in 2015 to your projected 19.9 percent this year, in accordance 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 for HDD by using 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 switch approximately 5,000 LSLs and ten thousand galvanized steel lines, which corrode and leave nooks where lead can settle, with copper. Existing pipes were damaged when lead leached in to the system following the supply of h2o was switched from Lake Huron on the caustic Flint River without incorporating any anti-corrosive agents.
Estimates to correct Flint’s water system using traditional copper pipe range from the city’s estimate of $55 million to $80 million and a lot more by others. Bids to replace 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 charge being about $4,000 per house. No bids were awarded in this round and after follow-up meetings the city intends to proceed with just work at 250 houses by two contractors.
“I believe the bids started 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 merely is copper pipe for service lines 4 times the expense of polyethylene pipe, but 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.”
A minumum of one 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 25 years to correct existing h2o systems that happen to be reaching the ends with their useful lives and to serve growing populations, in line with the American Water Works Association.
The actual makeup in the buried water pipes isn’t known. Going back to the 1870s, the rollout of various pipe materials has evolved 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 marketplace is forecast to boost at a compounded annual growth rate of 6.8 percent to 2020, according to a March 2016 market report by Lucintel, a consumer research firm based in Dallas.
The HDPE pipe market in Canada And America had a sales value 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 companies rank seventh, eighth and 43rd, respectively, in Plastics News’ latest ranking.
While PE may be the No. 1 pipe materials in water systems in Europe, it really is still making inroads in america. Langston estimates that PE pipe has 10 % of dexqpkyy02 municipal industry for both water and sewer applications. PVC has the majority of the plastic pipe market share.
“We’re 10 percent nationwide but when you go to states like California we’re one half because HDPE pipe is the only material that 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 result in the ground to move, making PE pipe an excellent choice, Langston said.
“It doesn’t matter your location in the united states, you’re planning to have ground movement,” he added. “When you look at pipe failures, the key reason for this is bell-and-spigot separation. The pipe pulls apart. But for those who have a fused, welded system, such as polyethylene, the pipe just moves together with the ground. You will find no problems.”
Florida is yet another big marketplace for PEX-AL-PEX pipe as a replacement material for corroded metal pipes, Langston said.
Elsewhere, material acceptance can appear like a slog. There are actually mayors, council members, administrators, engineering firms and public works employees that want to get to the switch to PE.
“We are constantly going across the country speaking about PE pipe,” Langston said. “The interest is very amazing however the change process is slow.”