The qualities of polyethylene pipe are piquing the interest more civil engineers of potable water systems in America.
The telecommunications and utility industries have long used PEX-AL-PEX pipe to safeguard fiber optic cables and deliver natural gas, but utilization of the material for h2o systems remains to be trickling slowly toward acceptance in certain places.
In Michigan, Los Angeles-based JM Eagle’s offer to change all lead service lines (LSLs) in Flint, where toxic amounts of lead leached from damaged pipes, with free PE pipe prompted not simply a study of three sorts 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 within a telephone interview that his presentation went within the allotted hour without having objections.
“The information was taken well; they had plenty of great questions. It absolutely was an extremely productive meeting,” he explained.
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, in accordance with Plastics News’ latest ranking. Their overall PE pipe sales are down over the last year because of a forty percent drop in demand from your oil and gas gathering industry, according to the Plastics Pipe Institute (PPI), a trade association operating out of Dallas. However, potable applications show big promise as Usa 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 in the Flint office of Rowe Professional Services and some others Skyped in. Rowe handled engineering benefit Flint until June 30 – the town offers to hire a staff engineer now – although the firm is going to be solicited for future work, the area said in the statement.
The presentation centered on high density PE pipe and installation methods. Rowe’s engineers’ main knowledge of HDPE up to now is using it for horizontal directional drilling (HDD) under rivers, Langston said, adding he got a lot of wide eyes as he mentioned cellular phone way of pipe bursting. Couple of the attendees had heard of the technology before.
A trenchless way of replacing buried pipelines, pipe bursting was basically utilized in the 1970s in the uk. This process 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 compared to the old pipe is inserted into an opening. The front end from the bursting head is attached to a pulling cable and also the back end is linked to HDPE pipe fittings. As being the bursting head is pulled through, it breaks existing pipe into pieces and simultaneously expands the diameter in the cavity for the new pipe.
That old pipe pieces just stay in the ground. Experienced crews can replace three or four service lines per day at 75 percent of the expense of cut-and-bury installation methods, Langston said.
“You take 25 % off of the price,” he added. “You don’t need to dig up people’s lawns or remove people’s driveways. You save money on the need to replace those things and you’re not disturbing the community. In civil engineering, there’s a brand new aspect that’s rarely made up and that’s social interference. We always speak 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. 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 annually.
Livonia reportedly saved $200,000 on Charter’s pipe material alone in comparison to ductile iron after which used pipe bursting to put in it. Todd Zilinick, Livonia’s chief engineer, still tells his colleagues in regards to the social and environmental features of PE pipe.
“One of the greatest benefits associated with high density polyethylene pipe is it’s simple to install, it’s less disruptive … and it also saves trees,” Zilincik said in the May 2016 testimonial for your Alliance for PE Pipe, which is situated in Tulsa, Okla., and promotes the application 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 creates a single pipeline free of leaks that could be miles long.
“It’s completely welded together,” Langston said. “It won’t leak, corrode or rust and it’s durable having a 100-year service life. It’s also completely inert. Nothing leaches out from polyethylene pipe. When you have a look at all the food packaging, be it milk, soda, water bottles or food, the fantastic majority of that is PE.”
Plastics Pipe Institute PE pipe has about 10 % of your municipal water market, in accordance with estimates.
PPI President Tony Radoszewski isn’t surprised cellular phone approaches for HDPE pipe got a lot of attention in the lunch-and-learn.
“There’s an excellent story for the plastic pipe – polyolefin type pipes like polyethylene – in terms of trenchless installation,” he stated in a telephone interview. “What it might do regarding cost savings is a major deal.”
As well as pipe bursting, smaller-diameter HDPE pipe enables you to replace existing pipes by using a technique called slip lining.
“You don’t burst that old pipe; you employ 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 with an angle and leveled out to get a distance. It comes back up via an exit pit pulling new pipe behind it.
While telecom uses remain the one largest market for HDD using 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 year, based on the 18th annual Underground Construction HDD Survey released in June. Gas distribution is an additional strong HDD market with 18 percent share.
HDPE remains the No. 1 pipe materials for HDD by using a whopping 49.9 percent market share in comparison to 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 approximately 5,000 LSLs and ten thousand galvanized steel lines, which corrode leaving nooks where lead can settle, with copper. Existing pipes were damaged when lead leached in to the system following the way to obtain water to drink was switched from Lake Huron towards the caustic Flint River without adding any anti-corrosive agents.
Estimates to repair Flint’s water system using traditional copper pipe cover anything from the city’s estimate of $55 million to $80 million and much more by others. Bids to exchange 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 fee to become about $4,000 per house. No bids were awarded for the reason that round and after follow-up meetings the town intends to go ahead with work on 250 houses by two contractors.
“I believe the bids came in a minimum of 50 % higher at $6,000 a residence,” Langston said. “Copper is 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 fee for polyethylene pipe, but you have very extreme ways to get that copper pipe in the earth 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 on the next twenty-five years to mend existing drinking water systems that are reaching the ends with their useful lives and also to serve growing populations, in line with the American Water Works Association.
The precise makeup of your 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 in 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 situated in Dallas.
The HDPE pipe market in The United States enjoyed a sales price of about $5.54 billion in 2015 with JM Eagle holding about 18.48 percent of sales, as outlined by Acute Market Reports. In addition to 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. Companies rank seventh, eighth and 43rd, respectively, in Plastics News’ latest ranking.
While PE is definitely the No. 1 pipe material used in water systems in Europe, it is actually still making inroads in the states. Langston estimates that PE pipe has 10 % of dexqpky02 municipal industry for both water and sewer applications. PVC has a lot of the plastic pipe market share.
“We’re 10 % nationwide but when you visit states like California we’re 50 % because HDPE pipe is 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 and 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 move, making PE pipe a good option, Langston said.
“It doesn’t matter your location in the united states, you’re gonna have ground movement,” he added. “When you look at pipe failures, the key reason for the is bell-and-spigot separation. The pipe pulls apart. But in case you have a fused, welded system, such as polyethylene, the pipe just moves with the ground. You will find no problems.”
Florida can be another big market for PEX-AL-PEX pipe as an alternative material for corroded metal pipes, Langston said.
Elsewhere, material acceptance can feel just like a slog. There are mayors, council members, administrators, engineering firms and public works employees that require to purchase in the alteration to PE.
“We are constantly going throughout the country speaking about PE pipe,” Langston said. “The interest is very amazing but the change process is slow.”