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 shield fiber optic cables and deliver gas, but utilization of the material for water systems remains trickling slowly toward acceptance in many places.
In Michigan, Los Angeles-based JM Eagle’s offer to switch 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 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., which can be operating out of Fort Worth, Texas, said in the telephone interview that his presentation went over the allotted hour with no objections.
“The information was taken well; that they had plenty of great questions. It was actually a really 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 North America, according to Plastics News’ latest ranking. Their overall PE pipe sales are down in the last year as a result of forty percent drop popular from your oil and gas gathering industry, according to the Plastics Pipe Institute (PPI), a trade association located in Dallas. However, potable applications show big promise as U.S. cities look to find the lead from their systems and make 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 a handful of others Skyped in. Rowe handled engineering benefit Flint until June 30 – the city wants to hire a staff engineer now – although the firm will likely be solicited for future work, the city said in the statement.
The presentation focused on high density PE pipe and installation methods. Rowe’s engineers’ main exposure to HDPE so far is utilizing it for horizontal directional drilling (HDD) under rivers, Langston said, adding he got plenty of wide eyes when he mentioned cellular phone way of pipe bursting. Couple of the attendees had heard of the technology before.
A trenchless means for replacing buried pipelines, pipe bursting was basically utilized in the 1970s in the uk. The process involves digging roughly 3-foot-by-3-foot entry and exit pits from the house and street, where the service line meets the distribution line or water main. A cone-shaped drilling head with a slightly larger diameter in comparison to the old pipe is inserted into an opening. The leading end from the bursting head is linked to a pulling cable as well as the back end is attached to HDPE pipe fittings. Since the bursting head is pulled through, it breaks the present pipe into pieces and simultaneously expands the diameter from the cavity for the new pipe.
The previous pipe pieces just stay in the ground. Experienced crews can replace 3 to 4 service lines each day at 75 percent of the cost of cut-and-bury installation methods, Langston said.
“You take 25 % off the price,” he added. “You don’t need to dig up people’s lawns or obtain people’s driveways. You save on being forced to replace those things and you’re not disturbing the community. In civil engineering, there’s a whole new aspect that’s rarely accounted for 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. A lot of things are suddenly avoided using trenchless technologies.”
Livonia, Mich., used HDPE pipe from Charter Plastics Inc., the No. 77 ranked PPT extruder, to replace 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 and then used pipe bursting to setup it. Todd Zilinick, Livonia’s chief engineer, still tells his colleagues regarding the social and environmental features of PE pipe.
“One of the greatest benefits of high density polyethylene pipe is it’s easy to install, it’s less disruptive … and it also saves trees,” Zilincik said inside a May 2016 testimonial to the Alliance for PE Pipe, which happens to be operating out of 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 results in a single pipeline free of leaks which 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 from polyethylene pipe. Should you have a look at all of the food packaging, be it milk, soda, water bottles or food, the fantastic most of that may be 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 approaches for HDPE pipe got a lot of attention in the lunch-and-learn.
“There’s a great story for the plastic pipe – polyolefin type pipes like polyethylene – with regards to trenchless installation,” he explained in the telephone interview. “What it can do in terms of cost benefits is an important deal.”
As well as pipe bursting, smaller-diameter HDPE pipe may be used to replace existing pipes using a technique called slip lining.
“You don’t burst the existing pipe; you make use of it as 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 in an angle and leveled out for the distance. It will come back up with an exit pit pulling new pipe behind it.
While telecom uses remain the one largest marketplace for HDD 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 current year, according to the 18th annual Underground Construction HDD Survey released in June. Gas distribution is an additional strong HDD market with 18 percent share.
HDPE continues to be the No. 1 pipe materials used for HDD by using a whopping 49.9 percent market share when compared 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 change an estimated 5,000 LSLs and 10,000 galvanized steel lines, which corrode and then leave nooks where lead can settle, with copper. Existing pipes were damaged when lead leached in to the system after the supply of drinking water was switched from Lake Huron towards the caustic Flint River without incorporating 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 a lot more by others. Bids to replace LSLs at 500 homes that are seen as the highest risk for lead exposure started in “extremely high,” Mayor Karen Weaver said. The metropolis was expecting the charge to be about $4,000 per house. No bids were awarded in this round and after follow-up meetings the city plans to go on with work at 250 houses by two contractors.
“I believe the bids started in a minimum of one half 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 only is copper pipe for service lines 4x the fee for polyethylene pipe, however, you have very extreme methods for getting 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 that happen to be reaching the ends of their useful lives as well as serve growing populations, according to the American Water Works Association.
The specific makeup of the buried water pipes isn’t known. Returning to the 1870s, the rollout of varied 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 increase in a compounded annual growth rate of 6.8 percent to 2020, as outlined by a March 2016 market report by Lucintel, a researching the market firm situated in Dallas.
The HDPE pipe market in Canada And America enjoyed a sales worth of about $5.54 billion in 2015 with JM Eagle holding about 18.48 percent of sales, in accordance with Acute Market Reports. As well as water to drink, 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 can be still making inroads in america. Langston estimates that PE pipe has 10 percent of dexqpky02 municipal industry for both water and sewer applications. PVC has most of the plastic pipe market share.
“We’re 10 percent 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 can 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 result in the ground to go, making PE pipe a great choice, Langston said.
“It doesn’t matter where you reside in the nation, you’re planning to have ground movement,” he added. “When you gaze at pipe failures, the main reason for your is bell-and-spigot separation. The pipe pulls apart. But for those who have a fused, welded system, including polyethylene, the pipe just moves using the ground. There are actually no problems.”
Florida is yet another big niche for PEX-AL-PEX pipe as a substitute material for corroded metal pipes, Langston said.
Elsewhere, material acceptance can appear similar to a slog. You can find mayors, council members, administrators, engineering firms and public works employees that require to buy in the change to PE.
“We are constantly going nationwide referring to PE pipe,” Langston said. “The interest is very amazing although the change process is slow.”