The qualities of polyethylene pipe are piquing the interest more civil engineers of potable water systems in The United States.
The telecommunications and utility industries have long used HDPE pipe fittings to guard fiber optic cables and deliver gas, but utilization of the material for h2o systems remains trickling slowly toward acceptance in a few places.
In Michigan, L . A .-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 only 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 is located in Fort Worth, Texas, said within a telephone interview that his presentation went across the allotted hour with no objections.
“The information was taken well; they had lots of great questions. It was actually a very 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 The United States, in accordance with Plastics News’ latest ranking. Their overall PE pipe sales are down in the last year as a result of 40 % drop needed from 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 have the lead from their systems making some $1 trillion of upgrades over the next twenty five years.
Langston said about 15 people attended the meeting with the Flint office of Rowe Professional Services and a few others Skyped in. Rowe handled engineering work with Flint until June 30 – the city offers to employ a staff engineer now – however the firm is going to be solicited for future work, the town said inside a statement.
The presentation dedicated to high density PE pipe and installation methods. Rowe’s engineers’ main exposure to HDPE up to now is applying it for horizontal directional drilling (HDD) under rivers, Langston said, adding he got a great deal of wide eyes when he described the installation way of pipe bursting. Several attendees had heard about the technology before.
A trenchless technique for replacing buried pipelines, pipe bursting was basically employed in the 1970s in england. 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 in comparison to the old pipe is inserted into an opening. The front side end of the bursting head is connected to a pulling cable and also the back end is connected to HDPE pipe fittings. As the bursting head is pulled through, it breaks the existing pipe into pieces and simultaneously expands the diameter from the cavity for that new pipe.
The previous pipe pieces just stay in the earth. Experienced crews can replace three to four service lines each day at 75 percent of the price of cut-and-bury installation methods, Langston said.
“You take 25 % off of the price,” he added. “You don’t must dig up people’s lawns or obtain people’s driveways. You save on having to replace those activities and you’re not disturbing the community. In civil engineering, there’s a whole new aspect that’s rarely taken into account and that’s social interference. We always talk about cost but what isn’t measurable cost wise would 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 after that 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 benefits of high density polyethylene pipe is it’s easy to install, it’s less disruptive … and yes it saves trees,” Zilincik said within a May 2016 testimonial for that Alliance for PE Pipe, which happens to be operating out of Tulsa, Okla., and promotes the use of HDPE pipe for municipal water systems in the United states and Canada as “the responsible infrastructure choice.”
HDPE pipe is joined by heat fusing above grade, which essentially results in a single pipeline without any 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 from polyethylene pipe. Should you have a look at all of the food packaging, be it milk, soda, water bottles or food, the truly amazing largest part 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 the installation techniques for HDPE pipe got a lot of attention at the lunch-and-learn.
“There’s a great story for our own plastic pipe – polyolefin type pipes like polyethylene – in terms of trenchless installation,” he said within a telephone interview. “What it might do regarding cost benefits is a major deal.”
In addition to pipe bursting, smaller-diameter HDPE pipe could be used to replace existing pipes with a technique called slip lining.
“You don’t burst the previous pipe; you utilize it as being 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 at an angle and leveled out for a distance. It comes support through an exit pit pulling new pipe behind it.
While telecom uses remain the one largest marketplace for HDD with a 24.1 percent market share, water uses are increasing, increasing from 19.5 percent of HDD applications in 2015 to some projected 19.9 percent this current year, in line with the 18th annual Underground Construction HDD Survey released in June. Gas distribution is yet another strong HDD market with 18 percent share.
HDPE continues to be the No. 1 pipe materials for HDD 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 exchange approximately 5,000 LSLs and ten thousand galvanized steel lines, which corrode leaving nooks where lead can settle, with copper. The existing pipes were damaged when lead leached to the system once the method to obtain 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 cover anything from the city’s estimate of $55 million to $80 million and much more by others. Bids to replace LSLs at 500 homes that are seen as the highest risk for lead exposure came in “extremely high,” Mayor Karen Weaver said. The city was expecting the charge to get about $4,000 per house. No bids were awarded in this round and after follow-up meetings the metropolis offers to go on with work on 250 houses by two contractors.
“I believe the bids arrived in a minimum of 50 % higher at $6,000 a residence,” Langston said. “Copper is definitely 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 4x the fee for polyethylene pipe, however, you have very extreme techniques for getting that copper pipe in the ground 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 across the next twenty five years to repair existing drinking water systems which can be reaching the ends in their useful lives as well as serve growing populations, in line with the American Water Works Association.
The specific makeup in the buried water pipes isn’t known. Going back to the 1870s, the rollout of diverse 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 improve at the compounded annual growth rate of 6.8 percent to 2020, as outlined by a March 2016 market report by Lucintel, a consumer research firm located in Dallas.
The HDPE pipe market in North America enjoyed a sales price of about $5.54 billion in 2015 with JM Eagle holding about 18.48 percent of sales, in accordance with Acute Market Reports. Along with 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 is the No. 1 pipe materials used in water systems in Europe, it is still making inroads in america. Langston estimates that PE pipe has 10 percent of dexqpkyy02 municipal industry 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 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 along with 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 a good option, Langston said.
“It doesn’t matter your location in the nation, you’re likely to have ground movement,” he added. “When you peer at pipe failures, the main reason for that is bell-and-spigot separation. The pipe pulls apart. But if you have a fused, welded system, like polyethylene, the pipe just moves with all the ground. You can find no problems.”
Florida is another big market for PEX-AL-PEX pipe as a replacement material for corroded metal pipes, Langston said.
Elsewhere, material acceptance can seem like a slog. You can find mayors, council members, administrators, engineering firms and public works employees that require to get into the alteration to PE.
“We are constantly going all over the country speaking about PE pipe,” Langston said. “The interest is incredibly amazing however the change process is slow.”