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 safeguard fiber optic cables and deliver natural gas, but utilisation of the material for water systems is still trickling slowly toward acceptance in a few places.
In Michigan, La-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 just a study of three kinds 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 based in Fort Worth, Texas, said within a telephone interview that his presentation went over the allotted hour with no objections.
“The information was taken well; they had a great deal of great questions. It was actually an incredibly 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 popular in the oil and gas gathering industry, based on the Plastics Pipe Institute (PPI), a trade association based in Dallas. However, potable applications show big promise as U.S. cities look to have the lead out of their systems and make some $1 trillion of upgrades within the next 25 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 benefit Flint until June 30 – the town intends to engage a staff engineer now – nevertheless the firm will 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 using it for horizontal directional drilling (HDD) under rivers, Langston said, adding he got plenty of wide eyes as he mentioned cellular phone means of pipe bursting. Several attendees had been aware of the technology before.
A trenchless technique for replacing buried pipelines, pipe bursting was used in the 1970s in the uk. The method involves digging roughly 3-foot-by-3-foot entry and exit pits through the house and street, the location 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 leading end in the bursting head is linked to a pulling cable as well as the back end is connected to HDPE pipe fittings. Because the bursting head is pulled through, it breaks the current pipe into pieces and simultaneously expands the diameter of your cavity for your 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 expense of cut-and-bury installation methods, Langston said.
“You take 25 percent off the price,” he added. “You don’t have to dig up people’s lawns or take out people’s driveways. You save money on the need to replace those ideas and you’re not disturbing the city. In civil engineering, there’s a brand new aspect that’s rarely included and that’s social interference. We always focus on 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. Many 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 change 27,000 feet of cracking, leaking iron pipes from April through October 2008. The Titusville, Pa.-based company has estimated sales of $35 million per year.
Livonia reportedly saved $200,000 on Charter’s pipe material alone in comparison to ductile iron and after that used pipe bursting to set up it. Todd Zilinick, Livonia’s chief engineer, still tells his colleagues concerning the social and environmental great things about PE pipe.
“One from the greatest benefits associated with high density polyethylene pipe is it’s easy to install, it’s less disruptive … plus it saves trees,” Zilincik said in a May 2016 testimonial for that Alliance for PE Pipe, which is located in Tulsa, Okla., and promotes the use of HDPE pipe for municipal water systems inside the Usa and Canada as “the responsible infrastructure choice.”
HDPE pipe is joined by heat fusing above grade, which essentially produces a single pipeline without any 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 away from polyethylene pipe. When you look at every one of the food packaging, whether it be milk, soda, water bottles or food, the great most of that is PE.”
Plastics Pipe Institute PE pipe has about 10 percent of your municipal water market, in accordance with estimates.
PPI President Tony Radoszewski isn’t surprised the installation techniques for HDPE pipe got a great deal of attention on the lunch-and-learn.
“There’s an incredible story for the plastic pipe – polyolefin type pipes like polyethylene – when it comes to trenchless installation,” he said within a telephone interview. “What it may do regarding cost benefits is a major deal.”
Together with pipe bursting, smaller-diameter HDPE pipe may be used to replace existing pipes having a technique called slip lining.
“You don’t burst the 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 in an angle and leveled out for a distance. It comes down backup with an exit pit pulling new pipe behind it.
While telecom uses remain the one largest niche for HDD by using a 24.1 percent market share, water uses are rising, increasing from 19.5 percent of HDD applications in 2015 into a projected 19.9 percent this coming year, in accordance with the 18th annual Underground Construction HDD Survey released in June. Gas distribution is another strong HDD market with 18 percent share.
HDPE remains the No. 1 pipe material used 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 replace an estimated 5,000 LSLs and ten thousand galvanized steel lines, which corrode by leaving nooks where lead can settle, with copper. The existing pipes were damaged when lead leached in to the system once the supply of water was switched from Lake Huron to the caustic Flint River without adding any anti-corrosive agents.
Estimates to repair Flint’s water system using traditional copper pipe range between the city’s estimate of $55 million to $80 million plus 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 area was expecting the fee to be about $4,000 per house. No bids were awarded for the reason that round and after follow-up meetings the city plans to go on with work on 250 houses by two contractors.
“I believe the bids came in no less than fifty percent higher at $6,000 a house,” Langston said. “Copper will be the only material they’re allowing to spec now for service lines and ductile iron for distribution lines. Not simply is copper pipe for service lines four times the cost of polyethylene pipe, however you have very extreme ways to get 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 will cost $1 trillion within the next twenty five years to repair existing water systems which can be reaching the ends in their useful lives as well as to serve growing populations, in line with the American Water Works Association.
The precise makeup of the buried water pipes isn’t known. Returning 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 market is forecast to improve at a compounded annual growth rate of 6.8 percent to 2020, in accordance with a March 2016 market report by Lucintel, a consumer research firm operating out of Dallas.
The HDPE pipe market in The United States enjoyed a sales worth of about $5.54 billion in 2015 with JM Eagle holding about 18.48 percent of sales, based on 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. Companies rank seventh, eighth and 43rd, respectively, in Plastics News’ latest ranking.
While PE may be the No. 1 pipe materials used in water systems in Europe, it can be still making inroads in the states. Langston estimates that PE pipe has 10 percent of dexqpky02 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 may be the only material that is earthquake and ground-movement resistant,” Langston said. “A study by Cornell University performed on 16-inch pipe showed you may 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 cause the ground to go, making PE pipe a great choice, Langston said.
“It doesn’t matter your location in america, you’re gonna have ground movement,” he added. “When you peer 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, for example polyethylene, the pipe just moves together with the ground. There are actually no problems.”
Florida is yet another big industry for PEX-AL-PEX pipe as a substitute material for corroded metal pipes, Langston said.
Elsewhere, material acceptance can appear just like a slog. There are actually mayors, council members, administrators, engineering firms and public works employees that need to purchase into the alteration to PE.
“We are constantly going across the country talking about PE pipe,” Langston said. “The interest is very amazing nevertheless the change process is slow.”