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 PEX-AL-PEX pipe to shield fiber optic cables and deliver gas, but utilisation of the material for water to drink systems continues to be trickling slowly toward acceptance in many places.
In Michigan, Los Angeles-based JM Eagle’s offer to replace 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 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 based in Fort Worth, Texas, said in a telephone interview that his presentation went within the allotted hour without any objections.
“The information was taken well; that they had a lot of great questions. It was 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 North America, as outlined by Plastics News’ latest ranking. Their overall PE pipe sales are down in the last year because of a forty percent drop in demand through the oil and gas gathering industry, according to the Plastics Pipe Institute (PPI), a trade association situated in Dallas. However, potable applications show big promise as United states cities look to find the lead from their systems and make some $1 trillion of upgrades over 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 help Flint until June 30 – the city plans to work with a staff engineer now – however the firm is going to be solicited for future work, the city said within a statement.
The presentation focused entirely on high density PE pipe and installation methods. Rowe’s engineers’ main knowledge about HDPE so far is employing it for horizontal directional drilling (HDD) under rivers, Langston said, adding he got a lot of wide eyes when he talked about cellular phone way of pipe bursting. Few of the attendees had heard about the technology before.
A trenchless way of replacing buried pipelines, pipe bursting was basically found in the 1970s in the United Kingdom. This 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 using a slightly larger diameter compared to old pipe is inserted into an opening. The leading end in the bursting head is mounted on a pulling cable and also the back end is associated with HDPE pipe fittings. As being the bursting head is pulled through, it breaks the current pipe into pieces and simultaneously expands the diameter from the cavity for the new pipe.
The existing pipe pieces just stay in the ground. Experienced crews can replace 3 or 4 service lines each day at 75 percent of the fee for cut-and-bury installation methods, Langston said.
“You take 25 % away from the price,” he added. “You don’t need to dig up people’s lawns or sign up for 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 brand new aspect that’s rarely made up and that’s social interference. We always focus on 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. 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 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 a year.
Livonia reportedly saved $200,000 on Charter’s pipe material alone in comparison with ductile iron and after that used pipe bursting to setup it. Todd Zilinick, Livonia’s chief engineer, still tells his colleagues regarding the social and environmental great things about PE pipe.
“One of your greatest advantages of high density polyethylene pipe is it’s easy to install, it’s less disruptive … and it saves trees,” Zilincik said within a May 2016 testimonial for that Alliance for PE Pipe, that is situated in Tulsa, Okla., and promotes the usage 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 creates 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 by using a 100-year service life. It’s also completely inert. Nothing leaches from polyethylene pipe. In the event you look at each of the food packaging, whether it is milk, soda, water bottles or food, the truly amazing majority of that may be PE.”
Plastics Pipe Institute PE pipe has about 10 percent in the municipal water market, as outlined by estimates.
PPI President Tony Radoszewski isn’t surprised cellular phone procedures for HDPE pipe got plenty of attention in the lunch-and-learn.
“There’s an incredible story for your plastic pipe – polyolefin type pipes like polyethylene – regarding trenchless installation,” he was quoted saying in the telephone interview. “What it could do with regards to cost savings is a big 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 that old pipe; you use it as a 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 comes back up through an exit pit pulling new pipe behind it.
While telecom uses remain the single largest market for HDD by using a 24.1 percent market share, water uses are on the rise, increasing from 19.5 percent of HDD applications in 2015 to your 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 is still the No. 1 pipe materials for HDD having a whopping 49.9 percent market share compared 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 replace approximately 5,000 LSLs and 10,000 galvanized steel lines, which corrode leaving nooks where lead can settle, with copper. Existing pipes were damaged when lead leached into the system right after the supply of h2o was switched from Lake Huron towards the caustic Flint River without adding any anti-corrosive agents.
Estimates to fix Flint’s water system using traditional copper pipe vary from the city’s estimate of $55 million to $80 million plus more by others. Bids to change LSLs at 500 homes that are considered the highest risk for lead exposure arrived “extremely high,” Mayor Karen Weaver said. The metropolis was expecting the price to be about $4,000 per house. No bids were awarded because round and after follow-up meetings the metropolis wants to go on with just work at 250 houses by two contractors.
“I believe the bids arrived in no less than fifty percent higher at $6,000 a property,” 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 4x the fee for polyethylene pipe, however you have very extreme techniques 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 will cost $1 trillion on the next twenty five years to correct existing water systems that happen to be reaching the ends in their useful lives as well as to serve growing populations, according to the American Water Works Association.
The actual makeup in the buried water pipes isn’t known. Returning to the 1870s, the rollout of diverse pipe materials has changed from cast iron, to cement-lined cast iron to asbestos cement then within the 1950s-60s ductile iron, PVC and PE.
Globally, the plastic pipe marketplace is forecast to boost at the compounded annual growth rate of 6.8 percent to 2020, in accordance with a March 2016 market report by Lucintel, a researching the market firm operating out of Dallas.
The HDPE pipe market in North America experienced a sales importance of about $5.54 billion in 2015 with JM Eagle holding about 18.48 percent of sales, in accordance with Acute Market Reports. In addition to water, 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 will be the No. 1 pipe materials in water systems in Europe, it can be still making inroads in the usa. Langston estimates that PE pipe has 10 percent of dexqpkyy02 municipal marketplace for both water and sewer applications. PVC has the majority of the plastic pipe market share.
“We’re 10 % nationwide but when you go to states like California we’re 50 percent because HDPE pipe will be the only material which is earthquake and ground-movement resistant,” Langston said. “A study by Cornell University performed on 16-inch pipe showed you could have 4 feet of lateral shift as well as 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 maneuver, making PE pipe a good option, Langston said.
“It doesn’t matter where you reside in america, you’re planning to have ground movement,” he added. “When you appear at pipe failures, the primary reason for the is bell-and-spigot separation. The pipe pulls apart. But if you have a fused, welded system, including polyethylene, the pipe just moves with all the ground. There are actually no problems.”
Florida is another big industry for PEX-AL-PEX pipe as an alternative material for corroded metal pipes, Langston said.
Elsewhere, material acceptance can appear just like a slog. You will find mayors, council members, administrators, engineering firms and public works employees that need to acquire in to the switch to PE.
“We are constantly going all over the country referring to PE pipe,” Langston said. “The interest is exceedingly amazing but the change process is slow.”