For too long HDPE pipe installations have been following an installation infrastructure based on outdated technology. Cast iron pipes were supplied in discrete lengths because the manufacturing process governed the maximum single lengths whilst their weight also obstructed ease of handling. Bell and spigot joints developed in 1785 are again an historical feature in many of today’s installations regardless of years of material developments in the piping industry. Even in the 21st century we are still deluded by the stick length and jointing process throughout the industry regardless of the final use or environment. Butt welding and electrofusion jointing developments have improved somewhat but are still the most common inherent failure of a pipe designed to last 100 years. It’s time to move on.
Low Ovality Technology (LV™) from Pipe Coil Technology Ltd has been used in Europe for some time now to provide a stable platform for HDPE and MDPE pipe in coil form. Users of LV promote and supply coils with less than 5% ovality in the 90mm to 180mm OD range, eliminating kinking failures and the need for further pre-installation manipulation on site. LV can also provide longer continuous coils by starting the coils at a smaller ID. With new ploughing technologies and the need for longer continuous lengths and larger diameters in coil form, a new technology was waiting to be introduced to remove the backlog of butt welding constraints and failures caused by contamination and poor practises.
4600m of DN160 or 800m of DN315 on a reel, sounds implausible outside of the offshore oil and gas industry. At Pipe Coil Technology Ltd we are used to dealing with these sorts of lengths having years of handling and development experience for the off-shore umbilical industry. In marrying two areas of our expertise we can provide equipment to coil and store these example unit lengths at the manufacturing point, transport them and dispense them at the installation site for gas gathering, mining slurry lines and major irrigation projects.Combining trenchless ploughing-in techniques with our LV reeling technology the installation cost savings can be orders of magnitude. Ploughs of this type are capable of simultaneous burying of 2 x DN315 pipes. Reeled pipe feeds also assist by direct in-line pay-off whilst the ploughing occurs so there are no long pre-strung lengths sat in the extremes of ambient temperature. The obvious savings occur with minimal or zero butt welding teams having to make clinical environment joints in these extreme conditions. The larger sizes above DN180 require LV and straightening on site but this does not slow the ploughing-in speeds, only providing a final manipulation to ensure ease of installation. Branch and distribution line installations also benefit from LV technology in its original free standing coil formats that can be utilised in urban areas.
Complementary processes further enhance and exploit the overall effectiveness of longer continuous pipe lengths. A partner company has patented portable extrusion line technology that operates from linked container sized units to provide a localised pipe production base feeding pipe in reel or coil sizes normally considered too large for un-escorted highway transportation. Rehabilitation projects using Swagelining™ or Slip lining can also be enhanced by removing the need to string out long butt welded lengths which require de-beading, sometimes both internally and externally.