A Piping Solution

Pipe bursting represents the ideal pipe rehabilitation solution for replacing and upsizing the capacity of existing pipelines while avoiding the economic and social costs of traditional methods. Pipe bursting is the only trench-less process that enables a city to revitalize its piping system without extensive excavation and traffic stoppages.

OLD Pipe Material

In most bursting applications, the old pipe is made of a rigid material such as vitrified clay pipe (VCP), cast iron, plain concrete, asbestos, or some plastics. Reinforced concrete pipe (RCP) was successfully replaced when it was not heavily reinforced or if it was substantially deteriorated. The diameter of the old pipe typically ranges from 2 inches to 30 inches, although the bursting of larger diameters is increasing. A length of 300 to 400 feet is a typical length for bursting; however, much longer runs were completed with bursting systems that are more powerful. In addition, some point repairs on the old pipe, especially repairs made with ductile materials, can make the process more difficult.

NEW Pipe Material

High--and medium--density polyethylene (HDPE and MDPE) have been the most-used replacement pipes for pipe bursting applications. The main advantages of PE pipe are its continuity, flexibility, and versatility. The continuity, which is obtained by butt fusing together long segments in the field, reduces the possibility of stopping the process. The flexibility allows bending the pipe for angled insertion in the field. In addition, it is a versatile material that meets all the other requirements for gas, water, and wastewater lines. The smoother interior surface (relative to other pipe material) reduces the friction between the flow and the pipe wall, which allow higher flow speed and increased flow capacity. The PE pipe does not erode, rot, corrode, or rust; it also does not support bacteriological growth. The relatively higher thermal expansion coefficients are the main disadvantage of PE pipes. If the PE pipe is installed and restrained appropriately, the pipe expands and contracts without any damage. When used in pipe bursting applications, the friction between the soil and the pipe is reduced.