Papers # 2016 Berlin
Plastic pipe systems have more than 80 years of history. Plastic pipes have successfully managed to replace various traditional materials by providing reliable, noncorrosive, leak tight pipeline solutions. As pipes are not the only components of piping systems, logically would be to see the similar development of plastic chambers and manholes, but unfortunately the dynamics with manholes are different. Despite the major growth of plastic chamber/manhole market in the last two decades, their market share compared to concrete is proportionally much smaller than relevant share in pipes. In order to determine the reasons for such differences and discuss possible scenarios of plastic chamber/manhole development in the future, I would like to look in chamber/manhole development history, evaluate advantages and limitations of different production technologies, as well as discuss the activities that should support the future development.
Sewer networks have always been important part of infrastructure pipe networks. 20th century has brought some major developments in sewer and storm drain systems – introduction of pipes and fittings made of thermoplastic materials, development of modern cleaning and inspection equipment. Plastic pipes have obtained substantial market share from traditional materials like concrete, clay, steel, etc. Plastic fittings became commodities in pressure pipe systems and in-house piping applications. Due to technological advances in servicing equipment during the last 30 years, plastic fittings and chambers became integral part of local/private sewer networks. Still utility companies responsible for municipal sewer and storm drainage remain skeptical about fitting, chamber and manhole use in gravity systems. The conservative approach is mainly based on the following arguments:
- “straight connection between manholes” rule,
- man entry required in all network access points for service,
- notion that solid weight of concrete manholes prevents floating,
- concrete manholes have been around for centuries,
- loss of watertightness is repairable and not so important factor
Long ago industry experts have concluded that those arguments are irrelevant or wrong and plastic chambers/manholes should be considered technically sound alternative to concrete.
With all those preconditions in place, the market was waiting for another big gain for plastics, but change was not happening. Plastic chambers managed to gain substantial market share only in Scandinavia and limited market share in new local network development in other European countries (mainly private, seldom in municipal networks). Introduction of man entry plastic manholes in ‘90s, was greeted with little interest as concrete lobby was going strong. Today we like to refer to plastic manholes as fast growing market segment, but despite strong increase in sales from low base numbers, concrete manholes remain dominant in most of the European markets.
discuss the limitations faced by plastic chambers/manholes. There are the following key factors that influence plastic chamber/manhole growth:
- conservative decision making, traditional thinking – human factor that prevents wide spread of alternative solutions,
- construction site proximity to production locations – local concrete business lobby,
- concrete manhole quality requirements – correlation between quality, lifetime and lifetime maintenance costs,
- required investment in production machinery and tooling – expensive entry into high quality and high efficiency manufacturing, feasible only for major multinational suppliers for whom injection molding of large size products is considered an ultimate goal,
- product characteristics due to production technology limitations – comparison of different properties of products made by high pressure injection molding, structural foam (low pressure) injection molding, rotational molding and pipe segment and prefab part welding technologies,
- limited choice of standard base inlet/outlet configurations –innovations that could provide required flexibility at low investment/production costs,
- negative product perception due to sales of low quality plastic chambers/manholes,
- quality of relevant European Norms and installation guidelines.
As objective for my presentation, I would argue that the main reason for relatively slow development of plastic manholes worldwide is the lack of flexible, cost effective production technology that could match the “concrete offer”. I would discuss advantages and limitations of major production methods used in plastic manhole manufacturing and propose my vision of “perfect future manhole”.
Author(s) : Giorgio Santella
The presentation focuses on the latest system solutions in storage, blending and feeding of main materials and additives, featuring the three main advantages that guarantee a continuous and profitable production of plastic pipes: flexibility, reliability and automation. The main element of modern design to obtain...
Author(s) : Zhang Wei, Wei Ruoqi, Zhou Minghong, Zhou Mingwei,
This article gives a brief introduction of plastic inspection chambers underground test, analyzes the stress borne by plastic inspection chambers from different angles combined with pressure sensors and strain gauges, sorts out some of the underground test data and analyzes the test data, and finally sums up the...
Author(s) : Rob G. Spekreijse, Johann Bryan
Producing PVC is a competitive market. Unless special products are produced like larger sizes or OPVC, the competiveness is important. Therefore the real issue becomes the saving of cost in producing pipe from PVC. There are many ways of saving costs and that issue must be considered in production companies making...
Author(s) : Dr. Udo Anders
PVC is a well-established material used worldwide for different applications such as window profiles, technical profiles, cables and sheets. Usage of PVC for pipes covers pressurized potable water applications as well as sewage systems, conduit, gas piping systems, gutters and fittings. Pb-based stabilizers have been...
Author(s) : Dr. Stephan Schuessler
The production of biomass as an alternative source for organic feedstocks like nutraceuticals, fertilizers, monomers, pharmaceuticals, organic antioxidants, fine chemicals or even fuel has become a topic of enormous global interest among researchers, investors and the industry over the past five years. The concept of...
Author(s) : Nigel Jones
PVC is clearly widely known as a material highly suited for trenched or open-cut pipe installations for a variety of uses. Less widely discussed is the fact that PVC offers the widest range of options for trenchless installations. While open-cut installations continue to be the standard method of construction for new...
Author(s) : Zhang Wei, Wei Ruoqi, Zhou Minghong, Zhou Mingwei, Lin Baoshu, Xiao Lingli
The plastic inspection chamber is one of the rapidly developing products in the field of drainage in China for the past few years. At present, plastic inspection chamber is mainly made of PP, PE, PVC and so on. The manufacturing technologies include injection molding, rotational molding, mechanical assembly and...
Author(s) : Mohamed Hageb, Roger Jepson, Mohana Murali
Throughout the financial crisis in the West, governments and businesses in the Middle East and Asia have continued to invest in industry confident that low labour costs or low feedstock and mineral costs would ensure that they remained competitive. Also many large water and wastewater projects have been continued,...