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PVC – Review of Available Technologies for Trenchless Pipeline Applications

 

Nigel Jones

Papers # 2014 Chicago

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 projects where access is readily available, for projects in developed urban areas various trenchless technologies are making no dig options more economically viable and appealing. For rehabilitation of our cities aging pipelines, trenchless technologies make it possible to restore the structural integrity and fluid velocity of the pipeline whilst minimising the financial and social costs. In this paper, the options for and advantages of PVC in common trenchless installation techniques are reviewed. 

Common with other countries around the world, the use of trenchless pipeline installation technologies is expanding in Australia, with this trend is expected to continue. This has been confirmed in discussions held with water utilities and local governments, who continually seek the most cost effective ways to install and rehabilitate pipelines. Where new pipelines are installed in open areas, open-cut or trenched installations will likely continue to be the most efficient and cost effective way of completing the installation for some time. However, for installations in densely populated urban areas, open-cut installations are disruptive, costly and increasingly impractical. 

In many cities in the developed world, corrosion of water pipelines installed many years ago continues to become an increasing burden for water utilities and source of annoyance for end users affected by the frequent breaks in these pipelines1 . Ever increasing maintenance costs and compensation payments to flooded end users add to this burden. In Australia, it is becoming well accepted that replacing corroded pipe with another corrosion prone product does not represent progress. Thus the overwhelming majority of new and replacement water pipelines being installed in Australia are plastic, predominantly PVC. With the expected increase in trenchless installations in the future, it is critical for the plastic pipe industry to have a range of technologies available to cover the different challenges posed by trenchless pipeline installations. The versatility of PVC, particularly its excellent balance between strength, stiffness and flexibility make it an ideal material to cover a wide range of installation situations, particularly when challenges exist. This paper looks at different trenchless PVC technologies used in Australia and discusses why PVC is well placed to continue its growth in this market. 

Related keywords : technologies, material, trenchless, installation, infrastructure, grow, corrosion, long length, pipeline, crack resistant.
Please note that the whole article content is available on PPCA website only


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