Andrew Wedgner, Muhammad Qasim, Arsenio Sembrano
Papers # 2018 Las-Vegas
Developments in material and pipe extrusion technology now enable converters to produce PE100 solid wall pipes of up to 2,800mm OD, but the use of such large diameters has been limited to industrial applications. This is now starting to change with water transmission pipelines of up to 1400mm OD being laid in the UAE and Pakistan. This paper gives an overview of the developments that have driven growth in the use of large diameter PE100 pipelines and looks at the two largest projects undertaken to date.
Since they came in to common use in the 1960’s the maximum diameter of solid wall polyethylene (PE) pipe systems has gradually grown due to improvements in material and pipe extrusion technology. PE100 pipes are now produced in sizes up to 2800 mm OD, but until recently the use of sizes above 630 mm OD has been limited to industrial and specialised applications such as cooling water pipework, seawater intakes and outfalls.
However, the increasing number of large diameter PE pipe extrusion lines across Asia and the development of extra low sag PE100 grades has both lowered costs and provided water utilities across the region with access to large diameter PE pipelines. This together with a better appreciation of the low whole life cost benefits of PE pipe systems has led to a greater adoption of PE for water transmission pipelines for sizes above 630 mm OD.
This paper will discuss the above points in general along with examining in detail two recent large diameter water transmission projects that have been undertaken in the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan. These 1200mm and 1400mm OD projects, with a combined length of over 110km have been laid in challenging environments, both in terms of terrain and climate. Both were also designed using a range of pipe SDRs to meet operational pressures whilst minimizing material use and hence cost. This paper reviews the designs along with discussing lessons learnt from each project.