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Viability of High Density PE Pipe for Trenchless Installations [PE]


Plastic Pipes Conference Association # 2006 Washington DC


Trenchless construction techniques have gained popularity over the past decade for the installation of underground utility systems. The choice of appropriate pipe material has been often a challenge for engineers and designers of such projects. While the gas industry has adopted polyethylene pipe for years, some municipal agencies have raised concerns about using plastic pipe material for trenchless projects. This paper examines the use of high density polyethylene pipe (HDPE) for the installation of municipal sewer and water systems using horizontal directional drilling and the replacement of such infrastructure using pipe bursting. The results of field instrumentation to measure pipe strains and pullback loads are presented to demonstrate the viability of HDPE for both horizontal directional drilling and pipe bursting projects. All of the instrumented pipe sections were found to contain strains well below a 5% threshold and pullback loads within the capability of the recommended equipment. Additionally, general good installation practices for the two trenchless techniques are discussed.

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