From the magazine

Mind over material

Essentially, there is no one system that is the best solution for every application, and a careful assessment of the benefits of different options put forward needs to be performed.

This includes the physical properties of the materials proposed, and their specific nature, so that both the long term operating life and material dictated installation requirements can be evaluated.

At the installation stage, the pipe material properties will determine the work method statements.

Meanwhile, the design engineer can now choose between a host of materials, ranging from spray rehabilitation polyurethanes (PU), fold down/pump up polyvinylchloride (PVC), slip lining/size reduction polyethylene (PE), and jacking glass fibre (GRP) pipes.

All of these materials have different engineering properties which need to be clearly understood for each project.

Proper application of these materials will see the Trenchless Technology segment of the pipe construction market continue to grow at a rapid rate with larger diameter pipes and more demanding applications.

Incorporated in 1994, LeHunt and Associates, as consulting engineers, has been involved in pipeline projects using a variety of materials ranging from DN 32 mm crosslinked PE (PEX), to 1,800 mm PE in installations throughout Australia and New Zealand, focusing on the properties of the materials, their installation requirements, jointing technologies, and on-site commissioning demands.

In the field of competency training, LeHunt and Associates, together with the then Queensland Industry Training Board, developed the National Training Package PMB series for welding PE, design and installation of PE and PVC, with these packages now regularly delivered across Australia and New Zealand.

These were seen as a vital step in encouraging the use of larger diameter pipes in the trenchless field and provide competent installation and inspection skills on site.

As existing infrastructure ages, trenchless rehabilitation becomes a more attractive proposition and in many cases, will be driven by the greater range of technology choices available.

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