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Centralisers putting trenchless projects on the right line

Traditional centralisers have several limitations that can increase risk on trenchless pipeline projects, resulting in time and cost blowouts, and reducing accuracy. But all hopes are not lost, thanks to OptionX Group’s Riteline Centralisers.

With the confidence that Riteline Centralisers, a new fully adjustable spacer system on the market, would ensure accurate installation of product pipe, Edge Underground has used these casing spacers to successfully complete a sewer pipeline project.

Riteline in action

Edge Underground was contracted by West Region Delivery Team (WRDT) to install the Austral lead-in pipe for Sydney Water’s Austral Leppington Wastewater project. The project will provide safe and reliable drinking water and wastewater to service growth in the Austral and Leppington precincts. 

The project involves the construction of a new pumping station, a temporary pressure main, and the construction of three carriers: Kemps Creek Carrier, the Austral Carrier and the Bonds Creek Carrier.

As part of the project, Edge Underground installed 477m of DN 300 glass reinforced plastic (GRP) in a DN 500 mild steel casing, with bore lengths varying from 87m to 140m in length. 

Ground conditions varied along the length of the bore, from sandy clay to shale up to 40 MegaPascal (Mpa).

Edge Underground Managing Director and OptionX Group Chief Executive Officer Stuart Harrison said the team used Riteline Centralisers on the project to create 75mm spacing around the product pipe. The company then grouted thereafter to ensure a neat fit inside the 500 casing to maximise precision. 

“Riteline Centralisers come in both rigid and flex series depending on project requirements,” he said. 

“For the Austral lead-in pipe, we chose to use the rigid series because we checked the bore and didn’t see any potential for interference that would put the centralisers under excessive load.

“However, had we looked at the bore and seen the potential for interference we could’ve used the flex series, which feature a unique spring-like design that enables elastic deformation around obstacles to prevent jamming and ensure a smooth workflow.”

Harrison said another benefit of Riteline Centralisers on the project was their individual attachment points as opposed to centralisers banding around the pipe. 

This allowed grout to flow easily around them, preventing a grout plug that is often caused by standard centraliser bands. 

“Riteline reduces potential issues with grouting because it is tensioned on the centreline, whilst minimising flow restriction,” Harrison said.

“This means if any air pockets do happen to form, the pipe is already tensioned in the right position.”

A further feature that sets Riteline apart from other centralisers on the market is their extraordinary design.

The centralisers are designed with very high-bond adhesive strips that prevent slippage to ensure accuracy is maintained and eliminate the need for pre-wrapping or treating the pipe.

OptionX Group
Riteline Centralisers are an innovative solution that improve the accuracy of trenchless installations. Image: OptionX Group.

Addressing the industry’s challenges

Riteline Centralisers are an innovative solution that improve the accuracy of trenchless installations by ensuring the fixed position of the carrier pipe relative to the bored hole or encasement pipe. 

They can accommodate pipes from 100mm in diameter, with no upper limit.

“What sets Riteline Centralisers apart from other spacers on the market is their ability to adjust to different heights, ranging from 30mm up to 125mm,” Harrison said.

“Other casing spacers need to be purchased in specific sizes and can’t be adapted to meet changing needs on-site.

“With Riteline, incremental adjustments can be made to the existing centralisers rather than requiring new centralisers of a different size, saving time, money and stock wastage.”

Typically, centralisers are also designed to either slot together to fully surround the pipe or must be designed in a size that completely surrounds the pipe. 

Regardless of the weight or load requirements, the maximum number of centralisers is called for. 

This is not the case for Riteline, which can be attached to the pipe as needed and the number of spacers required is based solely on the load, providing a tailored and efficient solution. 

This unique feature minimises the use of excess product, thereby reducing costs and environmental impact.

“As each centraliser is individually attached to the pipe, the risk of catastrophic failure is reduced,” Harrison said. “Traditional centralisers that surround the pipe can fail when they snag on an obstacle in the bore, which can cause an entire ring of centralisers to move, compromising the installation.”

The benefits of Riteline Centralisers also go beyond the project site.

“Traditional centralisers are notorious for causing cut injuries during the installation process,” Harrison said.

However, Riteline is manufactured from durable engineering polymers. 

“Without the thin sheets of metal often seen, the risk of these injuries is removed,” he said.

“Coupled with their easy installation, that chance of workplace injuries is reduced.”

OptionX Group
With Riteline, adjustments can be made to the existing centralisers, saving time, money and stock wastage. Image: OptionX Group.

Australian owned and made

Edge Underground has been developing by using and providing feedback on Riteline for almost 10 years. 

As a result, the product is now available on the wider market, with both Edge Underground and Riteline being owned by OptionX Group.

“Riteline Centralisers are Australian owned and made,” Harrison said. 

“And we are pleased to say all are now currently undergoing Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) approval.”

For more information, visit the OptionX website.

This article featured in the December edition of Trenchless Australasia. 

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