The project vision is to create an innovative rehabilitation process designed to meet the needs of the pipe rehabilitation market and the SME-AG members: a low cost (33% reduction in total costs compared to epoxy lining), 2x production rate, low maintenance solution with suitable operational characteristics, lower energy use (15% reduction), no increase in infrastructure cost and integration with existing working equipment and tools. The EZ-Line solution comprises a conformable thermoplastic fabric , which is pulled through the pipe, pushed against the inner surface of the pipe to be relined, heated and consolidated by a novel pig-head design. During consolidation, the liner fabric will partially melt to form a smooth, water tight solid ‘sheet’ of reinforced plastic.
The EZ-Line system will use standard commercially available pressure water jet cleaning technology to clear debris in the pipe and clean it prior to the lining process. The EZ-Line system will use steam pressure for heating, consolidation and movement (for the pig) to ensure rapid processing and relining of the damaged pipe; placing the liner in situ and consolidating the structure as it traverses along the length of the pipe. This simplifies the design to produce a very robust device. The EZ-Line system will not require water pressure to ‘push’ a sock into the pipe (as required for thermosetting resin impregnated felts), neither will EZ-Line need hot water to carry out any chemical curing process.
The lining technology will allow longer relining runs to be undertaken using a trenchless technology. The liner will take the form of a flat, folded reinforced thermoplastic fabric, allowing it to be spooled on a reel. Compared to existing processes, infrastructure requirements will be minimised. The benefits include faster, lower cost efficient repairs, reduced labour, reduced risk and no smell or chemical hazards associated with thermosetting resins. The consolidation head will require an electrical and water supply for operation, provided by an umbilical.
The prototype of the consolidation head will have a dimension =/> 100 cm, with the capability to work in pipelines with a diameter =/> 100 cm, with different shapes, profiles and materials, using existing working protocols and machines for the ‘push’ and the re-lining operations. No geometrical constraints are foreseen for this application.
The overall objective is to design, development and create a novel trenchless pipe relining solution for:
– renovation of underground non-pressure drainage and sewerage networks
– renovation of underground drainage and sewerage networks under pressure
– renovation of underground water supply networks
– renovation of underground gas supply networks
– renovation of industrial pipelines
Standards are represented by the related ISO Norms, which must be respected by the RTD suppliers in the design and production of the prototype.
More specifically, the technology will deliver the following benefits to the SME-AG members:
• Trenchless technology with improved safety
• Ability to reline longer runs of pipe
• Less labour intensive resulting in lower labour costs, less disruption and faster repairs
• Recycled materials can be used
• Reduced costs via faster repairs
• Suitable for wide range of market sectors
• Ability to cope with pipes with surface defects, different shapes and irregular diameters and forms
• Wide variety of pipe diameters can be relined
To achieve the overall objective of the project, the following scientific and technical objective in the Table on the following page will be addressed. The Work Programme has been developed to achieve the objectives.
To achieve the project objective of establishing EZ Line as a technology to benefit the SME-AG members, the partners need to overcome the following scientific, technical and economic objectives:
The scientific objectives are as follows:
• Enhanced scientific knowledge of thermoplastics for the liner
• Enhanced understanding through experimental analysis of textile solutions
• Enhance understanding of polymer heating and consolidation process
• Enhanced understanding of fabrics development and consolidation requirements
The technical objectives are as follows:
• Development of head, consolidation, monitoring and umbilical systems
• Validate mechanical properties for the consolidated liner
• Integration of components and fabrics to produce a prototype demonstration system