2024 Pipe Selection Guide

Trenchless Technology Pipe Selection Guide

Pipe is the star of any trenchless project, as it is the
conduit for whatever utility flows through — gas, water, wastewater, electric or telecom. The pros and cons of each product pipe on the market are critical to the end result.’

But pipe is pipe, right? To say or believe that clearly shows that you are uninformed— and that is a description we do not want our readers to be. So, we are here to help and offer some guidance in search of your pipe needs.
Concrete. Concrete pressure pipe. Ductile iron.
Fiberglass reinforced. HDPE. Polymer concrete. PVC. Steel. Vitrified clay. These types of pipe are routinely the product pipe of choice on today’s trenchless projects. Deciding which pipe is best suited for any given trenchless project — whatever that may be — is an important part of the project design process. How do you know which will serve your project’s and/or system’s needs the best?
This where the 2022 Trenchless Technology Pipe
Selection Guide comes into play. To help our faithful readers out, Trenchless Technology contacted pipe associations and manufacturers of the nine pipes typically

used in trenchless projects to showcase what their particular conduit offers. We have provided this valuable information several times in recent years, the last being in 2020. Some have changed over the years, others have not but we are offering our valued readers an updated roundup of these product pipe. Consider this Guide a starting off point in your search. As always, the information before you is only
intended to give you a glimpse at the different pipe in the market. For more detailed information to see which pipe will work best for your project, please contact the manufacturer, pipe association or project engineer.

All the information presented was provided by the
pipe associations or manufacturers.

We hope this aids in bettering your knowledge of
product pipe.

Editor, Trenchless Technology

CONCRETE
WHAT IS NOTABLE ABOUT YOUR PIPE:

Precast concrete pipe can be supplied in a variety of sizes, shapes, and strengths. When precast concrete pipe is specified and installed, there is less anxiety about conforming to product limitations and greater confidence in performing to expectations. Its resilience to both the installation and final loading conditions ensures performance is sustained for many years to come.

Source: American Concrete Pipe Association

Trenchless Applications

Concrete Pipe is ideal for jacking and microtunneling and other instances where high compressive strength is
needed for pushing a pipeline
into its final location

Best Suited For

Buried precast concrete products are well suited for applications where high compressive forces are needed for the process of installation, such as jacking and microtunneling. Shapes, such as circular, elliptical, arch, and rectangular box sections allow for a variety of choices to accommodate physical obstructions that may limit space.

Ill Suited For

Concrete pipe is not well suited for applications having high internal
pressure.

LATEST DEVELOPMENT OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS:

Advancements in the use of cementitious and non-cementitious materials and admixtures continue to provide greater strength, longer durability, and more sustainable products. Additionally, manufacturing equipment and processes continue to evolve and improve product quality. ASTM Standard C1885 for Circular Precast Concrete Culvert, Storm Drain, and Sewer Pipe for Pipe Jacking was developed in 2021, and a microtunneling pipe standard is being developed

AVAILABLE DIAMETERS:

Circular reinforced concrete pipe is available from 12 in. to 144 in. in diameter. Elliptical and Arch shapes are available for locations with limited vertical or horizontal clearance. These shapes have sizes equivalent to 132 in. diameter circular pipe and less. Additionally, square and rectangular shapes are available in standard dimensions up to 12 ft. by 12 ft., with larger nonstandard sizes available

DESIGN LIFE:

It is generally agreed that CPP has a service life of 75 to 105 years.

HOW IS IT DELIVERED:

Concrete pressure pipe is
delivered by truck in 10-ft (3-
m) to 20-ft (6-m) lengths that
are ready for installation


CONCRETE PRESSURE PIPE

What Is notable about your Pipe?

All ACPPA plants are audited annually by Lloyds Register Quality Assurance (LRQA) to assure that all pipe is manufactured in strict compliance with both the AWWA Standards and project specifications. CPP is “wet cast” and cured in its forms, providing a dense smooth-wall pipe, round on the barrel and square on the ends, with a dimensional accuracy such that every pipe is essentially a carbon copy of the others. Naturally resistant to corrosion and can accommodate a wide variety of applications. Since pipe is engineered for the project application, design considerations can often be made to accommodate unique project requirements and site conditions

Source: American Concrete Pressure Pipe Association

Trenchless Applications

Jacking and microtunneling operation that requires high compressive strength pipe and watertight joints. In North America, Reinforced Concrete Pipe (RCP) has been installed by jacking for nearly 100 years and by microtunneling since 1986.

Best Suited For

Concrete pressure pipe is best suited for a wide range of trenchless applications including, but not limited to, gravity, storm and sanitary, outfalls, force mains and transmission mains casing pipe etc. Reinforced Concrete Pipe – Non-Cylinder Type (AWWA C302) Reinforced) low pressure pipe and Reinforced Concrete Cylinder Pipe (AWWA C300) pressure pipe can be used as the carrier pipe in a single pass operation.

Ill Suited For

Thicker pipe wall may not be suited
with small boring machine diameters

Latest Development over the last five years

Enhanced C300 design to allow for single pass water main or other high-pressure applications. Continuous improvement of AWWA standards ensure the high-quality of concrete pressure pipe.

Available Diameters

Pipe is generally available in diameters from 24 in. to 144 in. (600 mm to 3,600 mm)

DESIGN LIFE:

It is generally agreed that CPP has a service life of 75 to 105 years.

HOW IS IT DELIVERED:

Concrete pressure pipe is
delivered by truck in 10-ft (3-
m) to 20-ft (6-m) lengths that
are ready for installation


DUCTILE IRON PIPE

What Is notable about your Pipe?

Successful trenchless installations have firmly established ductile iron pipe as a viable, and in many instances superior, pipe option. The advantages of using ductile iron pipe for trenchless installations include:

  1. Standard pressure capabilities up to 350 psi (greater upon special
    request)
  2. Great material strength for handling pull-back, column, and external
    dead and live loading
  3. Better distribution of thrust or pulling forces around the bell and
    barrel
  4. Greater allowable pulling forces than other pipe options
  5. Generous allowable joint deflections
  6. Quick, easy joint assembly
  7. Cartridge installation option for limited easements or ROW for HDD
    installations.
  8. Can be located from surface with commonly used locators
  9. Performance capabilities are not impacted by elevated temperatures
  10. Demonstrated to withstand temperatures generated in wildfire
    conditions
  11. Material strength that does not creep or decrease with time
  12. Pipe wall impermeable to volatile hydrocarbons, minimizing the
    potential of water system contamination in the present or future
  13. A very strong pipe able to handle residual bending stresses that
    could adversely affect future serviceability.
  14. No significant “recoil” and minimal pipe movement due to thermal
    expansion.
  15. Eliminates potential for shearing of tapped lateral outlets due to
    thermal expansion and contraction

Trenchless Applications

Jacking and microtunneling opera-
tion that requires high compres-
sive strength pipe and watertight
joints. In North America, Rein-
forced Concrete Pipe (RCP) has
been installed by jacking for nearly
100 years and by microtunneling
since 1986.

Best Suited For

Concrete pressure pipe is best suited for a wide range of trenchless applications including, but not limited to, gravity, storm and sanitary, outfalls, force mains and transmission mains casing pipe etc. Reinforced Concrete Pipe – Non- Cylinder Type (AWWA C302) Reinforced) low pressure pipe and Reinforced Concrete Cylinder Pipe (AWWA C300) pressure pipe can be used as the carrier pipe in a single pass operation.

Ill Suited For

Thicker pipe wall may not be suited
with small boring machine diameters

LATEST DEVELOPMENT OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS:

Introduction of seismic joints for use where permanent ground deformation events are anticipated

How is it Joined:

For underground service, gasketed push-on joints are normally specified. In HDD applications, a restrained joint is needed – check with pipe manufacturers for recommendations. Other proprietary compression ring gasketed joints that facilitate trenchless applica-
tions. The push-on joint is deflectable (as much as 5 degrees) to facilitate HDD applications and routing the pipeline with minimal fittings.

AVAILABLE DIAMETERS

3-in.diameter through 64-in. diameter

(3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 24, 30, 36, 42, 54, 60, and 64-in. diameters)

Ductile Iron Piping
DESIGN LIFE:

Indefinite when properly designed and
installed.

HOW IS IT DELIVERED:

Normally, 18- or 20-ft lengths. The
standard push-on joint can also be
cut in the field if shorter lengths are
needed.

Final Paragraph

With the increasing demand for water and wastewater infrastructure and a movement to reduce the social-economic impact on rate payers that is often associated with open-cut construction, trenchless installation will certainly play an increasing role. For these installations, public works personnel and contractors have the option of installing superior ductile iron pipe.

Source: Ductile Iron Pipe Research Association


FIBERGLASS REINFORCED PIPE

What Is notable about your Pipe?

“Fiberglass pipe and manways are gaining in market presence due to its many benefits. When leak-free joints, inherent corrosion resistance, superior hydraulic characteristics and long life service are taken into account, fiberglass is a clear winner. There are cost-savings that accrue over the lifetime of the product due to lower maintenance and extended life expectance over traditional materials. However, cost-savings begin at installation with reduced onsite handling costs (i.e., high strength/weight ratio material) and reduced labor and installation time (e.g. longer pipe with fewer joints/manways). Fiberglass pipe is an engineered product that may be custom manufactured with fiberglass manways and
fittings to meet the most difficult jobsite applications.” said Sully Curran, P.E., executive director, Fiberglass Tank & Pipe Institute.

Source: Fiberglass Tank & Pipe Institute

Trenchless Applications

Pressure and gravity sliplining,
microtunneling/jacking, tunnel
lining casings, pipe bursting and
directional drilling.

Best Suited For

Potable water transmission, force main or gravity sewer systems and all applications where there is a corrosive carrier or external environment.

Ill Suited For

Gas transmission and other
hydrocarbon transmission
lines.

Latest Development over the last five years:

The United States increased application of sliplining and pipe jacking that enables public utilities to maintain their sewage system operation requires a corrosion resistant pipe that can accomplish high push-loading. In addition, there is an increased application of microtunneling, pipe bursting and directional drilling where fiberglass pipe and manway manufacturers are providing a corrosion resistant alternative to traditional pipe materials. The Fiberglass Tank & Pipe Institute represents manufacturers of pipe and manways such as NOV Fiber Glass Systems and Hobas Pipe USA.

APPLICABLE STANDARDS:

AWWA C950 for Fiberglass pressure pipe and ASTM D3754 for Fiberglass Sewer and Industrial Pressure pipe. ASTM D3262 for gravity systems. ASTM D4161coupling joints. ASTM D2412 External Loading Characteristics by Parallel-Plate loading. Fiberglass pipe can be utilized in a wide range of service conditions including extreme cold, which does not affect the material and operating temperatures up to 180 F, with pressures up to 500 psi. Each pipe is designed for soil burden, external water pressure and live loading conditions. The pipe is easily
repairable and modify in the field should conditions warrant. Hydraulic analysis shows superb flow characteristics, Manning’s of n=0.009 and Hazen Williams of C=155. In addition, the pipe surface is extremely abrasion resistant.

Fiberglass Reinforced Piping
DESIGN LIFE:

In excess of 150 years.

HOW IS IT DELIVERED:

The typical delivered length is 20 ft; however, both short sections (e.g. 5 ft and 10 ft) and longer lengths of up to 40 ft are available to minimize the number of joints.

How is it Joined:

Unless otherwise specified, the pipe shall be field connected with fiberglass sleeve couplings that utilize elastomeric sealing gaskets to maintain joint water tightness. The joints must meet the performance requirements of ASTM D4161. Tieins, when needed, may utilize
gasket-sealed mechanical couplings.

Available Diameters

The pipe is available from 18 to 158 in. in diameter.


HIGH DENSITY POLYETHYLENE (HDPE, PE4710)
WHAT IS NOTABLE ABOUT YOUR PIPE:

Properly designed and installed HDPE piping systems have the lowest failure rate, zero allowable leakage for heat fused joints, fully restrained joints, lowest initial and life cycle costs, inherent corrosion resistance, longest design life, longest fatigue life
and is the preferred material for trenchless installations.

Also, due to high ductility, HDPE water piping systems had zero failures in the last five earthquakes in Japan, Chile and New Zealand. Also provides system integrity during soil movement events such as drought and flood.

Per AWWA C906-21 standard, PE4710 pressure class includes a safety factor greater than 2 for the allowed operating stress and for surge pressures (recurring and occasional).
Per AWWA C906-21 standard, matching the ID of other pipe materials to the ID of HDPE for flow and PC will yield incorrect results. Use PPIPACE.com to evaluate flow capacity and PC of HDPE to other materials.

Source: Plastics Pipe Institute

Applicable Standards (Major)

  • ANSI/AWWA C901, ANSI/
    AWWA C906 – municipal
  • ASTM D3035, F714 Transmission and Industrial
  • Factory Mutual FM 1613 Fire Water Protection
  • Joining: ASTM: F2620, F1055, F1290
  • Installation: ANSI/AWWA
    M55; Plastics Pipe Institute Handbook of PE Pipe, ASTM D2321,
    D2774, F585, F1962, F2164, F2206, F3190
  • NSF-14 and NSF-61

Trenchless Applications

Horizontal directional drilling, static and pneumatic pipe bursting, sliplining and compression-fit using solid wall HDPE (PE4710) piping systems.

Best Suited For

Potable water (service, distribution, and transmission), reclaimed water, force main, gravity,
and storm sewer, industrial, Factory Mutual fire
water protection, methane/leachate collection,
nuclear, conduit (electrical and communication)
and natural gas distribution. This summary will
focus on HDPE solid wall for water and sewer.

Ill Suited For

Refer to applicable standards and requirements. Also, pressure applications with annual average temperature exceed-
ing 140 F and Pressure Class exceeding 335 psi

LATEST DEVELOPMENT OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS:

High performance PE4710 is the 4th has been implemented in United States and Canadian standard, manuals and software. New documents and resources were published (or updated) as listed below:

Documents

  • AWWA C901, C906 and M55 (2020/2021)
  • ASTM F1962 on HDD (2022)
  • Seismic Response of HDPE Laterals (2021)
  • MAB-1 on electrofusion (2022)
  • MAB-3 Model Specifications (2020)
  • MAB-4 on Repairs (2019)
  • MAB-5 on pipe bursting (2019)
  • MAB-6 on inspection (2020)
  • MAB-7 on mini-HDD (2020)
  • MAB-8 on cold weather fusion (2022)

Software:

  • PPIPACE for water hammer and fatigue design life forecast
  • PPIBoreaid for horizontal directional drilling
  • HDPEapp for multiple design and installation calculations

How is it Delivered:

HDPE pipe is produced in straight lengths up to 50 ft and coiled in diameters up to 6 inches. Depending on pipe size, coiled length can exceed 1,000 ft.

DESIGN LIFE:

Properly designed, installed, and operated HDPE piping systems have a design life exceeding 100 years based on internal pressure, cyclic fatigue, and degradation/
oxidation.

Available Diameters:

¾ in. to 65 in. per ASTM and AWWA standards


POLYMER CONCRETE
WHAT IS NOTABLE ABOUT YOUR PIPE:

“In choosing a pipe material, owners have found that polymer concrete pipe, with its unique physical properties, combines the best attributes of the leading pipe materials- inherent corrosion resistance of FRP pipe along with the rigid properties of reinforced concrete pipe. Years back when we first introduced the reinforced polymer concrete pipe to the market we often described polymer concrete pipe as a hybrid to those unfamiliar with the product. Nowadays, everyone is much more familiar with polymer concrete and our product availability has increased significantly even in the last couple years with added production capacity in North America,”

Mike Olson, Interpipe Polymer/PolymerCrete.

Trenchless Applications

Microtunneling, pipe jacking, onepass tunnel segments. Structures and shafts for tunnel construction.

Best Suited For

For sanitary sewer or industrial sewer service where conditions require corrosion protection.

Ill Suited For

Currently, polymer concrete pipe is not designed for or approved for pressure of potablewater applications.

LATEST DEVELOPMENT OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS:

Production capacity of polymer concrete pipe and products has increased significantly in recent years. Product availability in several geographic locations will translate into freight savings for owners.

Applicable Standards:

ASTM D6783. Other standards including ASTM C-76 and AWWA design methods can be used.

AVAILABLE DIAMETERS:

Polymer concrete pipe is available in diameters ranging from 8 to 144 in

Polymer Concrete Pipe - Pipe Selection Guide
DESIGN LIFE:

Polymer concrete pipe has
a projected 100-year plus
service life

HOW IS IT DELIVERED:

Pipe is typically delivered in
8- or 10-ft lengths by means
of truck, closed container for
ocean freight or rail. For pilot
tube installation methods, 1
m lengths are available.


POLYVINYL CHLORIDE (PVC)
WHAT IS NOTABLE ABOUT YOUR PIPE:

PVC water and sewer pipe has been in service in North American for 70 years, with more than 2 million miles installed. According to a 2018 Utah State University report, PVC pipe has the lowest break rate of all commonly used pipe mate-
rials in North America. PVC pipe’s exceptional performance is due to its robust material strength and corrosion resistance.

Source: Uni-Bell PVC Pipe Association

Trenchless Applications

Horizontal directional drilling, pipe bursting, segmental sliplining, and
close-fit pipe lining

Best Suited For

Potable water, reclaimed water, sewer force main gravity sanitary sewer, and storm sewer pipe and fittings

Ill Suited For

Applications where fluid temperatures consistently exceed 140 F or high-pressure applications above 305 psi working pressure.

LATEST DEVELOPMENT OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS:

  • The Contractor’s Installation Guide for Gasketed PVC Pipe has been recently published, providing installers and users with the most up-to-date information (also available in Spanish).
  • A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) in accordance with ISO 14040 series was published showing that PVC pipe has the lowest environmental impacts and life cycle costs as well as the lowest embodied energy and carbon footprint of all pipe materials.
  • An ISO 14025 compliant Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) certified by NSF International was re-issued for PVC water and sewer pipe. The EPD transparently discloses the environmental impacts of PVC pipe.

AVAILABLE DIAMETERS:

Circular reinforced concrete pipe is available from 12 in. to 144 in. in diameter. Elliptical and Arch shapes are available for locations with limited vertical or horizontal clearance. These shapes have sizes equivalent to 132 in. diameter circular pipe and less. Additionally, square and rectangular shapes are available in standard dimensions up to 12 ft. by 12 ft., with larger nonstandard sizes available.

DESIGN LIFE:

Multiple studies have confirmed that PVC pipe lasts in excess of 100 years.

HOW IS IT DELIVERED:

Standard lengths are 20 or 22ft for pressure pipe and 14 to 22 ft for sewer pipe. Alternative lengths are available on a limited basis.


STEEL PIPE
WHAT IS NOTABLE ABOUT YOUR PIPE:

The performance resume for steel pipe dates back to the early 1850s. This experience in pressure applications for water, gas and petroleum fluids cannot be matched by any other pipe material, particularly those made from plastic materials that are visco-elastic, where the material strengths erodes overtime. Steel pipe, with its simple, straight-forward design procedure and pragmatic installation requirements, is finding its way into project specifications once dominated by pipes of composite construction. STI/SPFA member companies are certified for the SPFA Certification program by Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance. This provides owners and engineers with assurance that their steel pipe is manufactured in strict accordance with applicable AWWA, ASTM and other standards and industry accepted practices.

Source: Steel Tank Institute/Steel Plate Fabricators Association (STI/SPFA)

Trenchless Applications

Directional drilling, jack-and-bore and pipe ramming.

Best Suited For

Water and wastewater transmission, gas and oil transmission, water well casing, pile driving and caisson sleeves.

Ill Suited For

Chemical or corrosive service without internal or external protective coatings

HOW IS IT JOINED:

The most common method of assembling steel pipe is by field welding or bell and spigot joints with rubber o-ring gaskets, other methods include threading-and-coupling or compression fittings

AVAILABLE DIAMETERS:

Steel pipe is available in diameters 4 in. and larger with virtually an unlimited choice of fitting and special fabrications possible.

Applicable Standards:

AWWA standards include C200 and Manual of Standard Practice for the Design and Installation of Steel Water Pipe M11, ASTM standards for steel pipe include A53, A106 A139, A252. The most common API standard for steel pipe is API 5L.

Steel Pipe- Myrtle Beach HDD
DESIGN LIFE:

The design life of steel pipe is based on the mechanical strength of steel which is fully
elastic and not time dependent. If properly installed, with the appropriate lining
and coating, steel pipe with the addition of electrical bonding and cathodic protection (if required) can last indefinitely.

HOW IS IT DELIVERED:

Steel pipe is generally supplied in laying lengths 20 to 60 ft. Some diameters of pipe can be manufactured in lengths up to 120 ft or longer without a girth mid-weld.


VITRIFIED CLAY JACKING PIPE (VCP-J)
WHAT IS NOTABLE ABOUT YOUR PIPE:

VCP-J is the predominant small diameter direct-jacked product pipe material due to its unmatched compressive strength (18,000 psi average), low-profile, zero-leakage joint and proven unmatched service life. Vitrified clay is a fired ceramic with material properties unaffected by age, light or chemicals. It provides unmatched durability to aggressive cleaning tools and techniques. Today’s vitrified clay jacking pipe coupled with trenchless installation methods allow municipalities to design, construct and maintain the most sustainable collection systems of this century.

Source: National Clay Pipe Institute

Trenchless Applications

Pilot Tube Method (PTM) of Guided Boring, microtunneling, slurry microtunneling, static pipe bursting, sliplining existing pipe and casing.

Best Suited For

Gravity flow sanitary sewers

Ill Suited For

Pressure applications

LATEST DEVELOPMENT OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS:

Guided boring/pilot-tube method techniques with VCP are achieving precision drives of more than 400 LF. ASCE/ UESI has released a Manual of Practice on the method entitled Pilot Tube and Other Guided Boring Methods (MOP No. 133; available at asce.org). VCP is currently being used as the replacement product in ‘static pipe bursting methods resulting in a rigid, abrasion resistant, long-lasting,
gravity flow conduit.

AVAILABLE DIAMETERS:

8 to 24 in. I.D.

APPLICABLE STANDARDS:

ASTM C-1208, EN 295-7

HOW IS IT JOINED:

Low-Profile Compression Joints utilizing 316 grade stainless steel collars

VITRIFIED CLAY JACKING PIPE
DESIGN LIFE:

200-plus years

HOW IS IT DELIVERED:

VCP is available in a variety of stock or custom lengths, depending on diameter, jacking frame and shaft size. Common lengths are 1 and 2 m.

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