From oil and gas projects to sewer work and every trenchless application in between, pipe selection is an important aspect of the planning process. In some instances, the options are limited to what the client specifies or the material the pipe is intended to transport and in other instances, the sky really is the limit. No matter the circumstance, what you need is a primer on what the different pipe varieties offer.

To help you out, Trenchless Technology once again contacted pipe associations and manufacturers of the eight pipes typically used in trenchless projects to point out what their particular conduit offers. Some have changed in the four-and-half years since we last conducted this round-up, others have not. As always, the information presented is intended to provide just a preliminary glimpse at the different pipe on the market. For more detail information, please contact the manufacturer, pipe association or your consulting engineer.
All information presented was provided by the various pipe associations or manufacturers.

Concrete
Trenchless Applications:
Jacking and microtunneling

Best Suited For:
Jacking and microtunneling applications where pipe with high strength is needed for the jacking forces. Box culvert sections can be used for applications where square or rectangular shapes may be more beneficial, such as low clearance areas, pedestrian tunnels, etc.
Ill Suited For:
Concrete pipe is not suited for applications having high internal pressure.

How Is It Delivered:
Pre-cast concrete pipe is delivered in precast units that are ready for installation.

How Is It Joined:
Pre-cast concrete pipe used for trenchless applications typically has a bell and spigot joint utilizing a rubber gasket.

Available Diameters:
Circular reinforced concrete pipe is available in sizes from 12 to 144 in. Elliptical and Arch shapes are also available for locations with limited vertical or horizontal clearance. Additionally, square and rectangular shapes are available in standard dimension up to 12 ft by 12 ft, with larger nonstandard sizes also available.

Design Life:
Concrete pipe has a proven design life in excess of 100 years.

Applicable standards:
ASTM C 14 (AASHTO M 86) Nonreinforced Concrete Pipe; ASTM C 985 Nonreinforced Concrete Pipe, Specified Strength; ASTM C 76 (AASHTO M 170) Reinforced Concrete Pipe; ASTM C 655 (AASHTO M 242) Reinforced Concrete Pipe Specified Strength; ASTM C 506 (AASHTO M 206) Reinforced Concrete Arch Pipe; ASTM C 507 (AASHTO M 207) Reinforced Concrete Elliptical Pipe; ASTM C 1433 Reinforced Concrete Box Culverts; ASTM C 1577 Reinforced Concrete Box Culverts; ASTM C 443 (AASHTO M 315) Joints for Concrete Pipe and Manholes; and ASTM C 1628 Joints for Concrete Pipe

Latest Development over the Last Five Years:
The Concrete Pipe Industry continues to enhance its product through new innovations in concrete admixtures and production automation to develop a quality product with durable performance.  Recently, the LRFD Design Requirements have been incorporated into the box culvert standards, and low head pressure pipe requirements are being updated.

What Is Notable about Your Pipe:
Precast concrete pipe can be supplied in a variety of sizes, shapes and strengths.  Thus, when you use precast concrete pipe you can worry less about conforming to the products limitations, and more about performing to your expectations.

Source: American Concrete Pipe Association
Web: www.concrete-pipe.org

Ductile Iron Pipe
Trenchless Applications:
Horizontal directional drilling, pipe bursting, microtunneling and pipe jacking.

Best Suited For:
Water and wastewater pipeline installations, both gravity and pressure applications, and any installations that require a robust/strong pipe.

Ill Suited For:
There really isn’t a water or wastewater pipe project where ductile iron pipe would be ill suited.

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

How It Is 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 applications. 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)

Design Life:
Indefinite when properly designed and installed.

Applicable Standards:
ANSI/AWWA C150/A21.50 –
Thickness Design of Ductile-Iron Pipe
ANSI/AWWA C151/A21.51 –
Ductile-Iron Pipe, Centrifugally Cast
ANSI/AWWA C111/A21.11 –
Rubber-Gasket Joints for Ductile-Iron Pressure Pipe and Fittings
ANSI/AWWA C104/A21.4 –
Cement-Mortar Lining for
Ductile-Iron Pipe and Fittings
ASTM A746 –
Ductile Iron Gravity Sewer Pipe
ASTM A716 –
Ductile Iron Culvert Pipe
ANSI/AWWA C105/A21.5 –
Polyethylene Encasement for
Ductile-Iron Pipe Systems
ANSI/AWWA C110/A21.10 –
Ductile-Iron and Gray-Iron Fittings
ANSI/AWWA C153/A21.53 –
Ductile-Iron Compact Fittings
ANSI/AWWA C600 –

Installation of Ductile-Iron Mains and Their Appurtenances
Latest Development over the Last Five Years:
DIPRA has introduced a co-extruded polyethylene encasement for corrosion control.  The V-Bio enhanced polyethylene encasement is infused with a corrosion inhibitor and an anti-microbial component to provide active corrosion control.

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
8. Can be located from surface with commonly used locators
9. Performance capabilities are not impacted by elevated temperatures
10. Material strength that does not creep or decrease with time
11. Pipe wall impermeable to volatile hydrocarbons, minimizing the potential of water system contamination in the present or future
12. A very strong pipe able to handle residual bending stresses that could adversely affect future serviceability.
13. No significant “recoil” and minimal pipe movement due to thermal expansion.
14. Eliminates potential for shearing of tapped lateral outlets due to thermal expansion and contraction
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
Web: www.dipra.com

Fiberglass Reinforced Pipe
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.

How It Is 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 It Is 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. Tie-ins, when needed, may utilize gasket-sealed mechanical couplings.

Available Diameters:
The pipe is available from 18 to 158 in. in diameter.

Design Life:
In excess of 50 years.

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 250 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.

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 the following manufacturers of pipe and manways listed alphabetically:  Containment Solutions Inc., NOV Fiber Glass Systems, Hobas Pipe USA and L.F.Mfg. The Institute Web site fiberglasstankandpipe.com maintains a direct link to these manufacturers

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
Web: www.fiberglasstankandpipe.com

High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
Trenchless Applications:
Horizontal directional drilling, pipe bursting, Swagelining, sliplining, plow and plant, submerged or floating pipe and others.

Best Suited For:
Trenchless installations by utilities and private/public partnership entities for uses including gas, water, sanitary sewer, industrial, electrical and communication duct, as well as culvert and storm sewer applications.

Ill Suited For:
Due to the wide applications HDPE pipe can be used in consultation with manufacturers for a wide majority of specific applications. Corrugated HDPE pipe is not suited for jacking applications.

How It Is Delivered:
Polyethylene pipe is produced in straight lengths up to 50 ft long and coiled in diameters up through 6 in. Coiled lengths more than 1,000 ft are available, depending on size. Smooth interior corrugated HDPE typically comes in 20-ft lengths.

How It Is Joined:
Heat fusion is the preferred method of joining. However, pipe can be either heat fused or mechanically joined with a variety of couplings, flange adapter, and MJ adapter. Corrugated HDPE is commonly joined using bell-and-spigot compression joints and banded couplers are also available.

Available Diameters:
3/4 to 65 in. (solid wall); 4 to 60 in. diameter (corrugated HDPE)

Design Life:
The polyethylene pipe industry estimates service life for HDPE pipe to conservatively be 50 to 100 years; dependent upon variables in application systems, much longer lifecycles can be expected.

Applicable Standards:
AWWA C901 for PE water service lines; AWWA C906 for PE water distribution and transmission lines; AWWA design and installation Manual M55; Various ASTM standards such as to F1962, F2620, D3035, D2737, D2239, D2774 and D2321. NSF Standard 14 “Plastic Piping components and related material;” NSF Standard 61 “Drinking Water System Components;” Factory Mutual Standard “Plastic Pipe and Fittings for Underground Fire Protection Service,” FM1613. Corrugated HDPE standards include AASHTO M252/M294, ASTM F2306, and ASTM F2648.

Latest Developments over the Last Five Years:
Development of high performance polymers such as PE4710 has enhanced material properties including higher tensile strength, compressive strength, increased pressure ratings and exceptionally high resistance to slow crack growth. The use of corrugated HDPE pipe with recycled content per ASTM F2648 for drainage applications is increasing.

What Is Notable About Your Pipe:
“As municipalities face the daunting task of replacing their crumbling underground infrastructure they are finding a highly economical and sustainable choice in HDPE pipe. With a low carbon footprint, lowest failure rate, lowest life cycle cost, zero allowable leakage and long service life, HDPE pipe is the preferred material for trenchless installation in water, waste water, gas and utility systems. Also, due to its high ductility, HDPE water piping systems had zero failures in the last 5 earthquakes in Japan, Chile and New Zealand. Corrugated HDPE pipe is continuing to see expanding usage by DOTS for highway and culvert drainage and in other transportation sectors realizing that it offers superior solutions for demanding applications. Corrugated HDPE pipe is the premier choice in agricultural applications and is seeing increasing usage for storm water management,” Tony Radoszewski, president, The Plastics Pipe Institute (PPI)

Source: Plastics Pipe Institute
Web: www.plasticpipe.org

Polymer Concrete
Trenchless Applications:
Microtunneling, pipe jacking, one-pass 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 potable water applications.

How It Is Delivered:
Pipe is typically delivered in 8- or 10-ft lengths by means of truck, closed container for ocean freight or rail. One meter lengths are available for pilot tube installation methods.

How It Is Joined:
Standard joint for jacking installations incorporates a double spigot joint joined by a flush compression fit fiberglass or stainless steel collar. The collar mates against the gasket firmly joined to the pipe wall. The joint meets the requirements of several ASTM standards.

Available Diameters:
Polymer concrete pipe is available in diameters ranging from 8 to 144 in.
Design Life:
Polymer concrete pipe has a projected 100-year plus service life.

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

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.

What Is Notable about Polymer Concrete 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.

Source: Interpipe Polymer/PolymerCrete
Web: www.polymerpipe.com

Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
Trenchless Applications:
Segmental sliplining, directional drilling, close-fit pipe lining and pipe bursting

Best Suited For:
Pipe and fittings for potable water, reclaimed water, sewer forcemain, gravity sanitary sewer, and storm sewer pipe and fittings

Ill Suited For:
High-temperature applications where the temperature of the fluid conveyed in consistently greater than 140 F, as well as high-pressure applications where the pressure consistently exceeds 300 psi.

How It Is Delivered:
Standard lengths for pressure pipe is 20 ft and for sewer pipe, 14 or 20 ft. For packaging, the pipe is bundled and shipped, primarily via truck.

How It Is Joined
• Slipliner pipe – gasketed joints
• Close-fit lining and pipe bursting – butt-fusion
• Horizontal directional drilling (HDD)
– Butt-fusion
– Spline-locked gasketed couplers
– Bell-and-spigot joints locked together with ring-and-pin assembly
– Bell-and-spigot joints locked together with an internal joint-restraint system

Available Diameters:
For pressure pipe:
Gasketed pipe from 2 to 48 in. For gravity sewer pipe: gasketed pipe from 3 to 60 in.

Design Life:
Properly designed, installed, and operated systems will last in excess of 100 years.

Applicable Standards:
• Pressure Pipe and Fittings: ASTM D2241, AWWA C900, AWWA C905, AWWA C907, AWWA C909, CSA B137.3, and CSA B137.3.1
• Sewer Pipe and Fittings: ASTM D3034, ASTM F679, ASTM F794, ASTM F949, ASTM F1336, ASTM F1803, and CSA B182.2

Latest Developments over the Last Five Years:
• Pipe sizes: Manufacturing improvements have increased the size range available.
• Joining methods: Technological advancements have improved the assembly and reliability of existing joining methods.
What Is Notable about Your Pipe:
“PVC pipe has a proven track record for ease of assembly, low maintenance, durability, and longevity. Owners attribute its exceptional performance to its corrosion resistance, its chemical resistance, and its deep-insertion, gasketed bell-and-spigot joints,” said Bruce Hollands, executive director for the Uni-Bell PVC Pipe Association.

Source: Uni-Bell PVC Pipe Association
Web: www.uni-bell.org

STEEL PIPE
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 It Is 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.

How It Is 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.

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

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

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)
Web: www.steeltank.com

Vitrified Clay Jacking Pipe
Trenchless Applications:
Guided boring/pilot-tube microtunneling, slurry microtunneling, static pipe bursting, sliplining existing pipe and casing

Best Suited For:
Gravity flow sanitary sewers

Ill Suited For:
Pressure applications

How It Is 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.

How It Is Joined:
Low profile Compression Joints utilizing 316 Grade stainless steel collars

Available Diameters:
6 to 48 in. diameters

Design Life:
200-plus years

Applicable Standards:
ASTM C-1208, EN 295-7

Latest Developments over the Last Five Years:
Guided boring/pilot-tube method techniques with VCP are achieving precision drives of more than 400 lf in pipe diameters up to 36 in. 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.

What Is Notable about Your Pipe: “Vitrified Clay Jacking Pipe is the predominant small diameter jacking pipe product due to its high compressive strength (18,000 psi average), low-profile zero-leakage joint and proven lifecycle. Vitrified clay is a fired ceramic with material properties unaffected by age, light or chemicals. With today’s high tech vitrified clay jacking pipe coupled with trenchless installation methods, municipalities are able to design and construct systems that will provide dependable, low-maintenance service for centuries to come.”

Source: National Clay Pipe Institute
Web: www.ncpi.org

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