LMK Enterprises Inc. has been awarded a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) grant for developing an advanced trenchless process to rehabilitate the nation’s network of potable water pipes by employing a novel dynamic resin-injection, molded-in-place pipe (MIPP) which incorporates nanomaterials.

LMK Enterprises is a leader in trenchless pipeline rehabilitation and an active participant in organizations committed to advancing the industry such as NASTT, ISTT, NASSCO, ASCE, MSTT, WEF, AWWA, TTC and ASTM.

The NIST grant will aid LMK’s development of a molded-in-place pipe process for decaying potable water pipes without the need to excavate and replace pipes. Existing technology for rehabilitating pipes from the inside include cured-in-place pipe (CIPP), sliplining and spraying the interior of old water pipes with a cement or epoxy resin. These technologies do not capitalize on the benefit of using nanomaterials and/or suffer from other limitations, such as the need for using custom tailored lining tubes, or sagging associated with spray-on coatings.

LMK Enterprises joins Steven Winter Associates Inc. (SWA), Louisiana Technical University (LTU) and Revolution Mechanical Works (RMU) in the development of an advanced trenchless process to rehabilitate the nation’s ever-deteriorating network of underground pipes. This novel technology involves dynamic resin-injection, MIPP and proposes to utilize recent advances in nanomaterials. Specifically, an instantaneous rapid curing resin is subjected to compression between the host pipe and an inflated bladder. This eliminates the need for a custom tailored liner tube and corrects sagging issues associated with spraying or spin casting uncured materials to the interior of a pipe.

The project tasks include materials characterization, design and development or a bread-board prototype, testing the bread-board prototype, designing and building a full-fledged prototype system, laboratory testing of the prototype and field testing of the prototype. The equipment includes a large capacity, high pressure, duel pumping system; a set of computerized “smart” reels; dispensing nozzles; and computer soft ware for communication and control of the application process.

The proposed project envisions solving the problems of our nation’s drinking water infrastructure by developing a cost-effective, versatile and rapid pipe rehabilitation technology that advances the current state-of-the-art technologies by incorporating nanomaterials. This project will deliver a pre-commercial technology that is capable of repairing different underground pipe systems (water, wastewater, gas, steam, industrial, etc.), improving productivity by reducing cure times by at least 50 percent as compared to other resin lining processes, and yielding an enhanced structural lining with a smooth and uniform wall thickness.

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