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In the latest issue Underground Utilities focuses on the multi-billion dollar pipe rehabilitation market, which has never been more important. Companies that can help sanitation service companies, water suppliers, power generators, transmission bodies and private entities repair their pipes in a trenchless, safe and cost effective manner are in high demand. In this issue Underground Utilities explores cured in place pipe (CIPP) and pipe bursting – methods that originated in the UK but have spread around the world.
Cured in Place Pipe was the earliest market entrant with global CIPP giant Insituform founder Eric Wood launching the solution in a Thames Water sewer in 1971. From these roots the company – now called Aegion – became a billion dollar turnover entity with operations all over the world. The technology itself has evolved too. From a simple felt and resin liner cured naturally the systems now boast complex linings suitable to not only reline sewers but provide complete structural replacement for all manner of pipelines. Curing has progressed to from air, to hot water, to steam to UV light. Looking to the future leading companies such as SPR are investing in their liners to meet the increasing workload in pressure mains for gas, water and in the energy industry.
Unlike CIPP, pipe bursting can be used to increase the size of the pipeline. The technique was originally developed by British Gas in the late 1970s before the restructuring of the industry that put National Grid in charge of major infrastructure. The entity wanted to replace thousands of kilometers of cast iron low pressure gas mains and in conjunction with a local contractor developed a pneumatic bursting head that could force its way through the existing pipe, fracture and expand it, before quickly inserting a new pipe behind the expander. More than four decades later the industry is still growing and nothing illustrated the international nature of the technology like a recent project by UK contractor Carillion in Scotland, which used equipment supplied by UMole, manufactured by the US equipment specialist HammerHead Trenchless Equipment.
HammerHead itself has an interesting story to tell and we find out more about the company’s evolution through an exclusive interview with the CEO Brian Metcalf in this month’s issue. One of the company’s latest technical solutions involves development of a locateable mole, which brings us on to the final technical features in this month’s magazine on locating devices. Mala Geosciences and other companies tell us about the latest developments in the industry.
Looking ahead we are already excited about the Autumn issue with manhole repair, HDD and pipe jointing solutions being the focus of our features. If you want to read about my research as I prepare the next issue follow @bbeditorial on twitter.