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Pipe Dreams

Getting to Know Your Product a Little Better

Compiled by UC Staff


t's really what utility construction is all about -- putting pipe in the ground. However, most of the time the focus is on the "how," and not necessarily on the "what." But knowing as much as possible about the product being installed can be an important advantage in any project. There are as many different types of pipe as there are uses. It comes in all different shapes and sizes, and in a variety of materials including steel, iron, clay, concrete and plastic. What follows is an overview of the different classes of pipe currently being installed underground, followed by a closer look at what some of the leading pipe suppliers have to offer. Concrete Pipe Concrete pipe is most commonly used for storm drains, culverts and sanitary sewers and is compatible with all types of infrastructure, excluding most high-pressure applications. When concrete pipe is installed in aggressive environments, protection of the concrete with some type of barrier is needed to prevent deterioration. Concrete pipe is not affected by freeze-thaw, heat or live loads, as long as the pipe is designed for the expected loading. Ductile Iron Pipe Ductile iron is typically used for water (raw, reclaimed

and potable) and sanitary sewage but not gas lines. It utilizes a number of different rubber gasketed joints, primarily a "push-on" joint for underground applications, which includes a compression ring gasket with high-pressure capabilities. Also available are mechanical joints, flanged joints, grooved or shouldered joints and the ball-and-socket joint. Ductile iron pipe has a capacity to sustain internal, external, columnar and tensile loadings, and because it has a moderate and dependable coefficient of thermal expansion, few problems are created by changes in service temperature. In addition, ductile iron pipe offers a wide selection of fittings and appurtenances are available for quick and easy connections. Transition couplings, transition gaskets and adaptors are available for connections to other piping materials with different outside diameters. Steel Pipe Steel pipe is ideal for gas and water transmission, water well drilling, pile driving and caisson sleeves, but should be avoided for any sort of chemical or corrosive service without a protective coating. It has the highest strength-to-weight ratio in relation to cost in the pipe industry. By ordering variations to the con-


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tent of the raw material, steel pipe can be used in the most extreme of conditions. Steel pipe can also be bent and coiled and is capable of carrying extremely high pressures and volume. Joined by welding, threading-and-coupling or compression fittings, steel pipe has become stronger through the years by reducing carbon and increasing yields and tensile strengths. Some sizes can be produced to 100 ksi yield strength. Large diameter pipe can also be regularly produced and shipped in 80-ft lengths and with special equipment, in lengths up to 100 ft. High-Density Polyethylene Pipe (HDPE) High-density polyethylene pipe (HDPE) is commonly used in municipal and rural potable water and sewers systems, forced main sewer, reclaimed water, natural gas, conduit, telecommunications and pipe rehabilitation. The product can be either fused (butt fusion or electrofusion) or mechanically joined. HDPE pipe can be easily joined to existing infrastructure and can withstand temperatures below 0 and up to 140 F (limits on high temperature depends upon the duration and magnitude of stresses). Polymer Concrete Pipe Polymer concrete pipe is typically compatible with most existing infrastructure systems. The pipe can be installed into standard manholes and structures or polymer concrete manholes and structures are available. The standard joint for tunneling and jacking installations incorporates a

push-on stainless steel collar that is mounted integral to the pipe wall. Polymer concrete pipe is typically ideal for sanitary sewer or industrial sewer applications where there is a corrosive environment. However, polymer concrete pipe is not currently designed or approved for pressure or potable water applications. Fiberglass Reinforced Pipe Fiberglass reinforced pipe can be used in relatively corrosive environments and in sanitary and storm sewers, in addition to potable water supplies, but typically not for gas transmission lines. It can be utilized in a wide range of service conditions. Extreme cold does not affect the product, and they can be made for operating temperatures from 160 to 180 F Pipe for pressure appli. cations up to 250 psi are available. The pipe is designed for soil burden, external water pressure and live loading conditions. The pipe is extremely repairable and easy to modify in the field should conditions warrant. Of course, this is just an introduction. There are many valuable sources that provide more in-depth information explaining the different types of pipe and their applications. Some of the most helpful include: the National Association of Steel Pipe Distributors Association (, the American Concrete Pipe Association (, the National Clay Pipe Institute (, the Plastics Pipe Institute ( and the Uni-Bell PVC Pipe Association (

April 2007 | Utility Contractor


Alpha Pipe

Alpha Pipe Co., based in Fenton, Mo., is a leading supplier of wholesale new and used steel pipe and highdensity polyethylene (HDPE) pipe. Steel pipe products include carbon steel pipe from 2- to 144-in. OD in Prime API5L X grades, ASTM Grades B & C, A252 Grades 2 & 3 as well as structural, reconditioned and various grades of used pipe.

Alpha Pipe recently introduced its line of HDPE pipe products, which include sizes from ½-in. IPS to 63-in. IPS and DR7 to DR32.5, along with fittings and flanges for various applications. Alpha Pipe offers nationwide shipping and port delivery for export items. In addition, Alpha Pipe will purchase your surplus pipe, new or used. The company does take-up of natural gas pipelines nationwide, purchases job overages, distressed materials, insurance claims, and excess inventory. Minimum truckload quantities apply. No amount is too large. Online:

pressure and gravity-flow needs. Ameron's new fiberglass reinforced polymer mortar pipe (RPMP) meets challenging noncorrosive pipe requirements in the water and wastewater markets for both gravity and pressure applications. Finally, Ameron manufactures and markets T-Lock and Arrow-Lock, polyvinyl chloride sheet linings that have been protecting concrete pipe and cast-in-place concrete structures worldwide from the corrosive effects of sewer gases, acids and industrial chemicals. Proven T-Lock technology is also used in the T-Hab system for rehabilitating large-diameter sewers without excavating city streets. Arrow-Lock is used as a long-life alternative for the rehabilitation of wastewater structures and manholes. Online:

CertainTeed PVC Piping

CertainTeed helped pioneer the development of PVC pipe more than 30 years ago. Today, the company offers three innovative, contractor-proven piping systems for trenchless construction: Certa-Lok C900/RJ Restrained Joint PVC Pipe and Couplings for municipal water and sewer systems, the Certa-Com Raceway System for telecommunications and electrical applications and Yelomine IB for water and sewer systems. Each system provides a restrained joint by utilizing precision-machined grooves, which when aligned permit insertion of a high-strength nylon spline, resulting in a fully circumferential, securely-locked restrained joint. Teflon-coated orings provide a hydraulic pressure seal. CertainTeed's trenchless products

Ameron International

Ameron is a leader in pipe technology and a principal supplier of highly-engineered concrete and steel pipe systems in the western United States and Western Canada. With the recent acquisition of a Mexican-based manufacturing subsidiary, Ameron's North American sales territory has expanded into Mexico. Designed to satisfy the widest range of performance requirements, Ameron's concrete and steel pipe products provide long-term water and wastewater conveyance. Typical projects include high-pressure and gravity water transmission and distribution lines, inverted aqueduct siphons, sewer force mains, power plant cooling water systems, sewer outfalls, storm drains, culverts, tunnel liners and penstocks for hydroelectric generating plants. Ameron features five distinctive product lines. Heavywall, large-diameter steel pipe and concrete pressure pipe handle high-pressure and medium-pressure applications. Reinforced concrete pipe products address low34 Utility Contractor | April 2007

are inherently corrosion-resistant, require no solventcements and are easy to handle. Online:


HOBAS Pipe USA is a producer and supplier of corrosion resistant HOBAS centrifugally cast fiberglass reinforced polymer mortar pipe systems with product and process technology under license from HOBAS Engineering AG of Switzerland. Centrifugal casting of the company's fiberglass reinforced polymer mortar pipes started in Europe 45 years ago. Today, the group of companies has provided nearly 40,000 miles of pipe worldwide. HOBAS centrifugally cast, fiberglass-reinforced, polymer mortar pipe provides inherent corrosion resistance, superior hydraulics and a long, maintenance-free life. Key applications are sanitary sewers, potable water and corrosive environments. It is ideal for nearly every trenchless application including microtunneling/jacking, sliplining and tunnel lining

CONTECH Construction Products

CONTECH Construction Products Inc. is a leading civil engineering site solutions products and services company. Headquartered in West Chester, Ohio, CONTECH is the only company that can provide bridge, drainage, stormwater and earth stabilization solutions on a national scale.

One of CONTECH's driving forces is the drainage division. Drainage solutions are more than pipe. They must meet both specifications and budgetary requirements. CONTECH Drainage Solutions provides a diverse product line for varying service life, hydraulic and economic needs to help you tackle the full range of flow applications. From standard to severe conditions, CONTECH provides a variety of corrugated metal pipe, bands and fittings for culverts, storm sewers and conduits. Also offered is a broad array of plastic solutions including PVC and ABS profile wall pipes, PVC and ABS solid wall pipes and PVC and ABS composite pipes for sanitary and drainage applications. With this diverse product offering, CONTECH ensures the proper flow characteristics and optimum combination of strength, hydraulics, stiffness, joint integrity and economy. You can count on CONTECH for drainage solutions that address flow applications on an absolute scale, and for exceptional, personal service. Online:

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for both pressure and gravity applications. Pipe diameters range from 18 to 110 in. Online:

Permalok Interlocking Pipe

The best motivation to design any new product is the need to solve a problem. According to Permalok Corp., based in St. Louis, steel pipe is an ideal solution to meet the needs of trenchless underground pipe installations. The problem is that construction efficiency is hindered by the cost of lost production hours and the questionable integrity and specialized payroll associated with in-field welding of joints. Permalok is a steel pipe solution that employs a patented interlocking press fit connecting system for joining pipe sections in the field. The precision-machined joint is quick, easily made up, permanent and leak proof. The connection is completed directly in line and put together using the existing jacking frame on your trenchless equipment or the force from your ramming machine. Permalok provides a dramatic advancement to trenchless construction by eliminating the need for in-field welding. In addition, Permalok reduces equipment and crew down time and eliminates the need for repairs of coatings or linings at welding areas. Permalok utilizes silicon sealant to lubricate the grooved profile of the connection, which then performs as a gasket creating a water-tight connection. Its unique profile is machined to tolerances of less than 0.010 of an inch, which creates a joint of consistent quality and integrity that is leak resistant even under considerable pressure.

Kerr Concrete Pipe

Kerr Concrete Pipe is one of the largest producers of concrete pipe in the Mid-Atlantic region. Opening its doors in 1936 as a pipe manufacturing operation, Kerr has expanded into manufacturing other pre-cast components for storm water and utility applications over the past several years. Acquired in 2000 by Oldcastle Precast, Kerr Concrete Pipe is one of a number of companies that make up the North East Pipe group with manufacturing facilities located in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. An additional acquisition in 2002 netted Kerr/Oldcastle a more centrally located manufacturing facility in Farmingdale, N.J., allowing easier distribution into New York and Pennsylvania. Kerr Concrete Pipe routinely ships within a 150-mile radius but has the ability to ship as far north as Massachusetts and as far south as North Carolina. Kerr's product line consist of reinforced concrete pipe in sizes 12 to 120 in. in round and elliptical and with mortar and off-set joints (non-gasketed and gasketed joints) primarily for use in storm water applications. Kerr also has the capability of producing larger or specialized products when required, such as heavy wall for deep-fill application. Recently, Kerr has broadened its product line to include precast structures including: 18- x 36-in. Junction Box; 18- x 36­in. Junction Box w/ Foundation; 22- x 48-in. Type A Inlets; 42- x 48-in. Type B/E Inlets; 42 x 48-in. Storm Manhole with 8-in. top slab; 54- x 48­in. Type B1/E1 Inlets; 66- x 48-in. Type B2/E2 Inlets; 102- x 48-in. Type Double B/E Inlets; 72- x 72- x 8-in. concrete slabs; flared ends to fit all size pipe; and cutoff walls for flared ends, which act as a foundation for stability and prevent the undermining of the installation. Online:

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The invention of the Permalok Interlocking Pipe Joining System provides a dramatic advancement to the quality of tubular steel construction by providing a preinstalled precision joint connection, which is quickly, easily and permanently mated during field construction. The Permalok connection is specifically designed for the trenchless excavation industry because it is flush with the interior and exterior surfaces of the pipe. Joint quality is further enhanced because the Permalok connection is consistently round, true and perpendicular to the pipe axis. Its unique stepped profile makes stabbing and aligning easy and quick. What's more, the Permalok design, combined with the use of a sealant such as RTV Silicone, will not leak even under considerable pressure. Online:



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