New life for old pipes
Pipe renewal, or relining as it is also called, ensures that the old cast iron pipes from the early 70s will remain leak-free for the next 40 to 50 years. The project for Ramsdalen is carried out by the installation and service department of Aibel, whose experience of relining have led to an effective method that ensures durability.
Aibel is renewing just over 1,000 metres of piping for 72 flats in Ramsdalen Housing Cooperative in Haugesund. Photo: Øyvind Sætre/Aibel.
“We inject several layers of liquid plastic into the existing pipe, so that a good new plastic pipe forms on the inside. The pipe then becomes a few millimetres narrower, but that is a negligible difference for this type of pipe,” explains Morten Rojas, head of pipe renewal in Aibel Installation and Service.
A thin layer of plastic is injected into the existing sewer pipe with a special machine. Here a renewed pipe is created that will last for 40 to 50 years. Photo: Øyvind Sætre/Aibel.
A quick and cost-effective method
Aibel was the first company in Norway to use this type of spraying machine with liquid plastic. The plastic hardens in just two minutes, meaning there is no chance of it shrinking. The pipe is actually ready to use immediately after the treatment. Relining is in other words a simple and cost-effective method compared to the alternatives.
“At Ramsdalen, we can typically complete a section of up to six flats in about one week. We put up temporary toilets and showers outside so that the residents can stay in their homes while we’re working,” says Rojas.
Aibel’s relining methods are suitable for all types of sewer pipes with diameters from 50 to 300 mm. Photo: Øyvind Sætre/Aibel.
The alternative to relining is to install entirely new pipes. That can become very expensive, and the residents might have to move out for several months, as walls and floors often need to be broken up to get at the pipes.
Aibel also has the equipment and expertise needed to reinforce pipes with fibreglass, and can therefore offer relining for all types of steel, cast iron and glazed ceramic sewer pipes of 50 to 300 mm in diameter.
Previously, Aibel renewed pipes in 96 flats in Presthaug Housing Cooperative in Haugesund. According to Morten Rojas, there is still considerable market potential.
Relining is also a perfect solution in connection with the renovation of living quarters offshore, where limiting the downtime is a critical factor. Photo: Øyvind Sætre/Aibel.
“In many blocks of flats from the 60s and 70s, the old pipes are nearing the end of their life. When we clean pipes and take photos of them from the inside, we often find large holes and cracks that are only watertight because of old dirt. So there’s a significant risk of leaks,” says Rojas.
“For this kind of housing, relining is definitely a profitable investment. People are not too keen on getting mucky sewage water in their bedroom, bathroom or kitchen.”
In addition to housing companies and cooperatives, Aibel can also offer relining to private customers, and especially offshore, where this solution reduces downtime considerably.
Read more about pipe renewals and find contact information for Aibel Installation and Service here.