The properties of PVC pipe are well known and appreciated by water industry asset owners to an extent where the material has been significantly used for the construction of Australian urban pipelines. In recent years, the growth in trenchless pipeline construction and rehabilitation technologies has favoured polyethylene pipe due to its ability to be fusion welded on site into long pipe strings.
In the US, research into the formulation of a weldable PVC compound together with the development of specialised equipment and process conditions, has enabled PVC to make significant inroads in trenchless applications.
Iplex Pipelines see’s opportunity for this type of product in Australia and has entered into a licence agreement with the owners of the patented fusible PVC technology, Underground Solutions, to manufacture and fuse PVC pipe in Australia where it is trademarked, Novafuse™.
Fusible PVC™ pipe technology is now licensed in the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. It can be used in multiple applications, including potable water mains, raw and industrial process water, pressure and gravity sewers, and recycled water.
Whilst Fusible PVC™ could be successfully used in place of polyethylene pipe in most installations, it is Iplex’s intention to focus on projects that will benefit most from the pipe’s higher tensile strength and lower weight that permits longer shots and smaller bore holes.
As the welding process demands specialists skills and equipment, Iplex provides a fully welded string of pipe to site and monitors the installation process, reducing project risk.
There are a number of key features to Novafuse™, including the thin wall which maintains hydraulic conductivity while permitting smaller bore holes, resulting in saving drilling time, lubricating mud and spoil disposal costs.
The high tensile of modulus of Novafuse™ reduces elastic recoil during pullback allowing immediate connection to adjoining pipelines and saving construction time.
Novafuse™ complies with AS/NZS 1477, and is manufactured in Series 1 and 2 dimensions compatible with standard ductile iron fittings and values.
This innovation of Fusible PVC™ represents an opportunity for engineers to design trenchless pipelines in diameters and lengths at a cost that was not previously capable.