UV Resin Technology Saves Historic Home

25 September 2009

An underground pipe repair technology that uses ultraviolet (UV) light - Vipel UV-cure resin - was used helped preserve an 18th Century home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Reline America, Inc technology installed by Abel Recon also restored natural water flow to a creek that runs past the historic building.

The problem occurred in 647 feet (197 meters) of old 10-inch (25.4-centimeter) diameter clay sewer line that runs near the home and creek. Water that should naturally flow through the creek was entering the pipe through cracks and failing joints. The “infiltration and inflow” (I/I) problem left the creek bed dry. The extra water reduced the pipe’s capacity to carry wastewater and added to the workload of the treatment plant.

To solve this issue, engineers specified a cured-in-place-pipe (CIPP) inside the existing pipe to eliminate trenches that would add costs, create delays and threaten the structural integrity of the historic home.

At the job site, the liner was pulled instead of inverted. Blue-Tek liner, from Reline America, was then inflated, and a UV light “train” was introduced into the liner to initiate resin cure.

Engineers on the project say that this method was chosen as a traditional cure would have taken two to three hours to implement and would release styrene. The Penn Hills project cured at three to five feet per minute with no styrene release.

Pat Godwin, Development Manager for Abel Recon, says: “By far the largest obstacle was the physical location and historic nature of the property,” said Tom West, Construction Technical Advisor for Reline America, Inc. “Once the sewer was repaired, the creek became one-third full in 24 hours.”

Speaking of the benefits of the products chosen, Godwin added, “The material for Blue-Tek liner is made of spirally-wound fibreglass. The finished product is a reinforced composite that is half as thick and at least four times stronger than a conventional felt-based liner.”

The liner was custom-made for the job in Reline America’s certified facility. Because UV-cure resin is not affected by temperature, the liner was shipped without refrigeration.

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