Most of the cities in Asian countries need a major re-haul of sub-surface water and sewer pipelines. The aging infrastructure is in a state of deterioration owing to improper maintenance, overload, loss of grade and loss of flow. One of the best ways to get things flowing again is to rehabilitate old pipelines using trenchless rehabilitation methods.
Until recently, the open cut method was the preferred way to get pipes repaired and replaced. In recent years, municipalities - and even the public - have become familiar with the problems associated with open trenching and the awareness of the benefits of trenchless rehabilitation is growing.
This has allowed trenchless methods such as cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) and sliplining to quickly dominate the pipeline rehabilitation market. Most Asian countries are in the developing stage and cannot afford to lose business time in traffic jams caused by open trenching.
As a result, CIPP seems to be the best option for the pipeline rehabilitation market in Asia.
An Overview of CIPP
CIPP is used for sewers, storm water drains and pressure pipelines carrying effluents to reinforce structurally unsound and leaking pipelines without having to remove the old pipe. Cured in place pipe is a sturdy liner placed inside a pipe rather than a pipe within a pipe. The main advantage of this method is that the flow rate of the original pipe is not affected.
The liner is made of glass fiber reinforced fabric or non-woven polyester and is designed to withstand soil, groundwater, and surface pressure, and to fit into the host pipe on expansion.
The target pipe is first cleaned of debris and residues. The liner, which is impregnated with resin, is then inverted within the pipe by applying air or water pressure. As the liner inflates with water or compressed air, it forms a close fit within the host pipe. UV light, ambient temperature or steam is used to cure the resin to form a replacement pipe that is tight-fitting, joint-free and corrosion-resistant.
During rehabilitation, the process is closely monitored using closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) and focused electrode leak location equipment (FELL), which tests the liner permeability and lateral and manhole connection reinstatements.
The Asian CIPP Market
Based on consumption, Asia-Pacific is and is expected to remain the fastest-growing market segment for CIPP through 2023, according to a 2018 report. The governments of many countries, including China and India, are spending millions to develop infrastructure. The growth of new industries and technology has opened new employment avenues, driving many to cities in search of better opportunities.
The growth in population has forced the sub-surface infrastructure such as sewer and water lines to function beyond their design capacities, leading to overflows and pipe bursts. The amount spent repairing these damages itself is quite high. Governments are realizing the benefits of using trenchless technology and it is expected that the CIPP market in Asia will grow exponentially in the coming years.
In Asia, new strategies for CIPP, such as the manufacture of eco-friendly, thin and strong liners, and the establishment of long-term contracts with utility installation companies, is expected. Segmentation of the global CIPP market is based on the pipe diameter, with diameters less than one foot to remain the growth engine of the global CIPP market for the forecast period of 2019 to 2024.
This is because small diameter pipes are easy to install with CIPP liners and are more budget-friendly than when lining large diameter pipes.
CIPP Liner Resin and Fabric Types
Different types of resins are used in the CIPP industry such as:
It is cheaper than the other resins and impregnates the liner material well. It can be cured at any ambient temperature, even when below freezing. It also imparts high flexural strength and has good chemical resistance and low tensile elongation, making it ideal for gravity-based sewer pipes. It is expected to be the largest segment of the CIPP market through 2024.
Vinyl Ester Resin
This is the resin of choice when pipeline corrosion is a concern because it resists moisture absorption. It also has better impact resistance, resistance to high temperature and is stronger than polyester resin based CIPP. It is expected to witness the highest growth through 2024.
Epoxy resin is not as cheap as the other resins but is the only one that meets the NSF/ANSI 61 potable water requirements and is the preferred choice for rehabilitating water pipelines. Epoxy resin is an environment-friendly choice for CIPP as it does not have hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) and does not cause emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
As in many parts of the world, the use of CIPP is expected to grow in Asia. However, the area's aging infrastructure and population growth are expected to continue to drive the growth in adoption of CIPP solutions through 2024.