Pipe Bursting

Definition - What does Pipe Bursting mean?

Pipe bursting is a trenchless means of replacing pipe. The idea behind pipe bursting is to fracture the existing, deteriorating pipe and drive its pieces into the ground around it by using internal, mechanical force, while pulling the replacement pipe into place. There’s no need to remove the existing pipe. There’s no need for a separate step to install the new pipe and there’s no need to drill a new bore.

Trenchlesspedia explains Pipe Bursting

The basics of pipe bursting are straightforward. The pipe bursting system is dedicated equipment and there are contractors who specialize in pipe bursting as a trenchless means of pipe replacement.

  • Push the rod of a pipe-bursting system into the existing pipe. Attach bursting blades to the end of the rod and add an expander, which may be as much as 30 percent larger than the new pipe’s outside diameter, to the pipe bursting system’s rod.
  • Connect the new pipe to the expander.
  • Pull the rod back through the pipe, drawing the bursting blades through the old pipe, breaking it up. The expander, which immediately follows the bursting blades as they are pulled through the old pipe, expands the burst pipe, pushing its fragments into the surrounding earth. The new pipe is attached to, pulled by and follows the expander through the length of the existing bore.

When the bursting blades and expander leave the bore, the new pipe is in place, waiting to be connected to the appropriate service.

Pipe bursting is appropriate when a trenchless means of replacing an aging or damaged pipeline is desirable. The need for geological investigation is minimal, if any investigation is required at all. Because pipe bursting supplants the existing pipe with new pipe as the existing pipe is destroyed, and because there’s no need to remove or dispose of the failed pipe, project time and cost is likewise minimized.

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