Reduced Cost Sewer Pipe Relining Using Ultrasonic Tape LaminationEPA Contract Number: 68D00240
Title: Reduced Cost Sewer Pipe Relining Using Ultrasonic Tape Lamination
Investigators: Roylance, Margaret E.
Small Business: Foster-Miller Inc.
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Project Period: September 1, 2000 through March 1, 2001
Project Amount: $69,959
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2000) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Nanotechnology , SBIR - Pollution Prevention , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
Description:Water and sewerage pipe rehabilitation represents a critical and expensive infrastructure issue. Although systems currently are available for relining existing pipes and constructing new lined pipes, the proposed advanced technology will improve the quality while substantially reducing the cost and increasing the use of these existing systems.
In Phase I, Foster-Miller, Inc., will work closely with Ameron to develop and demonstrate an Ultrasonic Tape Lamination (UTL) system for use in current pipe lining processes. Locally, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MDEP) and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) will provide support for the project, and through the Strategic Envirotechnology Partnership (STEP) will provide coordinated services in commercialization, performance verification, and technology transfer.
Foster-Miller proposes to adapt the UTL technology to replace the slow, labor-intensive hot air fields welding process. UTL will yield major time and subsequent cost savings in the installation of program team member Ameron's T-Lock and T-Hab systems, primarily because the highly localized, directly coupled ultrasonic heating is not hindered by the concrete pipe heat sink that slows hot air welding. Once demonstrated, UTL can be transitioned to other lining systems to provide similar cost and quality advantages over the full range of water and sewer pipe sizes.
Many estimates put the required investment for sewer pipe replacement or rehabilitation in the hundreds of millions of dollars over the next decade. Beyond the pipe lining markets, Foster-Miller has identified a large number of potential UTL applications in both the aerospace and civil infrastructure industries. These markets range from the fabrication of thick composite structures for aircraft to wrapping of concrete columns with fiber-reinforced recycled plastics.