Reduced Cost Sewer Pipe Relining Using Ultrasonic Tape LaminationEPA Contract Number: 68D01054
Title: Reduced Cost Sewer Pipe Relining Using Ultrasonic Tape Lamination
Investigators: Roylance, Margaret E.
Current Investigators: Player, John
Small Business: Foster-Miller Inc.
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Project Period: September 1, 2001 through September 1, 2003
Project Amount: $224,867
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase II (2001) Recipients Lists
Research Category: SBIR - Pollution Prevention , Nanotechnology , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
During the Phase I program, Foster-Miller developed techniques based on Ultrasonic Tape Lamination (UTL) for joining of plasticized PVC sewer pipe liner. This effort was undertaken in response to a need for environmentally sound and cost-effective methods for rehabilitation of aging water and sewerage pipe rehabilitation infrastructure. Ultrasonic lamination has several significant advantages over the hot air field welding process currently in use. These advantages include the highly focused nature of energy deposition during insonification, and the rapid generation of this localized heating through a combination of viscoelastic and frictional effects. Therefore, ultrasonic lamination allows rapid joining against the surface of a concrete sewer pipe that functions as a significant heat sink during conventional hot air welding. Foster-Miller is working with Ameron International, Branson, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDep) and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) to demonstrate the use of ultrasonic lamination of liner materials. In Phase I, ultrasonic lamination of sewer liner material was demonstrated against a realistic substrate, and has been shown to provide welds that meet the strength goals established by Ameron with joining times more than an order of magnitude shorter than the current method. Based on these results, Foster-Miller, Branson, and Ameron propose to design and build a prototype field-deployable ultrasonic lamination system and demonstrate its use in the field for installation of PVC liner material. 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 ultrasonic lamination applications in both the aerospace and civil infrastructure industries. These markets include the fabrication of thick composite.