Reducing the load with trenchless technology

While much of a pipeline can be constructed using open trench excavation, followed by backfill and restoration, trenchless technology is often required on pipeline projects to get the pipeline under obstacles like rivers, roads and railways. Centralising the pipe within the casing is a key challenge often faced by contractors during a trenchless installation. Many contractors have solved this problem with an innovative Australian-made solution, kwik-ZIP spacers.

It is not uncommon for a wide variety of ground conditions to be encountered on a major project and selection of the correct technique can depend on issues like the ground conditions, the length of the crossing and the available space. Trenchless methods used frequently in rail, river and road crossings include slurry microtunnelling, thrust boring, guided auger boring and horizontal directional drilling.

Common to many trenchless techniques is the use of casing pipe which can be installed first to protect the actual product pipe. Correct placement of the product pipe within the casing is essential for grouting and for the safe and efficient operation of the pipe.

Historically, many contractors improvised their methods. But utilising effective, high-quality and long lasting materials in any construction is key to the longevity of an installation, and increasingly contractors are turning to Australian owned and manufactured kwik-ZIP centralizer and spacer systems.

Designed and developed by drilling professionals, the kwik-ZIP range of spacers handle a range of casing, bar and pipe diameters. Each centralizer spacer system is manufactured from Kwik-ZIP’s engineered thermoplastic blend, which is characterised by its high flexural strength, high temperature resistance, low coefficient of friction, and high resistance to organic chemicals, oils and synthetic detergents; even when immersed for long periods of time.

Using a unique “load sharing runner” system, each unit maximises its weight bearing capacity by distributing the pipe load across multiple runners. This reduces point loading at any one location, boosting and optimising the overall support capacity of the spacer exponentially as pipe size increases.

The “load sharing runner” system also delivers a suspension and dampening effect, resulting in a reduction in the transfer of potentially damaging vibration and movement from the outer casing to the carrier pipe.

This can be particularly beneficial for high traffic crossings where ongoing external vibration could affect the outer casing.

Many contractors have noted that kwik-ZIP spacers are cost effective, easy to use, resilient and flexible, and have so far been effective throughout installation.

The fact that they are locally sourced has also frequently been cited as a great benefit when compared to the majority of the competitors brackets being available only from overseas.

Trenchless crossings require detailed planning and precise installation, and being able to use reliable materials like kwik-ZIP spacers ensure that there is one less thing to worry about.