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Spiral wound lining is a sustainable method of pipe maintenance, allowing water authorities and councils to renew their critical infrastructure. The technology and techniques for this cost-effective solution are constantly evolving to allow the maintenance of pipes that would otherwise be unrepairable.

Spiral wound lining is a trenchless technology that uses a continuous plastic strip to form liners in gravity pipelines. This unique rehabilitation method originated in Australia and Japan during the 1980s and has been used on millions of metres of pipe across the globe. Like CIPP or slip lining, spiral wound liners provide a structural lining solution for fully deteriorated pipelines with minimal site disruption.

When it comes to Australia, spiral wound pipe technology is the most used product in the pipe renewal market. For decades Interflow has been pioneering new techniques and has thus become synonymous with the technology, having installed more than 95 per cent of all spiral wound liners across the country.

Types of spiral wound liner

Interflow deals with two main types of spiral wound liner: Expanda and Rotaloc. Expanda was developed in Australia by Rib Loc, Interflow’s technology partner, and released worldwide in 1990. It produces a PVC liner in intimate contact with the host pipe. To date, Interflow has lined more than 1.5 million metres of pipe with the product.

Rotaloc is a Rib Loc development for larger pipes and has been used to renew sewer and stormwater pipelines and culverts worldwide. It is installed by winding a continuous strip of interlocked PVC using a custom winding machine that can adjust the diameter of the liner as it moves along the pipeline.

Benefits of spiral wound lining

Spiral wound lining is made from a ribbed structure, giving it a high strength-to-weight ratio. This means that less material is needed, making it a cost-effective and sustainable solution. Such strength saw the Victorian Department of Transport introduce steel reinforced Rotaloc for rehabilitating three road culverts under the Monash Freeway. Rotaloc was strong enough to rehabilitate the three culverts without relying on the integrity of the host pipe.

Spiral wound lining installations also tend to have small site footprints and minimise disruptions to residents. Liners can be installed while liquids flow through pipes without bypassing the flow. By locking strips of lining together, the installation process is entirely mechanical.

There is no need for any curing or heating to prepare the lining for the pipe. This was a suitable solution in Paraburdoo in remote Western Australia, where Interflow installed more than two kilometres of sewers with Expanda spiral wound liners.

Where to now with spiral wound lining?

Over the past 25 years, advances have extended spiral wound linings’ capabilities to accommodate larger sizes and have greater load-carrying capacities. This technology can also be utilised in applications where rehabilitation by lining would otherwise have been impossible. Investment is being made in further research and development. These results should see the possibilities extend further for trenchless structural pipeline rehabilitation.

This sponsored editorial is brought to you by Interflow. For more information, visit interflow.com.au

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