2 Main Classes of Pipe Bursting
Pipe bursting is one of the new trenchless replacement methods that is widely used in replacing deteriorated pipes. This is done by breaking or splitting an existing pipe through the use of a bursting tool. Along with this, a newly manufactured pipe of the same or larger size is pulled to replace the existing pipe. There are several types or methods of pipe bursting but let’s get to know first the main classes or the commonly used methods. Discussed below are the 2 main classes of pipe bursting: static pipe bursting system and pneumatic pipe bursting system.
Static Pipe Bursting System. This is also known as a static pull system. A full pull force is used to the cone-shaped expansion head by a pulling rod assembly that is infused in the current pipe. The horizontal pulling force is conveyed to a radial force through the cone. It breaks the old pipe and expands the cavity which would give space to the new pipe. Steel rods are inserted into the current pipe from a pulling shaft.
Through the use of various types of connections, the rods are connected. Once the rod reaches the insertion shaft, the bursting head is linked to the rod and at its head’s rear is a pipe connected to it. The rod parts are then removed once it is pulled one at a time by a hydraulic unit in a pulling shaft. The process will continue till the bursting head will reach the pulling shaft. This is where it is divided from the new pipe. If a cable is used, the pulling action will continue with a reduced interruption and a limited pull force, unlike the rod.
Pneumatic Pipe Bursting System. This is an effective pipe repair method usually used by underground contractors to replace faulty gas, water and sewer lines. The bursting tool used in a pneumatic system is called a soil displacement hammer that is operated by a compressed air. An expander is equipped in the pneumatic soil displacement hammer which is either placed near or front of its rear.
Through an insertion pit, the pneumatic hammer assembly is launched to the host pipe. The receiving point is where the bursting tool is attached to the constant tension winch. The constant tension functions as the connector of the expander and the bursting tool to the faultless part of the pipe and in line with the host pipe. Once it is mixed with the percussive power of the tool, it will help in keeping both the expander and hammer in the existing pipe. The stroke of the hammer will push the nail to a short distance which can break and crack the current pipe.
The combined expander and percussive action will provide a space for the new pipe keeping the surrounding soil and fragment away. When this begins, the bursting action will continue leading to the manhole where the expander or tool is repaired. This process will continue until the head arrives at the pulling shaft which is disconnected from the new pipe. While the process is going on, you will hear some noise that is generally produced by the pneumatic hammer and air compressor.