Ian Moore Research

Pipe replacement using pipe bursting

IDM 27/7/05


Experimental measurements of uplift at ground surface, Lapos (2004)


Experimental measurements of forward movement at ground surface, Lapos (2004).

Pipes composed of brittle materials can be replaced using static pipe bursting. This involves pulling a conical bursting head through the existing pipe, where a blade on the burst head fractures the existing pipe, and the remaining fragments are pushed out into the surrounding ground. A new HDPE or other pipe attached to the end of the burst head is then pulled into place through the expanded cavity. While this 'trenchless technology' has been available for two decades, only empirical guidance has been available regarding:

1. disturbance to adjacent or overlying infrastructure associated with the cavity expansion;

2. the magnitude of pulling forces needed.

Working with Brachman, NSERC Strategic Research Grant funds have permitted Lapos (MSc, 2004), to conduct pipe bursting simulations in the laboratory, and Fernando (MESc, 2002) and Nkemitag (PhD in progress) to develop and use finite element procedures to quantify both ground disturbance and pulling forces. Design procedures are being developed.