How to Manufacture an Endless Pipe Onsite

Pipelines have been traditionally constructed in short 20-40 feet (6-12 m) long segments. The pieces are shipped from the factory to the job site and stored on site until they are joined together. This process leads to delays in projects due to the time required to build the pipe segments, and high transportation charges for delivery of the pipes to the job site. Once connected, the joints are a major source of leakage and maintenance expense that continue for the life of the pipeline. The pipe materials require protection against corrosion and the heavy weight of the pipes is a safety concern, making pipeline construction one of the most dangerous trades. In view of the above limitations, the author has developed an onsite-manufactured pipe that allows construction of a virtually endless pipe of any diameter and pressure rating onsite. Unlike conventional pipes, the walls of this pipe are made of a lightweight core that is encapsulated between layers of Carbon or Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP). The thickness of the core and the number of layers and type of fibers, i.e. carbon or glass, are determined based on the project loading requirements. This paper focuses on the development of the first prototype of the Mobile Manufacturing Unit (MMU) that was completed in October 2014. Within the MMU, layers of resin-saturated fabrics are wrapped around a mandrel and cured to create the pipe. As the MMU travels along the roadway, it produces a continuous pipe at a rate of 2 miles (3 km) per week. Various aspects of the MMU that were considered and the lessons learned as part of this R & D are presented. A hand-made version of this pipe can be produced with minimal equipment, providing safe drinking water to remote sites and villages worldwide.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: pp 68-78
  • Monograph Title: Pipelines 2015: Recent Advances in Underground Pipeline Engineering and Construction

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01576411
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784479360
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Aug 18 2015 3:03PM