Composite wraps key to high-pressure pipeline rehab

QuakeWrap Inc. announced July 1 that it was awarded a contract to rehabilitate a 1.1-mile/1.8-km long, 7-ft/2.1m diameter pressurized pipeline near San José, Costa Rica.

QuakeWrap Inc. (Tucson, Ariz.) announced July 1 that it was awarded a contract to rehabilitate a 1.1-mile/1.8-km long, 7-ft/2.1m diameter pressurized pipeline near San José, Costa Rica, by Ghella SpA (Rome, Italy). Ghella is constructing the El Encanto Power Generating Facility. QuakeWrap installed composite materials inside the pipe along its length.

The pipeline conveys river water under pressure to the power generating units at El Encanto. Due to structural design problems, the pipeline developed longitudinal cracks that caused major leaks upon initial pressurization. Stringent time restraints prevented conventional repairs or reconstruction of the pipe. The installation of the composite wraps, completed ahead of schedule, actually increased the original design pressure by 90 percent, and has added corrosion resistance and additional leak proofing, says QuakeWrap. The company claims the repair is the largest in-place, full-structural and waterproofing rehab project of its type. The wraps’ negligible thickness does not significantly restrict the pipe’s inner diameter and design flow capacity, says Carlos Pena, QuakeWrap’s manager for the project.

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