Are there any limitations for using this system?
I honestly cannot think of any limitations, because this system allows you to do everything that other pile jacket systems allow you to do, and this system allows the flexibility of adjusting the size of the piles in the field as they are wrapping the FRP shell around. So if a client is determined to repair or strengthen a pile, this offers a great solution compared to what else is out there. A lot of other systems do not provide any strengthening to the pile; they only provide a framework to pour some grout in the pile.
What led to InfinitPipe’s development?
If you have a pipe that is weak, a lot of clients want to repair them so they can take more internal pressure. If that’s the case, that can be done by putting one or two layers of carbon fabric inside the pipe. But what we’ve found out is that some of our clients are saying that if you go repair the pipe in that way, at some point in the future the host pipe would totally disintegrate. So the liner has to act like a brand-new pipe. A couple layers of carbon are not going to be sufficient for that, so you’d have to build a very thick pipe. Some of our competitors have been adding layer after layer of carbon. As you can imagine, the cost of that is going to be very high and time-consuming. So it was really that which led me to think, how can we do this without using so many layers of carbon? Looking at that problem, I came up with the concept for the InfintPipe. We started making those in our shop and I realized that this is a relatively easy process – why don’t we take the manufacturing to the field? If you’re going to build the pipe on site, there’s no need to stop after 10 or 20 feet of pipe. But when we were making the pipe in our shop, the resin formulation had more time to cure. In contrast, when you do these projects in the field and you want to move continuously, you cannot have the pipe sit on the equipment for hours. So we had to modify our resin formulation to allow a much faster cure.