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Picote and Renos enter into co-operation agreement

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World Trenchless,

Picote Solutions (Picote) has announced that it has entered into a co-operation agreement with Renos Oy (Renos) to design, develop and supply equipment in support of the Renos Flexirohr trenchless sliplining method, which is applicable to gravity sewers pipes from DN100 to DN300 (4 - 12 in.) diameter. This partnership takes sliplining to a new level, making it an accessible option for contractors around the world, with more pioneering innovation scheduled for launch in 2022.

The Flexirohr liner is a corrugated outer skin/smooth inner skin polyethylene (PE) pipe which provides excellent flexibility when used as a sliplining product. It can be simply installed through existing manholes over longer distances using a winch and cable. In smaller diameters pipes or over shorter lengths the installation can be installed manually. As with all sliplining systems, there is a slight loss of inner diameter once the installation is completed, which does not affect flow. The ring stiffness class of the pipe is SN8 (DN 270 Flexirohr is SN4). Whilst an ideal solution for main line sewers, in the diameter range, the system is also particularly applicable to the rehabilitation of house connections.

The Flexirohr factory-produced pipe (in SN8 or SN4) offers a long-lasting solution with an expected lifetime of over 50 years. The pipe is available in 6 m (19.5 ft) lengths or as a 50 m (164 ft) long coil depending on the circumstances of the installation. The longer coil product can be used and cut to length as required on site, with welding required for longer lengths. The pipe is prepared on site to the precise length required to give a tight, continuously welded system which is easily installed, without excavation, through existing manholes and accesses with minimal waste, making it a fast and efficient installation with minimum impact to traffic flows, the local environment and local residents. The system can also be installed whilst the sewer remains functional, eliminating the need for by-pass pumping. The pipe design and material enables installations to be carried out in lower temperatures and other winter conditions.

The installation operation is relatively simple. The pipe to be lined is first cleaned using Picote high-speed Millers or jetted. A pulling head is then attached to the prepared Flexirohr pipe and connected to the winch cable. Once pulled in place (at a pace of 8 m/26 ft per minute) the ends of the pipe are fixed in the manholes at either end. The system has also pull-resistant couplings for other pipe connections.

Manufactured in Fränkische, Germany, the Flexirohr pipe has a corrugated outer skin so there is minimal use of oil in its production, resulting in a much-reduced overall weight and therefore the installation is also free of potential toxic waste. The corrugated pipe is DIBt certified and has been utilised in several European countries as well as South America, having been used for sliplining since the 1990s with over 1000 km of pipelines rehabilitated to date.

The major advantage of the Flexirohr system is that no digging is needed in an installation between two manholes (in sizes <800 mm diameter). This offers a huge advantage compared with traditional PE sliplining. The structure of the pipe allows it to negotiate smaller bends in the host pipe, should they exist.

For its part in the co-operation arrangement, Picote is providing a complete set of equipment that allows the Flexirohr pipe to be utilised as a flexible trenchless sliplining method. Picote R&D redesigned and developed existing equipment to produce high-end tools, making the process much easier and enabling it to be adopted for projects globally.

One innovative addition to the Flexirohr sliplining systems is the new pipe welding system. Picote R&D has developed unique tools for this welding process, including: a new welding rig, welding inserts, pipe cutters, pulling heads and welding balls. The equipment helping the installation via pulling in of the pipe has also been significantly redesigned. All of these new tools make the installing process easier, faster and more efficient. The tools are simple, light-weight and have good ergonomics.

The welding process ensures that Flexirohr PE pipe joints are stable and remain able to bend in the same manner as the original pipe. Without this facility there would be potential for the pipe to separate during the installation process as the weld is under stress due to bending. This is no longer a concern with the Picote Welding Rig.

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