Cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) technology allows for the rehabilitation of underground water, wastewater, and storm sewer pipes without excavation. The trenchless CIPP process minimizes disruption to the public by reducing noise, traffic disturbance, and road damage—and can be done within a far shorter time frame, and usually for less cost than replacement. With Inliner® CIPP, a felt tube saturated with resin is inserted into the pipe via inversion or the pulled-in-placed method of installation. After the liner is in place, a client-specific method of thermal or UV light source is used to cure the pipe liner.
The pursuit of high standards of workmanship has propelled our team to seek out advanced technology. The use of continuous temperature monitoring (CTM) is one of these innovations. Using a fiber optic cable inside the pipe, CTM measures and controls the curing operation either by steam, water, or ultraviolet light. Eliminating the unknown subsurface conditions with real-time temperature monitoring during liner curing has improved our installation quality control by enabling our teams to react immediately to any changing conditions. Earlier technology provided readings at intervals of 200 to 300 feet using thermocouple measuring devices at manhole access locations; our CTM thermal imaging system now enables the monitoring of the curing process along the entirety of the pipe run at 6-inch intervals. The result is consistent, measurable quality on every installation.
CTM has been well-received by Inliner crews because it helps them to achieve the best results and has eliminated unnecessary hold-time, making it possible for expedited demobilization. Teams can monitor the curing process remotely, on a laptop or smartphone, using a secure web-based application also available to the owner.
In 2020, this technology was launched with two Granite Inliner operating teams as a standard operating procedure and has delivered a substantial improvement to liner curing quality. Led by Granite Inliner Quality Manager Rob Stensby, and Technical Director Doug Beck, the initiative includes the deployment of 14 additional CTM units throughout the Granite Inliner division in 2021. In the first full year of transitioning to an information technology-based method, the two operating teams have nearly eliminated liner installation quality incidents and any subsequent re-work.
“CTM technology eliminates the guesswork that is inherent in trenchless work,” said Granite Inliner Vice President Denise McClanahan. “Included in the mission of our continuous improvement and quality teams in the implementation of new technologies and techniques that will help provide the best results for our customers while increasing our profitability across the organization. Pushing ourselves and our techniques forward is part of our fabric.”
However, the ultimate value of CTM is measured in the ability to deliver a fully restored asset to our customer that will sustain for years to come.