Pipe bursting is a technology for pipeline network replacement (gas, water, sewerage pipelines), which, due to the level of wear (aging), are no longer safe for functioning
This “pipe bursting” technology consists of introducing a conical instrument, the so-called “bursting head”, which bursts the old pipe. At the same time a new pipe, of equal or larger diameter, is pulled on the same route. The pulling is done from the front by a cone with a winch or pulling equipment with rods.
The front of the bursting cone is smaller than the pipe being replaced to maintain its alignment and to even out the shocks on its circumference. The base of the bursting head is larger compared to the internal diameter of the old pipe and slightly larger than the outer diameter of the new pipe to reduce friction and to provide space for maneuver. The bursting (jacking) heads can be equipped with crushing parts or longitudinal blades to further promote the effectiveness of breaking.
The back of the bursting head is connected to the new pipeline, and the front is connected to a cable or pulling rod. The bursting head together with the end of the new pipeline are launched into the old pipeline through a manhole.
The dimensions of the pipeline that can be replaced, can vary from 50 mm up to 1000 mm, theoretically a higher limit doesn’t exist. The limit depends only on cost efficiency compared with the conventional methods of pipeline replacement, local conditions of the field (field resistance to vibrations), and by the technical capacity of supplying enough power for bursting and pulling of the pipeline.
The length where replacements are carried out is about 300-400 m, depending on the distance between chambers.
Pipelines to be replaced through “Pipe bursting” technology are usually made of materials such as – cast iron, steel, simple concrete, asbestos, PVC, polyethylene. Reinforced concrete can also be successfully replaced if it is not strongly armed or it is substantially damaged.