Precision Placement and UV Curing: A Winning Combination

For inside-the-building pipe rehabilitation, lining technologies have proven their worth

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Precision Placement and UV Curing: A Winning Combination

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Since its inception, the focus of CIPP lining has often been pipelines located outside the building footprint. However, for decades lining technologies have been proving their worth rehabilitating the untold number of pipes found inside the building envelope. Rehabilitating intricate drainpipe networks puts a spotlight on the benefits of a pull-in-place installation process with the industry advancements of UV technology. 

UV light curing has provided a giant leap forward in CIPP lining — improving consistency in the final product, speeding installation times, lowering technician labor costs, and lowering risk by enhancing control over the lining process relative to ambient cure of a two-part epoxy. Inside-the-building lining installation techniques, whether light cured or not, utilize either an inversion process or a push/pull-in-place method. Precision PIP (push or pull-in-place) installation materials have an integrated inflation bladder that is specifically developed for the small diameter, inside the building, and under slab market. Other CIPP installation methods were developed and optimized for the volume utility sector, with long lengths of large-diameter pipes. 

The combination of push- or pull-in-place and UV curing is an especially compelling rehabilitation solution. Since curing does not start until the lights are illuminated, the virtually unlimited resin pot life and the ability to wet-out liners well in advance and off site ensures that technicians utilizing UV curing are not racing the clock in the way they are when working with a two-part epoxy. Another critical benefit of UV lining with push- or pull-in-place, says NuFlow Certified Contractor Mike Lomonaco, is the precision that can be maintained and “the way you can double-check your work, and verify tie-ins. There’s no loud equipment, so the working environment is calm and not rushed. Pull in place is the way to go.” 

Another certified contractor, Frank Rucco from Pipe Restoration Solutions, adds, “The risk factor on jobs dropped substantially, because we have more control over the curing process.” 

NuFlow’s Precision PIP installation method, which allows for monitoring and precise placement with a camera, easily avoids under-shots or over-shots during liner insertion and ensures that joints and fittings near the end of the liner are properly sealed with extremely precise and reliable placement. NuFlow’s NuCure Cold Cure UV CIPP liners are designed to achieve a full-length, full-area tight frictional interface seal, rather than relying on local end-seals that can damage the structure of a CIPP liner. Hydrophilic seals periodically leak unless kept continuously wet, and while small intermittent leakage may be considered acceptable for exterior buried utility work, only zero leakage is acceptable inside of a building footprint (especially above ground).

Inversion is not capable of such precision placement and is higher risk when installing through multiple bends. Inversion methods come with the risk of stretching during installation and a likelihood of air pressure “burps” disruptively blowing out traps and releasing aerosolized contaminants into the building. NuFlow tube design permits better negotiation of bends, less risk of twisting and excessive wrinkling, and with a more consistent structural wall thickness. 

In-building rehab also involves job site footprint considerations. A true “cold cure" refers to a low peak exotherm and a short exotherm duration, resulting in minimal excess heat. Cold curing is energy efficient and doesn’t require additional active cooling techniques or equipment. Curing processes that require active cooling are typically more expensive than cold curing and may rely on bulky equipment that increases the job site footprint, which presents challenges in smaller work areas. 

When exposure to light controls the cure, the variable site conditions have far less influence and crews need to make fewer site-specific adjustments, so cold-cure light curing results in a much more consistent cure across installations. Paired with a precision push- or pull in-place installation method, CIPP is very much at home inside the building.

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