Premiere performance for Direct Pipe in USA
NEW PRODUCTS and INNOVATIONS Premiere performance for Direct Pipe in USA Nov 2010
Herrenknecht New Release
As a cross between microtunnelling and horizontal directional drilling, the innovative and award-winning one-pass Direct Pipe® pipeline installation method from Herrenknecht has celebrated its successful debut in the United States. In just three days a 215m (705ft) x 30in (76.2cm) long pipeline was installed in one step under Highway 70 in Arcadia, Florida.

Machine with coupled pipeline in the launch shaft

A single step method of installing pipelines that requires no coupling of pipes, no costly shaft construction, and includes the ability of the tunnelling machine and the pipeline to be withdrawn if necessary, the new Direct Pipe® technique developed by Herrenknecht has completed its first project in the United States. An under crossing of the Highway 70 in Arcadia, Florida is part of a larger project to add 772km (480 miles) of natural gas pipeline to increase delivery of gas from Houston, Texas, on the Gulf of Mexico to Florida.
The additional natural gas delivered by the Phase VIII Expansion project by Florida Gas Transmission Company will be used primarily in local electricity power generation plants to meet Florida's increasing demands for energy.
Main contractor Sheehan Pipe Line Construction Company commissioned REM Directional Inc to install various pipeline crossings on the new expansion route. For most, HDD (horizontal directional drilling) or auger drilling technology has been used, depending on the respective project requirements. For crossing under the highway however, the new Direct Pipe® technique was selected as the preferred solution. The system can safely cross geological layers containing ground water, shells, sand and clay, in some cases at a depth of only 2.1m (7ft) below the surface of the highway, and allow for accurate installation on an alignment that includes horizontal and vertical curves.
Thruster can push or pull the pipeline and machine

Thruster can push or pull the pipeline and machine

During installation, the slurry circulation system of the Herrenknecht Direct Pipe® machine guarantees precise pressure control of the tunnel face, preventing surface settlement or heave while the Herrenknecht U.N.S. navigation system, keeps the machine on the specified three-dimensional curved alignment. Equipped with gyro-compass and electronic hydro level, the navigation system guided the machine through vertical and horizontal curve radii of 914m and 1,828m (3,000-6,000ft) respectively, for a safe and exact course under Highway 70.
The Herrenknecht Pipe Thruster is anchored in the launch pit and thrusts the prefabricated pipe string that has been laid in advance. Average thrust forces of 15 tonne (maximum 28 tonne) are transferred to the Direct Pipe® machine ahead.

Exact breakthrough after three operating days

Highway 70 was underpassed swiftly and safely using this award-winning method that is the recipient of the 2008 Hanover Trade Fair Hermes Award for technical and ecological innovation as well as the 2009 Iploca (International Pipeline & Offshore Contractors Association) Award for new technologies. Despite the three-dimensional curve, only three drilling days, of a single 12hr operating shift/day, were required for exact and safe installation of the 215m (705ft) pipe string.
After five successful Direct Pipe® projects in Germany, for a crossing under the Rhine at Worms and for the sea outfall at Emden, and in the Netherlands for two crossings in Elst and in Rotterdam, this Herrenknecht innovation has now proven itself for the first time in North America where it demonstrated its advantages in full. REM Directional Inc already has plans to use the Direct Pipe® method again for another 36in diameter crossing.
More information on the Direct Pipe® method and the Pipe Thruster is available in the data sheet and in Herrenknecht's current HDD brochure.

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