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Mexico Installs Steam-Cured CIPP System

Mexico Installs Steam-Cured CIPP System

In early 2015, a culvert under the surface of the Mexico-Tuxpan Highway near Puebla, Mexico, was nearing collapse. Corrosion from frequent storms led to exposed steel and falling pieces, which posed a risk to the 10,500 vehicles that travel on the highway daily. The federal organization that oversees transportation, the Caminos y Puentes Federales de Ingresos Servicios Conexos (CAPUFE), turned to Tubepol for an immediate solution.

Tubepol, a cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) provider based in Mexico City, designed a trenchless solution using AOC’s Vipel® resin to rehabilitate the pipe. Mexico typically relies on traditional methods, such as open-cut trench excavation. Open-cut pipe replacement wasn’t an option for this project because it would disrupt traffic on the busy 310-kilometer stretch of highway between the capital, Mexico City, and one of the country’s most important harbors, Tuxpan on the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Cured-in-place pipe rehabilitation was ideal for the Mexico-Tuxpan Highway project. The seamless pipe-within-a-pipe system relied on quality materials, including Vipel® L704-AAP, an isophthalic-based resin that provides the corrosion resistance, durability and toughness required for CIPP applications.

Tubepol and AOC worked hand-in-hand on the CIPP project, the first of its kind in Mexico. “The process was not simple,” says Adrian Cordero, an engineer and head representative of Tubepol. “It took us weeks to plan the perfect and fastest execution without compromising the security of the highway.

Designing the CIPP lining presented one of the primary challenges. “We needed a functional tube capable of handling ground loads and settles,” says Engineer Jorge Pérez-Gavilán, Tubepol’s field foreman. The design team opted for a 25 mm liner.

Because of the ground’s pronounced 12.4°slope, Tubepol opted to install the liner cure using compressed air and cure it with steam. Using hot water as the curing mechanism would have been nearly impossible as it would have required a large volume of water, which would have created excessive pressure on the nose of the inverting liner. Steam curing also provided an enormous time advantage: It took only three hours to cure the liner.

Tough conditions prevailed during the installation, including fog, rain and even a flood. But thanks to its excellent wet-out and cure properties, the Vipel® resin behaved as expected. The liner was cured and a temperature of 212° F/100°C resulting in new pipe with improved structural and hydraulic performance.

The success of this project has gained visibility for Tubepol and spread the word throughout Mexico about the benefits of no-dig rehabilitation technologies, such as CIPP.

About Tubepol

Tubepol is a full-service CIPP provider located in Mexico City. It solves customers’ pipeline issues, offering video inspection, pipe fabrication, installation, curing, and final inspection. Tubepol also provides free educational seminars on CIPP to maintenance chiefs at government organizations and private companies. For more information, contact Rodrigo Zavala, at (+52) 1209-0152 or email ingenieria@tubepol.com

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