VITROX® Composite Resins
In the trenchless pipe repair market, cure-in-place pipe (CIPP) systems are a popular choice. Huntsman’s VITROX® Composite Resins product is the world’s first polyurethane-based pipe repair resin. VITROX® resin provides a longer handling window, faster curing time and superior high temperature resistance properties compared to existing technologies.
The significant scientific challenge to develop a polyurethane resin suitable for the CIPP process was tackled by the Huntsman technology team using fundamental chemistry know-how, and demonstrated in-field in partnership with I.S.T. (Innovative Sewer Technologies GmbH).
In October 2012, VITROX® Composite Resins was awarded the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry’s (CPI) Polyurethane Innovation Award. This award recognizes companies and individuals whose dedicated efforts bring new products, technologies and initiatives to the marketplace.
How it Works
During the CIPP installation, a resin-saturated felt liner made of polyester is inverted into a damaged pipe using compressed air or water. Steam or hot water is then applied to the saturated liner, aiding the resin to cure, which allows a seal to be created inside the damaged pipe. Within one to three hours, the CIPP System is completely cured.
Advantages over Traditional Methods
Traditionally, epoxy or unsaturated polyester resins (UPRs) are combined with felt liners to create a durable, impenetrable CIPP solution. Epoxies have a short pot life and have to be mixed just a few hours before installation. UPRs offer a longer pot life; however, they have long cure periods and potential health risks. VITROX® resin is based on novel isocyanate chemistry and offers an adjustable pot life and snap cure capabilities.
Using VITROX® resins, far more time is available between resin application and installation. As a result, liners can be prepared off-site, the day before application, at a suitable indoor location. This reduces the risk of mixing faults, which can occur on outdoor sites because of inclement weather conditions. It also means actual repair work can start as soon as the team arrives onsite each day.
According to a 2002 Environmental Protection Agency “Gap Analysis,” by 2020 approximately 45 percent of the 600,000 miles of sewer pipes within the United States will be in need of immediate repair. Necessary renovations are often delayed due to the high cost and difficulty of making underground repairs, which often requires pipes be dug up and roads be shut down for an extended period during the renovation process.
The VITROX® application process allows pipe repairs to be completed in-situ. Less digging makes the CIPP process more affordable, less disruptive and more environmentally friendly compared to traditional “dig and replace” pipe rehabilitation methods.
According to Trenchless International Magazine, more than 12 million linear feet of pipelines are currently being renovated annually in North America using the CIPP process. The same VITROX® resin that is currently being used in a number of sewer repair applications throughout Europe could certainly be used for those same applications in North America as well. According to Dave Burge, Huntsman Polyurethanes Business Development Manager, “in the future, the product will see broader applications on a global basis in a variety of markets, including the water, and oil and gas industries.”
For more information on VITROX® Composite Resins, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.