Jubilee in Barcelona: 20 years of pressure pipe rehabilitation in Europe

Dec 21, 2011

Exactly 20 years after the first TUBETEX™ liner was installed in Barcelona, the ACSA Barcelona construction company is still banking on TUBETEX™ by SEKISUI SPR Europe as an effective method of pressure pipe rehabilitation.

As an engineer employed by ACSA Barcelona, a member of the French Sorigué Group, Vicente Munoz is responsible for maintenance of the water supply network in the Spanish coastal city. When he and his team installed a TUBETEX™ liner on 25 September 1991, Munoz was one of the pioneers in trenchless pipe rehabilitation. A 210-metre reinforced concrete drinking water pipe below Passeig Sant Gervasi in Barcelona was the first in Europe to be renewed by this method. Twenty years later, Munoz – still a staunch supporter of trenchless rehabilitation – worked together with engineers from SSPRE this past June on the rehabilitation of a 600-metre water pipeline in the middle of a residential area only seven kilometres from the first construction site of 1991.
TUBETEXTM rehabilitation in 2011
ACSA rehabilitated the circular profile in DN500 with a special version of TUBETEX™ by SSPRE. The seamlessly woven pipe liner made of polyester yarn was reinforced by a felt layer inserted into the TUBETEX™ prior to installation in order to withstand external pressure in exceptional cases. The severely encrusted old pipe was first of all prepared for inversion by high-pressure cleaning and the material combination was then saturated in situ with resin.
The pace of construction work was rapid thanks to pressure drum inversion and the project took only three weeks to complete in six phases. “Again we opted for the TUBETEX™ liner for this project, because it is easily capable of withstanding the internal pressures of 10 bar anticipated here and significantly reduces friction on the inside walls, resulting in less depressurization overall,” explained Vicente Munoz of ACSA. “After all, it has proven its quality over a period of more than 20 years and has never failed us over this time.”
Product with a long history
TUBETEX™ has its roots in Belgium and these go back to the year 1985. The development of a liner for trenchless pipe rehabilitation was initiated with the support of the University of Liège. The common goal was to manufacture a product for renewing gas and water pressure lines. Only one year later the first liner was manufactured in the Belgian factory which still today serves as a TUBETEX™ production facility. Intensive tests and research, not to mention numerous trials, in impregnation finally led to marketable product in April 1987 which was initially supplied in diameters of 300–800mm. It met with considerable demand, so that the second weaving loom for diameters 300–400mm was already taken into operation in 1990.
In the following years the TUBETEX™ was perfected and installation with the pressure drum was professionalised. The principal development stages were the improvement of the coating for rehabilitation of gas- and oil pipelines.
TUBETEXTM was the first product of SEKISUI NordiTube and the starting shot for an excellent track record which still wins over customers worldwide and keeps urban water network infrastructure intact.

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