Following recent floods, hurricanes and resulting washouts of pipeline backfill and trench support from Florida to California, AMERICAN Ductile Iron Pipe set out to demonstrate the strength and resiliency of ductile iron pipe and the AMERICAN Flex-Ring joint. For the demonstration, a five-piece assembly of 16-inch AMERICAN Flex-Ring pipe was capped, and water was added. The assembly, including water, weighed almost 20,000 pounds and was 100 feet in length. The pipeline was then lifted aboveground by a crane. Each joint in this five-piece assembly was over deflected, and none separated. Even when deflected at 15 degrees, or four times its maximum recommended deflection, the joints remained intact, and the pipeline continued to convey water. Three additional lifts were completed, and all the joints held throughout each lift.
“The joint loads and deflections were far greater than what would normally be experienced in the field and demonstrated performance if all the ground support normally around a pipeline were to be washed away through landslide, conventional flooding or hurricane-induced tidal surges,” said ADIP/ASWP Marketing Services Manager Maury D. Gaston.
“Even in this extremely abusive configuration, the joint held and would continue to provide water conveyance to critical infrastructure such as fire protection, hospitals, industries and homes,” Gaston continued. “If you are concerned about pipeline performance following the loss of trench support, be sure to specify AMERICAN Flex-Ring ductile iron pipe. Inferior materials and joints will otherwise leave you high and dry.”
View a video of the demonstration here.