Posted on November 17, 2020
Mining is rooted in innovation. From the use of autonomous trucks and hauling equipment to advanced mineral extraction processes, technological advancements are evident. Pipeline systems are also experiencing this innovation, with the use of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe in mining applications becoming more prevalent than ever before. From non-process systems to metal and mineral recovery, the conversion from metal to HDPE pipe can be seen in a slew of applications. What’s more, is that mine operations that use HDPE pipe benefit from cost advantages to both their capital and operational expenses. Yet joining HDPE pipe in mining applications can be challenging due to harsh conditions, confined spaces, and remote or difficult environments – conditions which are characteristic of mines around the world.
The Difficulties of Fusing
Whether you’re installing a dewatering line, tailings, or process water piping, or even a fire protection system, the goal is to utilize an efficient joining method that is safe to install and easy to maintain – and that’s where HDPE pipe proves its advantages. It’s flexible without the risk of kinking; it absorbs bumps; it can be dragged, and it can accommodate large temperature sings in exposed environments. However, traditional methods to install and maintain these HDPE systems, on the other hand, provide far fewer advantages. Electrofusion or butt fusion, the traditional methods for joining HDPE pipe, are laborious and difficult tasks, even in the most pristine conditions. Joints are often susceptible to improper fusing due to surface contamination, poor weather or environmental conditions, or error in the fusion process by the installer. What makes matters worse is these joints cannot be verified for proper installation easily, leaving the system susceptible to future issues. And if issues arise, system maintenance requires the pipe to be cut and repaired, which can be a time-consuming and costly endeavor.
Along with installation and maintenance concerns, fusing HDPE pipe in mining applications is a dangerous task. From the risk of injury when moving and operating fusing equipment to off-gasses and fumes, the fusion process comes with several safety concerns.
With these concerns in mind, Victaulic, the leading manufacturer of mechanical joining systems, developed a better approach.
Introducing a Better Way
The Victaulic HDPE system provides a mechanical joining solution that replaces fusion and improves the way HDPE pipe in mining and other industries is installed and maintained. Designed for direct bury applications, Victaulic HDPE couplings are made with durable ductile iron housings and fluoropolymer-coated hardware. Installed on plain end pipe up to 14” using simple handle tools, the Victaulic system does not require certified technicians to install or maintain. The joints are comprised of 100 percent reusable material and eliminate any harsh fumes or gasses associated with fusing. This all adds up to a safer mine, with the added bonus of an installation time that is up to 10 times faster than fusing. And while the faster installation is ideal, proper installation is critical. Victaulic understands this, providing joints that can be visually verified to ensure proper installation.
Along with these benefits, the Victaulic HDPE system is both reliable and easy to maintain. Should maintenance be required, couplings can be easily disassembled using simple hand tools and repaired or replaced within minutes. This time savings is valuable in mining applications, where downtime, planned or unplanned, can come at a high cost.
Reduce Cost. Compress Schedule. Improve Safety.
The advantages of installing HDPE in mining applications are evident. Yet to truly benefit from these piping systems, installation and maintenance should be seamless and safe. Replacing fusion with Victaulic HDPE solutions reduces costs, compresses project schedules, and increases on-site safety. Couple this with all-weather installation, limited risk of improper assembly, and ease of maintenance, and the advantages are clear.
Check out how Victaulic HDPE system solutions tacked extreme conditions in subsea environments.