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Digging deep to deliver an Australian-first solution

Digging deep to deliver an Australian-first solution

4 July 2023

Digging deep to deliver an Australian-first solution

At Advanced Piping Systems, we have decades of experience working on large, complex infrastructure projects.

For this reason, recently, we were selected to develop a solution for the transition between HDPE and scheduled pipe for the deluge and hydrant buried ring mains on WestConnex — the largest infrastructure project in Australia.

“There has never been a tunnel system of this scale ever built before in this country,” said Director of Advanced Piping Systems Caleb Craig.

“And while we’ve supplied tunnel projects before, they hadn’t been at this scale.”

Nevertheless, with more than 30 years of experience supplying the construction industry and a deep understanding of HDPE pipe and fittings, Caleb and the team at Advanced Piping Systems were confident they could deliver an innovative solution.

The project’s engineering team specifically requested that the solution did not feature concrete encased flanged transitions, which are susceptible to installation error, with a potentially high failure-rate.

“Our customer was looking for a fail-safe alternative to using flanges when transitioning from HDPE below ground to roll groove galvanised steel above ground,” Caleb said.

“This is because human installation errors can often occur when installing flanges the traditional way, leading to failures in the system.”

Advanced Piping Systems worked closely with the project’s engineering team to ensure a smooth and failsafe project outcome — and in the process, achieved an Australian-first.

“We manufactured an approved PN16 and PN20 transition adapter from PE to steel, as well as developing several custom arrangements to make the use of this product possible,” Caleb said.

“The solution we developed also removed the need for galvanised tees underground, improving install times and ensuring a 100-year pipeline design life.

“It was the first time this type of fitting had been used in Australia for this application.”

As a result of developing the innovative solution, Advanced Piping Systems was requested to supply further materials for the project.

“We were also given an opportunity to supply our standard HDPE pipe, plus HDPE long spigots and electrofusion fittings, which we supplied together under the one contract,” Caleb said.

As an underground tunnel system with many different site locations aboveground — being constructed during the peak of the COVID pandemic — there were many logistical challenges for Advanced Piping Systems to overcome to deliver the materials.

“Deliveries were very challenging, as the vehicles had to be approved for going underground on difficult access roads, and given how tight everything was down there, the delivery timings had to be perfect,” he said.

“The main installation phase of this project was also during the first 18 months of the COVID pandemic, causing many challenges for both the contractor in Sydney during lockdowns, raw material prices and freight from Europe.”

With expert project management from Josh Fox, the Senior Project Manager assigned to the job, Caleb said Advanced Piping Systems delivered “a positive outcome for all involved”.

“We supplied thousands of pipe lengths, associated fittings and transition risers for several thousand hydrants and deluge crossovers, and to date, the site has not had a single failure on our products,” he said.

“We also saved countless hours of labour by removing the need to bolt up flanges.”

Impressed with both the solution developed by our team, as well as our ability to manage the supply of such a massive project, Advanced Piping Systems have been engaged to supply the next stage of the project.

If you need a custom solution developed for your civil construction project, you can trust Advanced Piping Systems’ team of expert engineers and project managers to deliver on time, and on budget. Contact us today for a quote.

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