Pipe bursting

Pipe bursting. An ideal pipe replacement technique with minimum excavation.


Pipe bursting makes it possible to replace an existing pipe with a polyethylene pipe. In order to do it, a specially designed air hammer is first of all introduced into one of the extremities of the conduit ta be replaced. Then a cable fixed to the air hammer is inserted into the existing conduit and connected to a winch located at the other extremity of the segment to be replaced.

By applying constant tension, the winch makes it possible for the hammer to progress as it bursts the existing conduit and compacts the material.

The replacement conduit is first of all fused into its complete length then attached behind the hammer. The installation of the new conduit progresses in accordance with the advancement rhythm of the hammer. Excavation is only required at the extremities.

When is pipe bursting recommended?

This technique can be used to replace conduits varying between 76 and 760 millimetres in diameter. Ideal for the replacement of a conduit that has little or no connections and no elbows. It makes it possible to replace an existing conduit with a new conduit with a larger diameter in compressible material. Pipe bursting is a technique that is recommended when the replacement of a conduit by excavation involves too many difficulties. Finally, the following factors need to be considered:

  • The conduits to be replaced must be made solely of cast iron, sandstone, concrete (not reinforced} or plastic
  • This technique also requires an entry pit and an exit pit dug to the depth of the existing conduit
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