PCA (Pipeline Condition Assessment) Group began, as a business unit within Tubemakers Water, in 1996 to provide expert consultancy services to Australian Water Industry. Initially, the group extensively utilised intelligent pig technology from Canada, and successfully assessed approximately 25km of cast and ductile iron water and sewer mains. Later the group expanded its technology offerings, based on experience prior to the formation of the group.
Since then the group has specialised in the condition assessment of pressurised water and wastewater mains, with a particular emphasis on buried ferrous metal mains, and has operated as a separate profit centre within major international businesses including Tyco Flow Control and Earth Tech Engineering. Today it is a Division of ADE Consulting Group Pty Ltd.
PCA’s experience in this field has remained unmatched by any other service provider in Australia and has conducted genuine condition assessment (not leak detection on reticulation pipes) on thousands of kilometres of water mains in Australia and overseas. It is unique in operating as both a Consultant and Contractor.
Since its formation, PCA has trialed a number of techniques for assessing the condition of water mains and has during that time continued to develop and refine its approach. PCA has arguably grown be one of the leading world experts in the condition assessment of pressurised water mains.
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GLASS-REINFORCED PLASTIC PIPES
Glass Reinforced Pipes (GRP) have been used to replace metal pipes in potentially corrosive environments. The pipe is a composite, and is difficult to assess its condition. It normally fails catastrophically from mechanical loading.
Structure of GRP Pipes
Hobas GRP pipelines constructed out of centrifugally-cast pipe, and joined using symmetrical elastomeric joints.
Glass fibre is the major reinforcing material used to achieve the high mechanical performance in the axial and circumferential direction. It is a key constituent of most layers of the GRP pipe wall. Another key constituent is the unsaturated polyester resin and it is generally mixed with various filling materials of natural or artificial origin – typically calcium carbonate CaCO3 powders, such as limestone, marble or dolomite – in order to achieve certain mechanical properties (stiffness).
The sealing material selected to fill the gap between the pipe and joint is EPDM (ethylene propylene diene polymer). It is water-resistant, exhibits good chemical resistance, and has an excellent ability to restore its shape after being stressed and relieved.