CIPP, Insituform Celebrate 40th Anniversary

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | January 2011 Vol. 66 No. 1
Insituform recently completed one of the largest North American CIPP projects to date in Sacramento, CA.

“The only trenchless pipe rehabilitation methods available before Insituform introduced CIPP were sliplining and grouting,” said Lynn Osborn, P.E., Insituform senior applications manager. “CIPP offers a much wider technical envelope.”

The introduction of CIPP gave engineers another option to dig and replace pipes, Osborn said.

“The new CIPP process,” he continued, “provided an innovative, structurally sound solution that was corrosion resistant, reduced infiltration, in most cases increased flow capacity of the sewer, took less time to implement and was less disruptive because it generally could be installed without excavation. CIPP was appealing to city officials because they didn’t receive as many customer complaints as a dig-and-replace project, and in most urban situations, it cost less.”

Osborn said there is no doubt that CIPP was the catalyst that launched the pipe rehabilitation industry, including rehab materials and processes and robots for installing lateral rehab products and camera systems for evaluating sewers and water lines.

“I attended a huge trade show in Germany last September,” said Osborn, “and the available products, processes and equipment were unbelievable. Eric Wood would be proud.”

In the mid and late ‘70s, Eric Wood was busy improving the CIPP process.

In 1976, the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued two seminal patents, 4,009,063 and 4,064,211 that covered significant changes Wood developed for the CIPP process that included a change to the water temperature needed to cure the tube and the addition of water pressure as an installation method of CIPP. These changes led to increased installation production, greater resin stability and increased shelf life of a resin-impregnated tube. Ultimately, Wood developed 38 Insituform patents in the U.S.

The process obviously held great potential, but many system owners and consulting engineers in the conservative sewer industry were reluctant to try CIPP. Not only was it new, it was different, and radically different at that.

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