Daytona Beach Races Ahead With HDD Solutions

September 2011, Vol. 66 No. 9

Pipe fusion, also known as butt fusion, is a widely accepted process that joins two pieces of thermoplastic pipe together with heat and pressure. Commonly associated with HDPE, the butt fusion process starts by “facing” or shaving the pipe ends simultaneously so that they can be joined together with heat to create a continuous, sealed pipeline. The welding of the pipes is accomplished by using a hot plate in contact with the pipe ends, which heats the plastic to a molten state. Then, after its removal, the pipe ends are pressed together under a controlled force to form a weld that is as strong as or stronger than the pipe itself. Third-party industry research indicates that HDPE pipe and joints can have a lifespan of more than 100 years.

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The Daytona Beach jobsite was restricted to a very small footprint in a park area between North Beach Street and the waterfront, which made it perfect site to test a prototype MegaMc PolyHorse. The tool allows pipe to be placed on a series of racks directly from a delivery truck. The MegaMc PolyHorse can hold a shift’s worth of fusion work, keeping the pipe stored in a location where it is ready to be used. The MegaMc PolyHorse held 10 50-foot sticks of 30-inch pipe on the rack system that feeds to a dispenser device, and finally, to a pair of powered rollers. One of the rollers features a tracked system that grips and feeds the pipe into the fusion machine, making the fusion process easier on the operator. In tandem, the two powered rollers of the MegaMc PolyHorse help maneuver a stick of pipe up to 24 inches laterally and 34 inches vertically. The device is designed for 20- to 48-inch IPS pipes.

Personnel from USA were excited about the prospect of this equipment on the job because it frees up heavy machinery, such as loaders and excavators. Additional machinery isn’t required to hold and position sticks of pipe in place for fusion operations when using the MegaMc PolyHorse. Fusion technicians on site were able to release and load sticks of pipe for fusing with the use of the remote control, which directs all of the functions from the carriage of the fusion machine.