Exciting US prospects for Aussie technology

The directors of Vortex Pipes Limited discuss their exciting new developments in the world of cured-in-place pipe rehabilitation, and their plans for expansion into the US market.

Vortex Pipes is an Australian company focused on the rehabilitation of vital pipe infrastructure in the water, oil and gas, and resources industries.

The company has developed the ShieldLiner System, a world-first, proprietary trenchless pipe rehabilitation technology, which restores the structural integrity and functionality of damaged or ageing pipelines.

The company describes ShieldLiner as the world’s first true in-situ, cured-in-place pipe trenchless rehabilitation system. It rehabilitates and re-strengthens existing damaged pipelines without any excavation required.

The ShieldLiner System is a world-first technology – it results in an ultra-thin 3 mm liner that can withstand 700 kg of pull, making it ideal for pressure pipelines and the oil and gas industries. The technology is a previous recipient of the International Society for Trenchless Technology’s No-Dig Award in the new machine/technique category.

“There are very few suitable rehabilitation solutions in the oil, gas and large watermain area; we think that innovation in those areas will provide a lot of opportunity into the future,” said Vortex Pipes Managing Director Trevor Gosatti.

“The ShieldLiner technology is based around repairing what’s left of the old pipe, and installing a new liner on the inside of the old pipe as well. Most existing technologies don’t focus on repairing the old pipe. We don’t leave an annulus in the pipe, where water and roots can still infiltrate,” he said.

Benefits of the ShieldLiner technology

The ShieldLiner technology offers a range of unique benefits to users. It reduces the manpower and equipment required onsite; it results in a major reduction in resin usage; there is less downtime; it significantly increases the pipeline life span; and results in minimal excavation cost and reduced permitting issues.

Social and environmental benefits include less carbon output over traditional open-pit line pipe replacement, and reduced noise pollution and social disruptions thanks to fast installation.

Entry into the US market

Vortex Pipes is currently working towards commercialisation in North America by seeking a strategic distributor.

“We see a huge opportunity in North America. The industry has identified a problem in their existing infrastructure – most of it was built post-war, so it is now in excess of 50 years old, which is the typical life of pipe infrastructure,” said Vortex Pipes Director Brett Matich.

“There will be a big focus on rehabilitating pipe infrastructure in the next 10-20 years and significant amounts of money will be spent,” added Mr Gosatti. “Vortex Pipes sees a huge opportunity for the ShieldLiner System via partnerships with distribution or engineering companies.”

To that end, the company recently signed a technology non-disclosure agreement with The Kelley Group, a US-based engineering group.

The Kelley Group has undertaken an initial review of the ShieldLiner technology with positive feedback – indicating that they believe there are significant and material opportunities for deployment of the ShieldLiner technology into the US market.

For more information visit www.vortexpipes.com

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