Operating principle at a glance:
Pipe Express® in operation
With the development of Pipe Express®, Herrenknecht has set new standards in pipeline installation over long distances. The semi-trenchless method requires no groundwater lowering and in comparison to open-cut construction, the corridor can be considerably narrower. This has a positive impact on construction costs. Because the method is particularly environmentally friendly and cost-effective, the Federal Ministry of the Environment has helped fund development of the new system.
Innovative method reduces environmental impact and costs
Pipe Express® is a mechanized method for the near-surface installation of pipelines in semi-trenchless construction. The technology is suitable for pipelines with diameters of 900 to 1,500 millimeters and distances of up to 2,000 meters. A TBM loosens the soil, which is then transported directly to the surface via an attached trenching unit. Simultaneously the pipeline is installed underground. Since using this construction method means excavation work is reduced to a minimum and groundwater lowering along the alignment is unnecessary, Pipe Express® has only a minimal impact on the environment. The soil is removed directly and not displaced to install the pipelines. For this reason, Pipe Express® offers decisive advantages in particular where the water table is only a few centimeters below the surface, where boggy terrain predominates or where conservation plays an important role.
The modular design of the entire system includes a tunnel boring machine and a trenching unit as a vertical connection between the TBM and the surface. Thanks to the specially developed cutting wheel with integrated screw conveyor, the system can be used flexibly in both soft and heterogeneous ground. An operator vehicle accompanies the tunnelling unit, providing the entire logistics. These include the control stand for the operator, the power unit compartment, a high-capacity pump and a storage container for bentonite. With the integrated crane system, assembly and disassembly work can be carried out very quickly. The thrust for both tunnelling unit and pipeline is delivered from the launch pit by a Herrenknecht Pipe Thruster. Remote control from the operator vehicle ensures low labor requirements coupled with greater work safety.
Versatile operation in all geologies and areas
In particularly challenging areas with unstable soil, water-bearing layers and deep installation requirements, the new method has a positive effect on the costs of both realization and renaturation. With Pipe Express® the corridor and the corresponding earthworks can be reduced by up to 70 percent compared to the open-cut method. This also increases acceptance by the population, land users and landowners as the deployment of large equipment is reduced and construction time is shortened. Furthermore, fast, one-pass pipeline installation and less need for conventional construction machinery mean a significant reduction in exhaust and noise emissions.
New standards in pipeline construction
With the development of Pipe Express®, Herrenknecht has set new standards in pipeline installation over long distances. For challenging alignments, the innovative semi-trenchless method is a fast, environmentally friendly and economical alternative to conventional technologies. Depending on project conditions, with Pipe Express® you can securely install up to 1,000 meters of pipeline per day underground.