Product Spotlight - April 2021

Product Spotlight - April 2021

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Older bare steel piping often lacks a protective coating, which can cause the steel to corrode and deteriorate faster than other materials. Having efficient and cost-effective replacement methods for these kinds of pipes is critical. The SLX1300 trenchless pipe extraction system  from HammerHead Trenchless is designed specifically for the replacement of those older small-diameter steel natural gas services.

The SLX1300 can be used to replace coated and bare steel gas service lines 0.5 to 1.25 inches in diameter, up to 100 feet in length. The hydraulically powered unit produces up to 13.3 tons of pulling force to extract the pipe from the ground, while simultaneously pulling new HDPE or MDPE pipe into the same location as the existing pipe, reducing risk to surrounding utilities.

“A gas company approached us about finding a trenchless way to replace bare steel and our engineering team applied operator feedback to design the SLX1300 to meet needs unique to the gas market,” says Josh Hood, HammerHead Trenchless senior product manager. “The final design includes innovative features to minimize excavation and reduce operating requirements.”

The pipe extraction process requires two access points: a machine pit located where the service connects to the main, and an access point opposite the machine from which to pull in the new pipe. A cable is fed from the machine through the pipe and attached to the new pipe at the other end. The machine’s jaws clamp the steel pipe and the cable within it, and the machine is then engaged to pull the pipe from the ground. The jaws release and the machine cycles forward to clamp and pull another segment. The pipe shear located behind the machine’s clamping jaw can be engaged at the operator’s discretion to segment the extracted pipe in any length as space allows.

The compact size of the unit requires a working pit approximately 4 feet wide by 4 feet long, and the entire system can be transported in the back of a standard pickup truck, reducing costs associated with extensive excavation and support equipment needs.

“Operators across the country have observed the cost savings and benefits of trenchless construction methods,” Hood says. “We’re proud to introduce a new trenchless technology that facilitates rapid replacement of at-risk steel gas pipes.”

According to Hood, the SLX1300 is designed for steel pipe but preliminary field testing on additional pipe materials is underway.800-331-6653;


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