I.CO.P. is currently the licensee in Italy for the Easy Pipe© patent, which combines the beneficial elements of microtunnelling and those of the Horizontal Directional Drilling.
EASY PIPE (EP) LAUNCHING SYSTEM
This method, during the first phase, uses the same equipment, installations and working systems of the microtunneling (starting shaft, choke ring, boring head with pit face access, separation plant).
The first phase ends when the machine reaches the arriving shaft (break-though) and the drill head is recovered. Compared to the “traditional” microtunnel technique, the EP uses the last generation Gyro Compass guiding system, which allows the realization of curved lines without involving personnel inside the tunnel and uses special steel pipes with a flexible joint that works both in traction and compression.
During the second phase the jacking frame is rotated in the starting shaft. In the arriving shaft the boring shield is replaced by a connector to which the pipeline is linked. By activating the jacking frame, the EP pipes are pulled inside the starting shaft and the pipe line is launched in the ground. During the launching of the pipe line, a special hardening mix, Drill Mix Type, is pumped through the connector up to fill the interspace betweeen the ground and the pipe line.
When the EP pipes re-enter the starting shaft, they are disconnected and recovered. The annular space remaining outside the pipe line is filled with an auto-hardening material of a resistance similar to compact clay.
Compared to the common microtunnelling technique, this method reduces times and costs of construction, requires machines of smaller diameter and reduces the quantity of mucking.