Water Infiltration in Underground Electrical Conduit Made Permanently Leak-Proof
The customer, a tier 3 supplier to Chrysler, had decided to install their own R&D machine versus constantly relying on third parties. Their 650,000-ft high-pressure aluminum die-casting facility built in 1964 needed a new R&D area.
The height of the R&D machine and the presence of numerous overhead cranes involved in the die-casting process, meant that the machine would need to be installed in a pit to protect it and all its electrical components. The pit was dug and a U-shaped conduit installed where the electrical cables for the machine would be run. Then came the reinforced concrete floor, upon which the machine was positioned.
When it came time to run the electrical cables through the conduit, the presence of water was discovered. The the conduit was allowing ground water to penetrate it, either as a result of a loosened joint or cracking of the pipe during construction.
The construction company brought in a spin-cast epoxy coating contractor to fix the problem. However, the water infiltration washed away the epoxy coating. They therefore decided to mix their resin hotter so that it would cure before the water could wash it off. Unfortunately, the epoxy ended up clumping on contact with the water. Now, not only was there water infiltration, but the pipe was clogged.
One of the project engineers happened upon CME on YouTube and gave us a call. Chuck Menkhaus, CME’s Owner & CEO, listened to the history of the project and reviewed the parameters before recommending a plan.
First the 10”-diameter and approximately 38-ft long U-shaped conduit had to be cleared of all the cured epoxy, providing a clean pipe to line. CME’s Dancutter Superflex was able to navigate the double-45 bends in the conduit and grind down the cured epoxy clumps so that they could be flushed out.
Once cleared the pipe was able to be lined. CME’s epoxy-saturated cut-to-length liner was inserted into the conduit, and pressurized to adhere to and cure against the conduit’s inside diameter, leaving a viable, seamless and completely waterproof conduit.
The job was completed in hours versus days and eliminated the need to displace the new R&D machine, concrete and dirt to replace the conduit and start over.