Aptus works with a wide variety of bridge piping materials. Depending on the specific application, dozens of materials are suitable to house and contain bridge-attached utilities. It’s imperative for the durability of utilities that the proper material(s) be implemented as early as possible.
Which materials are most commonly used for bridge-attached utility projects? Let’s take a look.
Thermoplastics are one of the most widely-used utility solutions on the planet. These resin-based polys include a range of “plastics,” including PVC, HDPE, Steel Reinforced Polyethylene (SRPE), Polypropylene (PP), and more. Thermoplastics are cost effective and relatively easy to install. Because they are subject to brittleness in the cold, they’re less suitable for above-ground applications in which the weather is highly variable. Plastics are most often used to contain water, wastewater, and other fluids.
Steel bridge piping is on its way out. Steel utility pipes haven’t been installed since around the 1970s, but the material is still found in a significant portion of utility infrastructure including among sensitive natural gas lines. Steel pipes are subject to rust and leakage, and thus replacing outdated steel piping with modernized materials is a priority for many utility providers. Aluminum replacements and/or implementation of galvanization techniques are maintenance techniques frequently employed on steel pipes.
Aluminum piping is the preferred alternative to steel. The material itself is not magnetic but is bendable, making it suitable for a wide range of applications. Aluminum pipes are anti-corrosive and easily accept “liner” materials designed to add strength and longevity. This material is found in almost every utility industry, namely water, gas, and energy.
Fiberglass – otherwise known as GFRP – is essentially a plastic reinforced with tiny shards of glass. (A similar, comparable material is glass-reinforced concrete.) Fiberglass offers a myriad of benefits for utility providers: it’s lightweight, easy-to-install, and completely customizable based on spatial constraints. Fiberglass is very durable and one of the most weather-resistant piping materials available.
At Aptus, we know that the right material depends entirely on the specifics of the job. Every bridge utility application is different, and challenges can range from atmospheric moisture to constant vibration. In some cases, it’s best to work with the material already installed; in others, replacing outdated pipes with newer materials offer the most ROI.
Need help determining the right bridge piping material for your utility project? Aptus is ready. Give one of our regional offices a call to speak with a knowledgeable representative today.