For more than 40 years, Sanivar has been focused on developing state of the art, high quality manufactured solutions, designed to restore decaying and ageing pipe infrastructure across the world. Sanivar was founded in the mid-1970s in Switzerland when there was a change in how gas was delivered across Europe.
Before the 1970s, gas was delivered as a moist gas, and pipes and fittings were manufactured with this in mind. But, with a change from moist to dry gas, pipes and sealants began to dry out, leading to cracks and degradation. A group of engineers saw the need for an innovative solution to this problem, and later developed the first line of Sanivar products to repair pipes and handle dry gas.
Since then, Sanivar has innovated and expanded to rehabilitate pipes that carry not just gas, but also petrochemicals, industrial water, potable water and sewage. As needs have changed in the market, Sanivar has also adapted to these changes. Their latest innovations have led to a pull-in liner called SaniTube and a cure-in-place pipe (CIPP) called SaniLine.
SaniTube and SaniLine are revolutionary in that they can be used to line existing pipework in the ground over long stretches of up to 1 kilometre in length, without any need to remove the pipes or replace them. This means that large stretches of previously inaccessible leaking pipework can now be restored quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively.
Addressing pipe leakage in the UK
In 2019, pipe leakage due to ageing pipe infrastructure across Britain is a major challenge. In the water industry, an estimated 3.183 billion litres of water are currently lost per day across England and Wales alone, and in some areas, less than half of the water piped from source actually reaches its final destination. Many other industries such as the oil and gas sector also face similar challenges.
In many cases, access difficulties are a significant barrier to repairing ageing pipes, since much pipework now lies under large buildings, roads and town centres, and cannot be easily reached. This makes upgrading older pipes in the ground difficult, costly and time-consuming.
Yet Sanivar’s trenchless pipework rehabilitation system changes that. It works by inserting a water-tight, flexible, hard-wearing, malleable, thermoplastic, made with 100% polyester fibres and coated with PE, into existing pipes, fully restoring the pipework long-term.
Unlike existing slip-lining technologies, Sanivar liners are extremely durable and can last intact for over 50 years. SaniTube and SaniLine pipe liners are strong, resilient and flexible enough to be deployed around bends, up to 90 degrees and distances of up to 1km in a single run, depending on the application. This now means that large runs of pipework can be repaired faster, at a lower cost and without major disruption, compared with alternative methods.
Sanivar’s systems are based on extruding polyethylene around a close weave polyester fibre, producing a highly flexible, hard wearing, long lasting pipe lining system, suitable for high pressures, wide-ranging temperatures, resistant to abrasion, and suitable for carrying all sorts of mediums, including potable water.
SaniTube is a high performance, thin-walled, pull-in PE liner, with good structural stability and suitable for use in high-pressure applications. It also uses couplings that are quick to install, highly durable and with standard PN16 flanges, easily reconnects back to standard connections.
SaniLine is a CIPP liner, but one that does not require any expensive equipment for curing, such as in UV or steam systems. It uses a cold curing adhesive so avoids the need for use of epoxy’s and is 100% chemical free. It retains its flexibility, which helps with any changes in diameter, and also coping with high pressures.
Despite being capable of coping with high pressures with an unsupported operating limit of 16 bar, tests demonstrate that SaniLine and SaniTube can cope with significantly higher pressures too. Each product is very thin-walled, typically around 2mm in depth, which means that existing pipe diameters are not significantly reduced and should not experience any pressure loss.
Sanivar’s new UK operation
Being a family-run company over three generations has enabled Sanivar to build extensive international networks, respond efficiently to changing market needs, creating bespoke solutions, and controlling the quality of its finished products to the highest quality under European standards.
With a direct office now open in the UK, Sanivar is now keen for its high quality products to be of benefit to UK utility companies and other industries too and to be able to support those customers with local stock, as well as technical and project support from the UK team.
David Ripley, Managing Director of Sanivar UK, said, “Following the success of Sanivar in mainland Europe and around the world, we are delighted to directly support the many challenges faced across many UK industries with such a useful and innovative product by opening a new office and warehouse facility here in the UK. We are now building our installer network, gaining all the necessary approvals for use in the UK water industry, and UK product testing is underway, as well as talking to those in industries such as Water Utilities, who are working hard at trying to resolve the challenge of leakage reduction. We can help with that and there is a huge amount of excitement around what SaniLine and SaniTube products can do.”