Internal pinhole cracks get repaired by Curapipe’s little pig train.
Small, pin-hole leaks in water, oil, and other types of pipelines often result in substantial fluid losses as well as environmental damage. It now appears that an Israeli company CuraPipe Systems has invented a unique way to seal pinhole leaks in water and other types of piping networks.
The system involves sending a specially formulated curing substance through the pipe in an internal system known as a “pig train” in which a spongy, bullet-shaped object resembling a pig is sent through the pipe, via the water pressure and is normally used to clean out lime scale and other deposits from inside pipelines.
The curative substance is “trapped” between two “pigs”; and once reaching the area of the leaks is literally forced into the cavity and seals it internally – preventing the need for an expensive and time consuming process of digging up and exchanging the leaking pipe section.
The innovative leak repair system is new drawing world-wide attention and was featured in an October 27 article in the U.K. magazine The Economist. The article explores that leakage known as “background leakage” as an accepted amounts of water that reach as much as 3,500 liters of water per kilometer of pipeline per day as the minimum achievable loss by the International Water Association.
Due to the increasing problem of fresh water shortages in many parts of the world, especially in the Middle East this solution is welcomed. According to the Economist, CuraPipe’s CEO, Peter Paz, believes that the process can also be used to seal pin hole leaks in oil pipelines as well.
Paz noted that a recant oil leakage in a pipeline near the Coussouls de Crau nature reserve close to the Camargue, in the south of France and reported in The Guardian, that more than 4 million litres of crude oil caused substantial damage to the natural wetlands in the reserve. Paz believes that his sealing process would have prevented much of this loss from occurring.
As shown on CuraPipe’s website, the “pig launcher” leak repair process has a number has a number of benefits including preventing costly “down time” (when water or other fluid is not flowing due to the pipe being repaired), decreasing the need for costly pipeline inspection and monitoring as well as maintenance costs. The environmental impact of saving lost water and preventing oil leaks speaks for itself.
CuraPipe’s management team, headed by Peter Paz and Ofer Vicus, VP of Business Development bring together more than 25 years of experience in the marketing/management and oil and gas fields.
There is great possibility of combing this type of innovative technology with that mentioned in a previous Green Prophet article; in which another Israeli company, Arad Technololgies , has developed a innovative way to detect leakages in pipelines by placing small sensors inside them form which the leaks are detected by small pilot-less airplanes flying overhead.
With so much as stake in the areas of preventing water loss and environmental damage from leaking pipes, CuraPipe’s method of sealing small, pin hole pipe leaks is a very positive contribution indeed.
Illustration via www.curapipe.com