A quarter of the world’s fresh surface water and groundwater are in Russia. Water utilities are one of the largest industries in the country, serving the entire Russian population.
Surface water accounts for roughly 70 percent of the nation’s drinking water, and groundwater accounts for 30 percent. In 2004, the water supply systems had a reported total capacity of 90 million cubic meters per day. The average residential water usage then was 248 liters per capita per day.
About 90 percent of water demand in rural areas is fulfilled by water wells. In accordance with the Russian standards, water wells come under the sixth depreciation group with a useful life of 10-15 years. At the same time, the minimum expected useful life of protected groundwater storage in fields is 25 years.
Yaturba, a leading manufacturer of uPVC Casing Pipes in Russia, sought to increase the lifetime of hydraulic engineering structures. The company believed that uPVC products and modern stainless steel filters could increase the lifespan of water wells to up to 50 years.
Finding the Right Pipes
As uPVC pipes manufacturers, Yaturba wanted the water well industry in Russia to recognize the benefits of uPVC pipes and adopt them as the go-to option for water management systems. Their challenge was getting the right match in column pipes that could complement their casing pipes in durability.
The Russian water well industry has some unique challenges. Yaturba needed pipes that could hold up to the region’s extreme weather conditions — with temperatures going as low as -20°C, water management systems frequently faced pipe bursts and leaks.
Yaturba struggled to find column pipes that could withstand the harsh conditions of the Russian winter.
Vinyl Pipes, a uPVC pipe manufacturer based in India, reached out to Yaturba to offer their pipes as a solution.
Vinyl Pipes are manufactured with an annealing treatment during their formation stage, where the pipes are slowly cooled after heating. This helps molecule alignment for higher biaxial orientation and directional strength, ensuring they retain their shape and form irrespective of temperature variations.
This treatment resulted in a product fit for several extreme weather conditions.
The Solution and Results
Vinyl Pipes met a few times with the Yaturba team to fully understand the challenge. Thereafter, the team decided to test its pipes vigorously before sharing any product samples. They made changes in various areas of pipe production and quality testing, and set their testing parameters to suit the area’s harsh weather conditions.
First, the team tested their pipes with cryogenic refrigerators to emulate Russian weather conditions with temperatures of -20°C. Then, the pipes were subject to impact testing to check on possible changes in the molecular structure.
After conducting tests, the R&D team decided to add another layer of processing to strengthen and improve the suitability of the pipes for the region. They added a higher level of titanium dioxide to the pipes for higher strength and then designed the pipes to ensure that tensile and torsional stress didn’t collect at one point.
The pipes’ sealing rings needed to withstand the climatic extremities as well. Hence, for the Russian market, Vinyl developed an alloy of rubber reinforced with Silicon rubber to ensure extreme weather suitability.
Vinyl’s column (Riser) pipes are made from uPVC, and thus do not react to the high voltages created by underwater currents in aquifers. In steel pipes these currents create pinholes, causing leaks and requiring replacement every six to 10 years.
By the end of the season, the Yaturba team’s confidence in the durability and reliability of Vinyl’s pipes conditions was well established.
“A big advantage was the cost of the pipes, the material that does not corrode and the reductions in energy consumption due to its smooth inner surface,” Vladimir Keyence of Yaturba said.
Today, Vinyl Pipes works with more than 700 drilling companies in Russia alone. WW
About the Author: Saumya Jain is the managing director for Vinyl Pipes and has been guiding the business since 2013.