Have you considered repairing your worn water supply pipes with structural liners? Trenchless pipe technology has been around since the 1940s, but back then, the “lining” was a coating of cement motor. Today, pipe linings are constructed from polyurea, polyurethane or epoxy. However, none of these plastic-based pipe liners were considered structural until the last decade.

How Aircraft Carriers Helped Create Structural Epoxy Linings for Plumbing

In a recently declassified report entitled Restoration of Drinking Water Piping with Nontoxic Epoxy Linings  as part of a document entitled Proceedings of the Tri-Service Environmental Technology that was presented at a workshop in 1996, epoxy pipe linings for the structural restoration of water supply and drain lines were first researched by the Naval Sea Systems Command Detachment for the repair of pipes for aircraft carriers. The first test was performed in 1986, but tests after the installation came back unsatisfactory due to poor adhesion, residual solvents and air entrainment during installation.

The problem was that commercially available epoxy resins all contained chemicals or structural problems that made them unsuitable for potable water lines. In response, the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) was tasked with creating an epoxy liner that could be used for repairing potable water lines constructed from copper and nickel aboard aircraft carriers.

The “NRL Series 4” was the result, and it completely eliminated the chemical leaching and health hazards present in the commercial liners, but this formulation still had problems with air bubbles and curing. Thankfully, a refinement in the application and curing process provided a satisfactory solution, but the development hit another snag. The curing products were suddenly subjected to new regulations, which made them unviable for use. This meant that the entire epoxy system had to be redeveloped.

“NRL 4B” was the last incarnation of military epoxy pipe liner, and it was installed in the pipes of commissioned aircraft carriers. In 1995, aircraft carriers started to be delivered with the epoxy lining preinstalled. The first carrier was the USS John C. Stennis.

Today, the epoxy liners used on home and business water pipes are directly derived from NRL 4B.  They can be used on all water supply lines, providing those lines are properly prepared.

8 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Chicago Pipe Lining Expert 

Restoring Your Pipes Trenchless Pipe Technology

Epoxy coatings and liners for hot and cold water supply lines and drain lines have become more popular and affordable in the last 10 years, and it can now be safely said that epoxy technologies are now used worldwide when it comes to restoring the integrity of severely corroded and damaged pipes and preventing further corrosion.

Here at Nu Flow, you can be assured that we follow proper procedure and protocol, according to the proper recommendations for installing epoxy pipe coatings. Our epoxy coatings and liners are also compliant with regulations and safe for all potable water.

When our technicians arrive at your multi-story residential building, they will thoroughly clean and remove all the corrosion from inside your pipes after a complete camera inspection. Any old soldering or fittings made of lead are removed and replaced with mechanical joints. Prior to the installation of the epoxy lining, your water pipes will be heated to a certain temperature. Then, we will apply the epoxy lining or coating. Lastly, we will conduct leak tests to ensure the epoxy lining is watertight.

To learn more about epoxy linings and coatings and to schedule an evaluation or estimate for repairing your potable water lines, call us at 815-790-9000.