There are four primary types of resins used for pipelining applications, including epoxy, polyester, silica and vinyl, and they each have their own distinct benefits and drawbacks. Here at NuFlow in Chicago, we offer epoxy resin due to its durability, low shrink rate upon curing and versatility. However, each type of resin has its own unique advantages and disadvantages.

Types of Pipelining Resins

When we talk about pipelining resins, we are talking about an internal pipe coating liquid that coats the inside of the potable water pipe, or the liquid that is used to impregnate fiberglass liners and adhere to the inside of the drain or sewer line. The four most common types of pipelining resins include epoxy, polyester, silica and vinyl. Regardless of the type of pipelining resin used, they are all designed to stop current leaks and prevent future corrosion and additional deterioration of the host pipe.

While we choose to use epoxy resins for a variety of reasons, including durability, environmental friendliness and longevity, we want you to be able to make an informed decision when it comes to lining your potable water pipes and drain lines.

1. Epoxy

Epoxy is a two-part resin that is used to line potable water pipes and sewer and drain plumbing pipes. While epoxy resins are the most expensive types of resins on the market, they are the most versatile. Epoxy resin is unique in that it is approved for both indoor and outdoor use in Chicago. This is because epoxy resins do not contain any harmful fumes or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can leach into the surrounding area.

Pros

  • Approved in Chicago
  • No harmful or strong smells
  • No styrene
  • No VOCs
  • Quick return to service
  • Can be used in both indoor and outdoor pipe lining applications

Cons

  • Extremely worn pipes may need to be replaced instead of lined.
  • It’s more expensive than other types of resins
  • Must be mixed on-site at the time of installation

2. Polyester

Polyester is another popular type of resin that is used in pipelining applications, specifically municipal sewer and stormwater pipe applications because it tends to meet all of the stringent requirements of local and state municipalities and cures within a reasonable timeframe at room temperature. Contractors like polyester resins because they can be premixed ahead of time and custom mixed to ensure the ideal cure time for the project. It is also one of the more affordable resin types.

Pros

  • Can be mixed offsite
  • Can be mixed to achieve specific cure times
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Extremely durable
  • Pipeliners can be presoaked weeks ahead of time
  • Meets most city code requirements
  • Not prone to stress cracking
  • One of the least expensive types of resins

Cons

  • Offgasses VOCs
  • Shrinks as it cures
  • Chemicals used for Polyester resins may cause cancer
  • Proper protective equipment must be worn, including masks or respirators
  • Should only be used in outdoor applications due to the strong smell

3. Silica

Silica resin is primarily used in drain and sewer lines in order to stop leaks and prevent corrosion. This type of resin is solvent-free. It can be cured at room temperature or by applying heat. At 70 degrees, the resin remains workable for between 20 and 40 minutes and has an expected cure time of up to three hours, depending on the temperature. Shorter cure times are associated with higher temperatures. Silica resins are also extremely fire resistant and can actually put out fires. They are also extremely resistant to chemical infiltration.

Pros

  • Can be used on drain and sewer pipes
  • VOC-free
  • Does not contain styrene
  • Fast curing times
  • Heat and chemical resistant
  • No harmful fumes

Cons

  • Must be mixed on-site
  • Shrinks as it cures
  • Workable time is less than 60 minutes

4. Vinyl

Vinyl is another type of popular CIPP resin that is used in municipal water systems where chemical and corrosion resistance are a must. It is considered a hybrid resin as it contains products from both polyester and epoxy resins. However, the older type of vinyl resin offgasses VOCs, which can leak into the surrounding soil. In order to prevent this from occurring, new vinyl resins, known as no-VOC vinyl resins do not contain volatile organic compounds. Both vinyl resin types offer low-temperature curing.

Pros

  • Can be purchased I no-VOC versions
  • Extremely corrosion resistant and durable
  • Great for corrosive environments
  • Great for municipal applications
  • Works well in high-flow pipes
  • Liners can be presoaked
  • Can be mixed off-site

Cons

  • May contain strong odors
  • More expensive than polyester resin
  • Proper protective equipment must be worn
  • Versions that contain VOCs may leach chemicals into the soil

Why We Use Epoxy Resins Here at Nu Flow

Here at NuFlow, serving the entirety of Chicago and the greater Chicago area, we have determined that epoxy resins are the best choice for pipelining applications. This is because epoxy is extremely durable and corrosion resistant in both potable water pipe and drain and sewer line applications, and there is no harsh smell associated with the resin. This means that it can be used both indoors and outdoors, and there is no risk of chemical leaching of the resin into the potable water or into the soil when it is used outdoors to line sewer and drain lines. Epoxy resins have also been known to last between 35 and 50 years, which means you can expect your newly lined pipe to last nearly as long as a traditional pipe replacement.

Potable Water Pipe Applications

For potable water pipe applications, we use a red epoxy resin. This red epoxy is used to line the pipes that carry your drinking, washing and bathing water as well as the risers. This epoxy seals current pinhole leaks and small cracks while preventing future corrosion and leaks. Our red epoxy is mixed on-site then blown through your potable water pipes. As the vicious liquid moves through the pipe, it evenly coats the entire diameter, which is verified via a final camera inspection after the epoxy is cured.

Sewer, Vent and Drain Stack Applications

For sewer, vent and drain stack applications, we use a blue-colored epoxy and a liner. The liner is cut to fit the exact length of the pipe to be lined. Then, we wet-out the liner with the epoxy by pouring it inside the liner and using a small rolling device to ensure the liner is fully saturated with the epoxy. Once the liner has turned completely blue, it is ready to be installed in the existing sewer pipe or drain line.

Epoxy Resin Lining with NuFlow, Serving Chicago

Our pipelining technicians are proud to be able to offer trenchless pipelining solutions to every residential, commercial and municipal building in Chicago. To date, we’ve lined numerous condo and apartment buildings as well as municipal buildings and even sports stadiums. Every pipelining installation we perform comes with a complete 10-year warranty, which means if your newly lined pipes develop problems within the warranty time period, we will come out and repair the failed plumbing pipe.

To learn more about our residential, industrial, commercial and municipal pipelining solutions and to schedule a building pipe assessmentcall us at 815-790-9000.