24 Hour Emergency Service 0402 290 290

Everything you need to know about Existing and Replacement Pipes in Pipe Bursting

plumbernewtown-Vetrified Clay Pipes

In the trenchless pipe replacement known as pipe bursting, there are two main pipes that are involved and these are the existing and replacement pipes. The existing pipes are the old pipes that need to be renewed. It’s fractured with the use of a bursting head or other machinery that is capable of blowing the pipe. The replacement pipe is obviously the new pipe, and it’s also pulled into the pipeline after the existing pipe bursts. You can learn more about the types, characteristics, and other information about the existing and replacement pipes in pipe bursting below.


Pipe bursting contractors classify existing pipes between two types which are “fracturable” and “non-fracturable”. They really need to know the characteristics of the pipes so that they will be able to apply the suitable method and also use the viable equipment for the operation. After all, not every pipe material is standardised and each one has its own characteristics and durability. Some pipes may be easy to fracture while others are far more difficult to crack and need specialised tools.



Pipes that are commonly “fracturable” include asbestos cement, vitrified clay, cast iron, and many more.



-Because of ceramic compositions asbestos cement is easy work for a pipe bursting application. However, there are certain modifications or additions to the bursting head such as a cutter blade for an easier fracture.



-Clay pipes used in sewer lines are very fragile and splinter easily if it’s really old, making it a suitable pipe for pipe bursting.



-Cast iron is actually breakable even if it’s still in a decent state. This material was widely used prior to the 1970’s, and most houses today that have these pipes are having issues with corrosion, sewer clogs, and other plumbing problems.



These pipes require special care since they’re usually the most durable pipes out there. Special equipment and bursting techniques must be used to fracture these pipes. Common “non-fracturable” pipes are ductile iron, HDPE, PVC, and galvanised steel, etc.



-These are among the strongest pipe materials out there, but can rust at an awful rate when it reaches its lifespan. However, being a durable pipe doesn’t mean it can’t be bursts. These pipes are more likely split than burst.



Plastic pipes require a mix of both bursting and splitting processes in order to rupture the linings of these pipes. Different types of plastic pipes have varying durability and structure and it’s something that contractors must consider.



In most pipe bursting methods, the pipe material that is commonly used is HDPE. HDPE is a plastic pipe and it has a lot of features that make it perfect for pipe bursting such as: flexibility, durability, and adaptability. Its flexibility is the primary reason for its usage since the bursting method requires the replacement pipe to be pulled easily through the lining. Of course, it needs to be able to bend easily and adhere to the design structure of the pipe system.