Rädlinger Primus Line GmbH
Issue 09 2011
The Rädlinger name has been recognised within the construction sector for over 40 years.
Today, the group is one of the most successful companies within this market in Germany, with expertise that lies primarily in road construction, civil engineering, and asphalt. Rädlinger Primus Line is one subsidiary within this corporate Group, which as well as several others in Germany, also has subsidiaries in Austria, Romania and the Czech Republic.
Whilst Rädlinger was established by company founder and namesake Josef Rädlinger in 1963, his idea of using a hose for civil engineering was conceived approximately 20 years ago. This was to be characterised by its flexibility, portability, lightweight nature, and low wall thickness, whilst having the material strength of a steel pipe. In 2001, this was realised in the creation of the Primus Line technology, which brings together know-how from the fields of construction, mechanical engineering, web technology, and research and industry partners.
Primus Line was developed to address the recurring, time-consuming, and costly problem of run-down pipelines, as a high-quality, yet cost effective method. The result is a tried and tested pipeline system for trenchless rehabilitation of pressure pipes for varying resources such as water, gas and oil. Designed with short rehabilitation times and fast recommissiong in mind, Primus Line offers substantial potential savings as a viable alternative to open rehabilitation methods.
The process itself is based upon the use of a specially developed high-pressure hose, which boasts a multi-layered structure and very thin wall thickness to provide dual benefits in both flexibility and ultra-high strength. The inner layer of the hose is selected based upon the specific resource in question. This includes Primus Line Gas, which is developed with extremely low gas permeation and high resistance to gas condensates; Primus Line Oil, which has a resistance to aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons, Primus Line Drinking Water with approval for use in drinking water applications, and Primus Line Abrasion, which has been specially developed for abrasive media.
In each case, the outer layer of the hose is made of wear resistant PE. Between these two components, a seamless aramid fabric functions as a static load-bearing layer, which absorbs the internal pressure of the pipeline and the forces required for insertion. One of the unique features of Primus Line is its self-supporting nature, which means that at all times there is an annulus between the system and the host pipe. At the ends, the Primus Line hose is connected to the existing pipe, regardless of its material type, through a specially developed high-pressure connector.
The very nature of Primus Line as a trenchless pipe rehabilitation technology means that it offers significant environmental and economic benefits over more invasive open construction methods. Due to the expense of road surfacing, soil replacement and high groundwater levels, trenchless methods can be significantly more economical even at relatively shallow depths. The Primus Line hose is inserted into the host pipe from small construction pits, therefore avoiding the need for large and potentially disruptive roadworks. This also eliminates the potential of weather related downtime.
The hose itself has been specifically engineered to be as effective as possible resulting in capabilities for insertion through bends of up to 30 degrees, improved flow properties, and minimal cross-section loss due to its minimal wall thickness. Primus Line is also temperature proof to 50° C and is resistant to corrosion, therefore offering pipe renovation with a lifetime of at least 50 years.
Although Primus Line is a technology that was originally developed for high-pressure applications such as in the gas sector, the many advantages of the system have since seen it increasingly utilised in other resources. This has led to the development of the Primus Line Low Pressure System, which has been specially adapted for these applications, particularly those where up until now Primus Line has been too large. The Low Pressure System retains the same insertion technology and easy connector installation, but has a modified aramid weave and revised connector technology in line with the difference in operating pressure.
In order to produce Primus Line, Rädlinger Primus Line constructed a new production hall with three fabrication lines in 2008, which was designed to offer the optimal conditions for manufacturing the technology. This is just one way in which Rädlinger Primus Line is working to achieve the best possible quality of product.
As a unique system, the basis of the Primus Line quality measure has been a collaboration with the DVGW (German Association for Gas and Water) to produce a specific regulatory framework in 2004. This led to the creation of test specification VP 643, adherence to which Rädlinger Primus Line regularly monitors through half yearly inspection tests. Both during, and after, the production process Rädlinger Primus Line carries out certain quality control procedures such as batch-specific burst resistance testing, continual monitoring of individual layers in terms of wall thickness and condition, central computer-aided recording of process parameters, and incoming goods inspection.
Each customer then receives an inspection certificate 3.1 according to EN 10204 as evidence of product quality and documentation of the quality testing results. To date, Primus Line is certified in Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland, and Austria. In addition to the DVGW type approval certificate, Primus Line also had two other product-specific certificates for drinking water, which meet the German health requirements for drinking water – KTW and DVGW W270.
Whilst the introduction of any new technology requires a period of market recognition and customer willingness to move away from traditional methods, over the last ten years Rädlinger Primus Line has seen strong uptake of its innovative technology. This has resulted in numerous projects within the German gas industry, and further afield in the markets of Italy, Russia, and Switzerland. The company has also been engaged with key oil operators such as ExxonMobil. More recently, Rädlinger Primus Line has embarked upon greater global expansion with ambitions to grow in different parts of the world, all over regions where the increase in oil and gas activities creates potential for the application of its revolutionary system.
Rädlinger Primus Line GmbH
Services: Pipeline renovation