Evaluation of Life Cycle Costs of Welded Steel Pipe with Bonded Dielectric Coatings and Ductile Iron Pipe with Polyethylene Encasement in Rural Water Delivery Pipeline Applications

Project ID: 743
Principal Investigator: Ted Hall
Research Topic: Repair and Maintenance
Funded Fiscal Years: 2004 and 2005
Keywords: None

Research Question

* What are the total life cycle costs for both ductile iron and welded steel pipeline materials, including material, installation, and energy costs for both cathodic protection and pumping costs?

* What is the condition of the two alternatives _in situ_ at different time intervals?

The outcome of the life cycle analysis may result in similar costs for the two alternatives over their lifetime. If this is the case, the _in situ_ conditions of the alternatives will become an important factor in determining the best alternative.

Need and Benefit

During the formulation and design of regional rural water systems on recent projects, the ductile iron and welded steel pipe suppliers have exerted a great deal of pressure to specify their product exclusively. As a result of these debates, it has been noted that Reclamation and design engineers in the private sector have limited information on the life cycle costs of ductile iron and welded steel for pipeline applications. It is necessary to compile relevant information to assess the total life cycle costs, including material, installation and energy costs, for these pipeline alternatives in order to provide more cost effective projects for their sponsors.

Life cycle costs for pipeline are based estimates. The _in situ_ conditions of the pipeline are important to determine the true life cycle of the pipeline. Exposing pipe that has been in the ground for various lengths of time will provide a better determination of the life expectancy of the different pipe materials and coating systems.

This research fits into the mission statement for both the Reclamation and the Science and Technology (S&T) Program. The outcome of this research would provide new information on the life cycle costs of the alternatives and, therefore, help the project sponsors and Reclamation, where applicable, to construct, operate, maintain, and manage rural water and other pipeline projects in a more economically sound manner. This research will guide private design engineers and Reclamation designers in selecting the most affordable pipe material for each project, taking into account the total life cycle costs of the pipe materials available.

Once Reclamation publishes our findings in a report, the report can be used as a basis for choosing the best pipe material, coating, and cathodic protection systems. Also, Reclamation will provide the report to the private sector and local rural water system project sponsors to give them a better tool for making decisions on the type of pipe, coating system, and cathodic protection to use on their projects.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

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Last Updated: 4/4/17