Innovation From Concept to Commercialization
Field Deployment of Advanced Technology

Programmatic Large Diameter Cast Iron Joint Sealing and Assessment

Our robotic assessment and renewal programs for large diameter cast iron mains allow gas utilities to avoid the tremendous expense of pipeline replacement.

Our CIRRIS XITM, CIRRIS XRTM and CISBOT robots work together to extend the usable life of large diameter cast iron gas mains by providing a new way to assess the structural integrity of the pipe through measurements of wall thickness and stress; and by renewing the mechanical and jute joints at a lower cost and with less disruption than replacement or other rehabilitation techniques.

ULC Pipeline Robotics maintains large diameter inspection and renewal programs in some of the largest cities in the world including New York, Boston and London so gas networks can safely avoid costly and disruptive replacement of their large diameter iron gas mains.

cast iron gas main rehabilitation

Key Benefits

01. Avoid Costly and Disruptive Direct Burial Replacement for 50 Years

Our inspection and joint renewal technology is an alternative to pipeline replacement. Data gathered by the CIRRIS XI™ ensures the pipeline is free of stress and corrosion, and the injection of anaerobic sealant with the CIRRIS XR™ stops and prevents gas leaks in multiple types of joints, allowing gas utilities to safely leave their pipelines underground.

02. Continuous Leak Repair is Costly

The cost to repair a single joint on a large diameter gas main can be upwards of $30,000 USD. Often times, gas networks are also required to pay the additional cost for curb-to-curb restoration of the pavement. Our technology requires only one small excavation and works to eliminate the need for external joint repairs for 50 years.

03. Leak Repair is a Performance Indicator

The repair of any gas leak is mandatory and often included as a rate case performance indicator. Our robotic methods repair the leak and prevent new leaks from forming while minimizing the disruption to the general public and the overall cost of the repair.

04. Eliminate Leaks and Reduce Unaccounted For Gas

The robotic renewal of joints extends the useful life of the gas main while stopping and preventing gas leakage for years to come. This works to reduce the effects of lost gas and incidents of water infiltration that are common with low pressure cast iron gas distribution mains.

05. Utilize Capital Budgets

The data provided by our crews and the Cornell University study that puts a 50 year life of our joint sealing method allows our customers to consider joint renewal with our technology a capital expenditure, allowing gas utilities to avoid using O&M budgets.

06. Work Performed in Live Mains

Our robotic technology operates in live gas mains so gas utilities can avoid the costs of shutting down the main, purging the main, rerouting gas and restoring gas to customers.

07. Greatly Reduced Excavation

Our technology can renew up to 1,500 feet of pipe from one small excavation instead of numerous excavations and/or trenching, which is necessary when utilizing other replacement and repair methods. This reduced excavation results in a lower carbon footprint and reduced social impact.

08. Proactive Rehabilitation of Mains

We work closely with our customers to integrate our robotic technology into their long-term large diameter cast iron remediation program. These proactive programs allow gas utilities to stay ahead of leaks instead of carrying out costly and repetitive maintenance of individual leaks.

Avoid Pipeline Replacement by Reducing Risk

Our robotic technology directly addresses the three primary risk factors associated with operating large diameter cast iron gas distribution mains; wall loss due to corrosion, stress on the pipe wall and leakage at the joints. In addition, the pipeline integrity and mapping data we provide in our comprehensive reporting works to identify and provide accurate location information for unknown features, offsets, tap holes, valves and other features.

01. Verification of Wall Thickness

Large diameter cast iron mains are made from a durable material and feature substantially thick walls. The CIRRIS XI™ deploys a specialized EMAT sensor that provides a measurement of the remaining wall thickness to verify the main has not suffered significant wall loss.

02. Identify Stress on the Pipe Wall

The CIRRIS XI™ is equipped with unique Barkhausen Noise Sensors to identify areas of stress or strain on the pipe wall so they can be addressed.

03. Joint Leakage

Our CIRRIS XR™ Repair Robot and CISBOT technologies renew the packing materials to stop existing leakage and prevent new leaks from occurring using a process that was proven by Cornell University studies to extend the life of the main by 50 years.

Our Robots

Cast Iron Pipe Corrosion Assessment

Cast Iron Anaerobic Sealant Robot

Gas Main Rehabilitation

CIRRIS XI™ Inspection Robot

The CIRRIS XI™ Inspection Robot performs a structural analysis of the pipe barrel by deploying two highly specialized sensors on the pipe wall. With the ability to measure the thickness of the pipe wall and detect stress in the pipe wall, data obtained using this robotic platform is used to determine the actual risk of the pipe to inform decision making.

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CIRRIS XR™ Repair Robot

The CIRRIS XR™ Repair Robot renews both mechanical and lead/yarn joint types by drilling into the joint and injecting or applying an industry-proven anaerobic sealant using a method proven to extend the life of the main by 50 years. The technology can also be used to carry out repairs to failing internal mechanical seals.

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CISBOT: Cast Iron Joint Sealing Robot

CISBOT is used to carry out internal anaerobic injection of lead/yarn joints in straight sections of 16″-36″ diameter cast iron gas mains to extend the life of the main by 50 years. The technology has been used since 2010 to renew joints in the US and UK.

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Next Steps

US and UK Patents Pending
UK Patent Application No. 1507444.6

Have a question? Use the form below to ask a question about robotic internal cast iron joint sealing and assessment with the CIRRIS XI™, CIRRIS XR™, or CISBOT and a member of the ULC team will respond as soon as possible.

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