Article

Pipe replacement.

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Article

Pipe replacement.

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Abstract

This invention relates to methods and apparatus for pipe replacement. From one aspect the invention provides a method comprising moving a mole through an existing pipe, the mole having rotatable elements for engaging and fracturing the pipe. The method may comprise moving a new pipe into the fractured pipe whilst fracturing the existing pipe. Grout may be fed to the exterior of the new pipe whilst the new pipe is moved into the fractured pipe. The new pipe may be a replacement pipe (which may be an outer sleeve with an inner pipe) or an outer sleeve for a replacement pipe. The replacement pipe is subsequently fed into the sleeve. The mole or new pipe may be removed in steps. From another aspect the invention provides apparatus fr use in replacing an existing pipe comprising a mole for movement along an existing pipe, the mole including rotatable elements for engaging and fracturing the pipe. The rotatable elements may comprise discs. The discs may have cutting edges. The mole may include at least one outwardly movable element for engaging and fracturing the pipe. The operative means may comprise a pneumatically operable hammer. (14 claims: 10 figs.)

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