Falling masonry and cracked, lumpy roads were obvious infrastructure effects of the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that rocked Canterbury at 4.35am on 4 September 2010.
Below ground however, lurked a far more urgent casualty. A city sewer pipeline buried metres underground had two major cracks. The cost of digging up and replacing the massive 1.3m diameter pipes was prohibitive, so engineering firm McConnell-Dowell sought another solution.
In what was believed to be a world first, FI Innovations (working with the Polymer Group, Auckland), took on the challenge of sealing the pipes internally with fibreglass sleeves. Fi Innovations used resin infusion technology to make the two 20mm thick epoxy pipe sleeves in Invercargill – then fitted these huge parts into place inside the existing sewer pipeline up in Christchurch.
A perfect fit and a perfect solution.