No Dig, No Disruption at Frankfurt Airport

With 60 million passengers each year, Frankfurt Airport can’t just shut down for maintenance. After nearly 40 years of increasing footfall, the airport’s sanitation infrastructure of Terminal I, which totaled many kilometers of pipes, was in danger of deteriorating to a critical state.

The Challenge

Most of the ground lines to be rehabilitated were located at the second basement level of Terminal I. This is the service level for the resident business which also provides access points to technical centers that had to remain in operation at all times. They are buried underneath thoroughfares which have a height clearance of just 2.2 meters. Working conditions on site were sometimes severely restricted.

In this area of high traffic volume, heavy loads and constant use had led to cracks, pipe offsets, corrosion, and deposits in the ground pipes. Part of this network had been overbuilt by newer parts of the terminal. Especially where the network had been altered to connect sub-networks, pumping systems and inspection manholes the team had to tackle with different pipe materials and height differences. There was a wide range of pipe sizes, diameter changes and bends. The hard-to-access areas made the rehabilitation project a real challenge.

Our Activities

Trelleborg deployed various proved and tested technologies to solve issues like restricted access, bends and diameter variations, time pressure and work safety.

For hard-to-access areas we provide mobile rehabilitation units that can be transported even in small vehicles and operate with a minimum of technical equipment (e.g. DrainPacker- and LCR-System, Inversion unit “Mini”).

Consumables can be easily handled and processed.  In this project Trelleborg’s high-quality CRF Glass Fiber Mats, LCR- and CIPP liners were used as well as our user-friendly resin systems. The materials are simple to wet out (impregnate) and the resins offer ample pot times. Operators are not under time pressure when properly prepared. After curing, the components score with excellent mechanical properties and a perfect function for another 50 years of pipe life.

All methods and materials used in this project are technically tested and officially approved by independent authorities. This ensures work safety, while delivering the best results.

Our authorized system partner

ANT GmbH, Germany, were appointed to manage the rehabilitation project. They have decades of experience in sewer, pipe and manhole rehabilitation and they are very well trained on the application of Trelleborg’s no-dig solutions. They partnered up with Trelleborg Pipe Seals to completely rehabilitate the wastewater pipes from the inside.

The project schedule was planned in sections to minimize disruption, with 60% of the work being carried out at night.

The project was completed on-time and on-budget, extending the service life of almost 4 kilometers of pipe by 50 years. This included 3,400 meters which were lined using the cured-in-place pipe lining method, and 571 meters using the patch repair methods.

Gary Robinson, Operations Manager for ANT GmbH:

“We were able to rely on Trelleborg Pipe Seals as experts in modern trenchless pipe and sewer rehabilitation.

We benefited from their comprehensive product portfolio and customized techniques. The lateral connection repair methods made it easy for us to access hard-to-reach areas.”