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An Alternative to Sandbags in Trenches

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Pipeline workers understand the frustration of returning to a worksite after a night off, only to find that rocks or soil has tumbled back into the ditch. This situation becomes a common issue when rain or wind causes trench erosion. In the past, workers often constructed temporary structures from sandbags to hold the sides of ditches away from the bed of the pipeline. However, lugging around sandbags requires a lot of hard work and takes away time from building and/or repairing the line.

The Modern Method of Trench Support

Today, there’s a better method. Workers still depend on structures to prevent collapses along the trench, but the modern solution doesn’t require thousands of sandbags and hundreds of hours hauling sandbags. Foam trench breakers offer quick and convenient protective weatherproofing and assurance that the worksite will be ready to go each morning. When worksites are on a steep slope or cover rough terrain, the spray foam solution is even more important.

Advantages to Using Spray Foam Trench Breakers

There are several advantages to using sprayed polyurethane foam on a worksite.

  • Foam is easier to apply than sandbags, saving a lot of time and money.
  • The spray equipment can be transported to just about any worksite and is appropriate for steep, uneven, and rocky conditions.
  • The foam eases between the soil and the pipeline, creating a secure position for the pipes, holding the line in place and protecting it from damage.
  • Polyurethane foam creates a watertight seal.
  • Sandbags and other organic trench break materials may seep into the soil or wash away during rain. The polyurethane foam stays in place and isn’t at risk of being washed into surrounding areas.
  • Worker safety is improved because spray foam technicians work outside of the trench, so there’s less risk of injuries during a collapse.

Spray foam breakers are generally cheaper, more durable, require less maintenance, provide compressive strength, and are an overall safer option than sandbags.

Put Down the Sandbags

Upgrading pipeline ditch supports is a valuable move financially and commercially. Pipeline professionals should notice improvements as soon as the switch from sandbags to sprayed polyurethane foam is made.