The Problem

While building the new Honolulu mass transit rail project, a customer contacted Chicago Plastic Systems about some air gap style drain basins they needed.  Because the track is elevated, there are long vertical pipes for draining water off the structure.  These drains need a hopper type design to prevent overflow situations.  The design requirement was complicated by the fact that the platform is designed to move slightly with conditions like wind and vibration.  The mouth needed to be square and transition to round and large enough to allow for 2” of  lateral movement on each side of the vertical pipe.

The Solution

Because the customer was 4000 miles away, we took advantage of technology to produce a virtual solid model from their sketch.  After our engineering staff confirmed with theirs that the design would meet all the requirements of the job, we fabricated a prototype sample for approval.  Next, we had to develop a cost effective means to produce 150 units.  Chicago Plastic Systems engineers went back to work to develop a custom mandrel for our PVC pipe belling equipment.  Our new CNC mill was utilized to 3D machine the mandrel from HDPE.  After heat forming the transition portion of the drain adapter, we hot gas welded the square basin portion to the transition.  Lastly, we once again used our in house pipe belling equipment to create an ASTM D-2467 compliant taper for solvent cementing in the field.  With all the different departments working together, this was truly a team success.

Because these drain hoppers were to be used on a municipal project, they were required to be compliant to the Buy American Act.  Not a problem for us because all Chicago Plastic Products are fabricated in the USA.

Project Specifications

Product UseRain Water Control
IndustryMass Transit
MaterialPVC Pipe, PVC Type II
Primary ProcessHeat Form PVC Pipe Belling
Secondary ProcessFabrication and Hot Gas Welding
Project Timeline8-12 Weeks, Sketch to Delivery
Environmental ExposureRain Water, Wind, Vibration
Scope Of WorkProduct Development, Tool Design, Manufacturing
Chicago Plastic Systems AdvantagesEngineering Support, Custom Tooling, Specialized Equipment
Product NameVertical Air Gap Drain

Case Studies

Nothing demonstrates technical detail knowledge, fabrication expertise and problem-solving abilities better than real-world examples. The case studies at left illustrate how Chicago Plastic Systems helped to overcome the toughest challenges and manufactured high-performing, long-lasting custom plastic components and assemblies for clients. For additional information, give us a call.

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