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FerraTex workers get unusual opportunity to see their product, also made by Applied Felts, in action
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FerraTex workers get unusual opportunity to see their product, also made by Applied Felts, in action

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MARTINSVILLE, Va. — It’s not every day that the people who make products in a factory get to see those items being put to use.

Yet recently, some workers at FerraTex did just that: They went to Spruce Street, where a major project united three Martinsville companies – unexpectedly.

Prillaman & Pace, a locally-owned utility and mechanical contractor company in Martinsville, had contracted with another family-owned firm in Williamsburg, Prism, to work on a drainage line repair under the old Gulf station on Spruce Street. While P&P Project Manager and Estimator John Turner and Senior Vice President Dean Prillaman were on the job site, they realized that Prism was using a product made by Applied Felts and FerraTex Solutions, both out of Martinsville.

It was just neat to realize that a company from the other end of Virginia was using Martinsville-made materials, which ended up back in Martinsville, Prillaman said. Someone from Prism called the folks at FerraTex to come out and see the interesting way in which it is used.

The old 36-inch metal corrugated drainage pipe which runs from Spruce Street, under the Gulf station and out to drain on a hillside below, had deteriorated, creating a sink hole behind the station. Using old methods – digging out and replacing the metal pipe – would have required not only dealing with the asphalt parking lot above it, but also the building.

However, a relatively new technology, Cured-in-Place Pipe (CIPP), fixed the problem in a more simple manner.

A liner, made from an industrial felt base by Applied Felts with wetting by FerraTex, was inserted into the metal pipe, then steamed and cured.

“Once it’s steamed and cured, it hardens to basically a brand new HDPE,” Turner said, referring to high density polyethylene pipe.

“A lot of times when it’s in a hard-to-get place,” companies use HDPE instead of metal pipe, he said.

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