Corrugated pipe machine

Corrugated conduits chase new markets, applications

Corrugated pipe machine
Demand is on the rise for corrugated pipes in various sizes around the world for non-pressure drainage and sewage water systems and changes in both attitudes toward plastics pipes and new legislation may help spur this market further. Piercarlo Cominelli, sales manager at corrugater manufacturer ITIB Machinery (Paderno FC, Italy) says his company is experiencing high growth in Russia and CIS countries, Eastern Europe, and Latin America for new projects, while in developed markets like France demand for new equipment in large-size corrugated pipes is coming from the replacement market. Ralf Mittermüller, general sales manager at equipment maker Unicor (Hassfurt, Germany), confirms high growth in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe as well as Russia. Despite this optimism such demand is not universal. “The [growth in the] market depends very much on the lobbyist in this particular field one wants to penetrate,” says Manfred Lupke, owner of equipment maker Corma (Concord, ON, Canada). “Growth of corrugated pipes depends on the admission of [them] by national authorities. Non-polymer solutions (clay, concrete) often are deeply rooted and hamper growth,” says Mittermüller. Indeed in the Middle East, where it would be expected that plastics pipe solutions are a preference due to huge resin availability, corrugated polyethylene (PE) pipes are relatively new on the market, says Robert Lawrence, former technical manager of Union Pipes Industry (Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.) and pipe processor Amiantit Oman, and now managing director of the recently founded Gulf Plastics Pipe Academy. His new organization hopes to stimulate more interest in plastics pipes use. “I am sure there will be a change in attitude eventually as there are two significant advantages to PE and polypropylene (PP) gravity pipes: they do not fail even when severely deformed and when welded they are reliably water tight to not allow infiltration or leakage,” says Lawrence. In the Gulf area, infiltration of ground water is a major problem, he says, as the sewage’s salt content makes treated effluent of limited use for irrigation. Andrea Müller-Baur, sales assistant at corrugated pipe equipment maker Fränkische Rohrwerke (Königsberg, Germany) says to her knowledge there is no PP corrugated pipe laid in the Middle East yet, only corrugated PE. High-density polyethylene (HDPE) corrugated pipe processor Advanced Drainage Systems (ADS; Hilliard, OH) says regulations and laws have in the past prevented more expansion of corrugated use in the U.S. but that may now be changing. ADS president and CEO Joe Chlapaty says he applauds the action taken in mid-December by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to change its national construction and maintenance regulation applying to the use of alternative types of storm drainage pipe on Federal-aid highway projects. “We commend the FHWA for bringing its pipe regulatory policy up to date,” says Chlapaty. “The old regulation only served to limit choices and did not reflect the realities of today’s competitive pipe marketplace. The new rule should lead to significant savings for taxpayers.” The 32-year-old provision limited selection of pipe materials to reinforced concrete and corrugated steel. The big advantages to corrugated pipe use are ease of installation compared to clay, concrete, or steel; durability (the Plastics Pipe Institute [PPI] in Washington, DC says the latest research suggests the service life of HDPE corrugated pipe exceeds 100 years even at deflections greater than 5%); low labor costs during installation; and new customer applications such as do-it-yourself markets for garden use, says Mittermüller. “The industry acceptance of corrugated HDPE pipe is growing in North America, spurred in part by the success of the manufacturers in providing information and dependable products that allow the reliable transport of water,” says Kurt Waldhauer, president/CEO of American Maplan (McPherson, KS) and chairman of the PPI. Fränkische’s Müller-Baur, however, warns that corrugated double-wall PE pipe appears to be gaining at the expense of corrugated vinyl pipe, which could be related to both cost (average concrete pipe has jumped by 12% in the last two years while PVC pipe prices have doubled) and emotional ‘environmental’ issues arguing against PVC use. Unicor’s Mittermüller says there is a tendency in markets for large-sized sewage pipes to switch to corrugated PP. Günter Dreiling, application marketing manager at polyolefins producer Borealis (Vienna, Austria), is not surprised since he says a new generation of high-modulus (above 1700 MPa), block copolymer PP (PP-HM) is able to beat existing grades in stiffness and impact behavior at low temperatures. His company’s material, BorECO BA212E and 222E, allows greater thin-walling possibilities that result in a 15% weight savings over conventional PP-B grades (density: 900 kg/m3) and a 27% weight savings compared to both PVC (density: 1539 kg/m3) and HDPE (950 kg/m3). Still, PP-HM has a long drive ahead. Dreiling says in the global sewage-pipe market in sizes from 180-299-mm diameter, PVC still dominates with 54% of the total, while in 300-499-mm diameter, concrete has 48%, and a whopping 66% in sizes larger than 500-mm diameter. “Due to the long tradition of the use of pipes made of conventional materials and due to the existing networks, there is still a long way to go to convince the decision-makers about the advantages of plastic pipes,” he says. Changes in attitude open new pipe possibilities Stiffer U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations are kicking in for managing storm water that could have positive effects for processors of corrugated pipes. The Cranston, RI Brewery Parkade shopping center found it could no longer permit water runoff from paved parking lots to go directly into land or streams due to a high amount of pollutants. Space for a retention pond on the property was not available so it had to take the stormwater management underground. The retention system of the project provides 2.25 million gallons of runoff storage inside 15,000 ft of 48-inch-diameter corrugated HDPE N12 pipe from processor ADS (Hillard, OH). “We [put] this shopping plaza on the site of an old gravel pit, which had virtually no runoff leaving the site,” says Marco Schiappa, pipe engineer of Crossman Engineering (Warwick, RI). “We are not allowed to have an increase in runoff exiting the site greater than existing conditions. We had to take it all underground because the land was too valuable to use up for a surface retention pond.” In Central Pennsylvania, acid mine drainage from former coal mines eroded concrete drainage pipes. To the rescue at Clearfield, PA came an 11,000-ft, smooth-interior corrugated, HDPE stormwater-drainage pipe system in diameters ranging from 4-54 inches “Given the aggressiveness of the groundwater, no other pipe material offered the long life and ease of installation that corrugated PE pipe possesses,” says Drew Smith, project construction coordinator from L. Robert Kimball and Assoc. (Ebensburg, PA). RC DRYER DEBATE HEATS UP By Tony Deligio In a study more likely to raise rancor than concretely settle disputes, one dryer manufacturer systematically examined four primary resin-drying technologies—vacuum, wheel, dual-bed, and membrane—comparing moisture removal over time and energy consumption for each. At its recently completed Drying Technology Center, Novatec (Baltimore, MD) took its NovaWheel wheel, NovaVac II vacuum, NovaDrier membrane, and NDB twin-desiccant bed systems through the paces, pulling moisture from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and polycarbonate (PC). The tests did not involve Novatec’s final drying product, the IRD infrared crystallizer/dryer, which is designed for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) processors. In the test, the wheel dryer’s energy costs per hour were 35% less than the dual-bed dryer for processing ABS and 14% less for PC. The time required to remove moisture were comparable (see tables for more data). The NovaVac II vacuum system, which eliminates desiccant, completed drying within 40 minutes, half the time the dual-bed needed to dry PC and one-third the time used for ABS. The vacuum dryer’s energy costs were 29% and 3% lower for ABS and PC, respectively, compared to the dual-bed. In ABS, the NovaWheel used less energy than the vacuum system, but the NovaVac used 24% less energy to remove moisture from PC. The NovaDrier, which removes moisture through compressed air and an adsorption membrane, used the highest energy costs per hour, due to the compressed air. Drawing some conclusions, Mark Haynie, Novatec sales manager, felt that the wheel dryer’s consistency and energy efficiency might help it displace twin-bed desiccant systems over time for applications with throughputs of 225 lb/hr or greater. Haynie felt that the vacuum dryer was the most energy efficient for high-temperature materials, with specific advantages over desiccant systems in throughputs up to 200 lb. The membrane dryer did have the highest per/hr energy costs, but it has few parts for simpler maintenance and a compact size for its capacity, making Haynie believe it will continue to be a fit for throughputs under 225 lb/hr. Building better dryers At one point, demands for energy efficiency came from plastics processors: now, the call can come from their customers or their customers’ customers. “The request we’re getting from customers is to help them save,” explains Conair’s Ben Martin. “Save in energy, save in waste, even time. Now their customers are really pushing them to help meet the new green standards, particularly in the packaging world.” Conair believes its EnergySmart dryer, which launched in May, can help fulfill that need. One system has been in the field going back to the start of 2006, with seven field studies overall to prove out the design. A two-stage system, EnergySmart features separate hot- and dehumidified-air circuits. Normally, hot air exiting the drying hopper must go through a heat exchanger to cool since desiccant is more effective at removing moisture at lower temperatures. “It’s kind of an inefficient process because you’re constantly heating up air to this setpoint,” explains Conair drying product manager, Jamie Jamison, “but you need to cool that air back down prior to the desiccant and basically all that wasted energy goes down the drain.” With EnergySmart, hot air is delivered to the top section in a closed-loop system, so that air leaving the hopper at around 200°F is simply brought back up to setpoint, rather than cooled all the way down. The bottom, dehumidified air section works like a traditional drying system, although it’s smaller. “As the pellet travels through that drying hopper, it’s already up to temperature, so when it reaches the lower section, moisture readily leaves and gets carried back to the drier,” Jamison says. EnergySmart also features variable-frequency drives on the hot- and cold-air sections, so if processors are running less material or lower temperatures, they can back off on the airflow to both circuits. To help make those decisions, Conair’s Drying Monitor II collects temperature data from six sensors and sends it to the DC-2 controller, where the temperature profile is displayed on the operator screen. Tower lights on the dryer or alarms on the control alert processors if the system has drifted from the setpoint, and the system allows for adjustable dewpoints. Corrugated pipe machineIn addition, the EnergySmart can run on gas or electricity, and the hopper has dual air inlets and a tube-in-tube design to introduce hot closed-loop air into the hopper midsection and hot closed-loop dehumidified air into the drying hopper’s lower section. Designed with PET processors in mind, the EnergySmart is geared toward any high-temperature, high-throughput processes with setpoints above 300°F and throughputs of 800 lb/hr and up. The company reports that one beta site, a PET bottle producer, reduced energy consumption by two-thirds. Charged up over energy Matthew McCabe, national sales manager for auxiliary supplier Wittmann’s U.S. operations, says that energy efficiency, along with quality, price, support, and delivery, is definitely a concern of processors interested in dryers. Wittmann offers compressed-air and single- and twin-bed drying systems in a range of sizes and models, with energy efficiency promoted by its SmartRegen, Counter Airflow Regeneration, and Material Protection functions. In the Drymax line, the SmartRegen function allows time-optimized control of the desiccant bed’s cooling and regeneration. By preventing overdrying of resin, the Material Protection feature not only prevents thermal degradation, it also ensures that only the energy needed is used. Counter Airflow Regeneration reduces energy costs by dehumidifying the desiccant bed during the regeneration phase. In Drymax dryers, the P15 control features different operating modes, including batch for smaller jobs and continuous for larger ones, allowing processors to use the appropriate energy amounts. The Drymax compressed-air dryer features selectable dry-air volume of 7 or 15 m3/hr to match material throughput. British auxiliaries supplier, UPM Group (London), has had success selling its IRD (infrared drying) unit for processors of virgin and regrind PET on the basis of energy savings, recently delivering one to fellow British firm Sharp Interpack. That company used the system to crystallize and dry a blend of virgin and in-house edge-trim and scrap PET, reportedly reducing drying time from 6 hours to 30 minutes with the IRD. The moisture content was measured at 50 ppm. Novatec purchased a license to manufacture the IRD systems in the U.S., brining them Stateside. Italian auxiliaries supplier Piovan recently launched a line of large drying systems with capacities ranging from 400 to 2500 kg/hr, 11 models in all. By removing cooling water from both the process and regeneration circuits, heat load to the cooling system is eliminated, as are investment costs for cooling, piping, engineering, and installation. In addition, 100% of the energy used for regeneration is recovered, and Piovan estimates energy utilization at less than 70 W/kg/hr. Airflows range from 1200 to 4500 m3/hr, with a dew point value of -70°C.

Corrugated pipe machine

Unicor introduces economical corrugator

Corrugated pipe machine
Corrugator equipment maker Unicor (Stand 16D59) has come out at the show with a model to produce medium-sized drainage and cable-ducting pipes. The UC320 is said to offer a 40% higher output (up to 25 m/min double-wall pipe) than the company’s UC250 line, which company’s managing director Klaus Kaufmann says will eventually be withdrawn from the market.  The UC320 requires no additional tooling for mold-block change, and the unit includes the company’s patented pneumatic muscle that provides smoother running to guide the molds. In other news from the company, Kaufmann says Unicor will re-enter the multilayer pipe extrusion equipment business it was required to drop for a period of five years following the management buyout in 2005. “With a long-term experience of more than 25 years, we are proud of more than 100 multilayer pipe lines and 900 Unicor corrugators running worldwide,” says Kaufmann. The company is also using technology it gained from taking over competitor Fränkische’s machinery business last year.  During the show Unicor also announced a new cooperation with Italian socketing machine builder IPM (Stand D58) on equipment that produces special connectors for corrugated pipes under extreme climate conditions up to 70°C. The concept evolved from an Arabian Gulf-based Unicor customer who wanted an overall concept for a pipe production facility in the Middle East.  IPM Claudio Lanconelli, sales manager, says the resulting machine, BA500/INJ, processes connectors that need only one rubber gasket rather than the traditional two to connect the pipes and offer a tighter fit. He claims this type of socket has proved tighter than competitive systems using friction welding or sleeves. The machine, which produces the coupling in 110- to 115-second cycles, produces the devices by a proprietary low-pressure (200 bar) extrusion/injection process, he says. IPM worked together for the last five years on this project along with the University of Bologna and the Italian Plastics Institute.







Corrugated pipe machine

Plastic Pipe Information


No result found, try new keyword!Plastic pipe offers significant savings in terms of both weight and installation, however. Plastic piping comes in solid wall and corrugated configurations, and is available in a variety of common ...

Corrugated pipe machine

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