Munich, Germany - KraussMaffei Berstorff has sold a complete system for continuous production of polyurethane-insulated pipe to Technopark, a plastic pipe producer headquartered in St Petersburg, Russia.
The system will be used for the continuous manufacture of pipes for district heating systems by encasing tubes made of crosslinked polyethylene with polyurethane foam insulation and a PE outer sheath, the firm said in a 24 Nov press release. The pipes carry hot water underground to apartment buildings, offices and factories in the city, hence the need for good insulation.
"The current drive to reduce energy consumption, including capturing waste heat, and to exploit geothermal energy sources and biogas can be expected to produce strong growth in demand for production systems to make insulated pipe," says Michael Hofhus, manager of the pipe product group at KraussMaffei Berstorff.
The line can make pipes up to an outer diameter of 180 millimetres with the diameter of the tubes typically being 110 millimeters. With very low manpower input, this continuous process delivers production speeds of up to five metres a minute, KraussMaffei Berstorff said.
"Two key factors in this purchase decision were KraussMaffei Berstorff's ability to supply the complete production line as a system partner and the outstanding quality of the end product coming off this line," commented Hofhus.
Technopark is an important pipe manufacturer, operating several extrusion lines to produce a wide spectrum of pipe grades for different applications.
In the new system, the PE tube is unwound continuously from the steel drums on which it is supplied, centered as it passes through a retarder and is then fed into the foam-contouring unit. In this, the pipe is encapsulated with PU foam and a PE sheath is applied. The product is then cooled and wound onto rolls as it emerges from the haul-off.
The district heating pipe systems that come off the production line can be laid very easily, quickly and at low cost. They yield consistently excellent insulation results, claims KraussMaffei Berstorff , adding that a further key benefit of the continuous process is that the number of joints required can be sharply reduced. This virtually eliminates the problems of leakage and thermal bridging, which are all too familiar in connection with discontinuous production processes, the firm concluded.