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Improving the quality of extruded pipes

Source:International Plastics News for Asia Release Date:2023-02-08 1525
ChemicalPlastics & RubberOthersCompoundingRaw Materials & CompoundsMaterials Handling, Measuring & TestingMolds & ComponentsPlastics Machinery
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A recent development in pipe extrusion is the launch of a planetary cutters which aim to ensure continuous, clean, chip-free cutting of extruded plastic pipe.

The global plastic pipes market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.6% from 2022-2026 to reach US$38.1 billion by 2026, according to a report from Research and Markets. Strong focus on improving irrigation and the implementation of water supply projects contribute to the sustained growth of the demand for plastic pipes. In addition, plastic pipes utilisation in the construction, electric generation and natural gas sectors is also expected to see trajectory movement in the next few years. 


China is the leading market for plastic pipes in Asia with market size projected to reach US$13 billion by 2026, or a CAGR of 6.3% during the period, according to the report. The United States, Canada and Europe are seen to post over 4% annual growth for their plastic pipes markets; while the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions are expected to post rapid growth in the coming years due to their robust construction and industrial sectors. The report anticipates increased demand for plastic pipes in natural gas distribution systems telecommunications sectors as well. Thus, extrusion solutions are being enhanced to support the production of better quality pipes to adhere to the strict standards imposed by these industries.


Chip-free cutting of extruded plastic pipe

A recent development in pipe extrusion is the launch of Conair PipeMaster™ Planetary Cutters which aim to ensure continuous, clean, chip-free cutting of extruded plastic pipe. The new PipeMaster planetary cutters from Conair provide continuous, distortion-free cuts in extruded PVC and polyolefin plastic pipe in diameters from 0.630 - 24.9 inches at line speeds ranging up to 82 feet per minute. The cutters are available in six sizes that serve a range of different pipe diameters, with smaller MDT Series cutters handling pipes up to 4.3 inches and larger MTT Series handling the rest. 



The Conair PipeMaster™ Planetary Cutters for chip-free cutting of extruded plastic pipe.


All are equipped with a servo-driven, traveling cutting carriage whose speed is synchronized with the line speed of the master extrusion control. The traveling carriage carries an automatic clamping system and a planetary cutting head. As extruded pipe enters the machine, the automatic clamping system locks the cutting head squarely onto the moving pipe and the planetary cutting head rotates a cutting disk rapidly around the pipe to complete the cut. Finished pipes then move down the cutter’s support tray for off-loading.


Users can set up and operate the cutter with a 7-inch colour touchscreen HMI that makes it simple to enter and manage speed controls, alarm capabilities, and new and existing production recipes, as well as manage communications with upstream extruder controls or downstream measuring equipment.  Other key equipment positioning and adjustments are motorized for operator ease and convenience.  The cutter also provides full guarding for operator safety, including safety tunnels and interlocks on all opening doors.  


According to Conair Vice President, Extrusion Ernie Preiato, “the MDT and MTT planetary cutters combine together rugged reliability, cost-efficient performance, and simple, well-engineered controls. They’re part of a larger PipeMaster line that enables pipe production of up to 24.9 in. (630 mm) in size, backed by Conair global service and support.” Mr. Preiato adds that planetary cutting technology is preferred, especially for larger diameter extruded plastic pipes, because it ensures continuous, square, distortion-free cuts. Since the process creates no chips or waste, pipe yields are optimised and no secondary cleaning or cutting operations are required. 


Heavy duty pulling for extruded pipe production

Conair also earlier unveiled its PipeMaster™ MBC Series Haul-offs offer heavy duty pulling for extruded pipe production. The PipeMaster™ MBC Series offers durable, powerful pulling solutions for PVC and polyolefin pipe extrusion lines, with six models sized to handle pipe from 2.5 inches (63 mm) to 24.9 inches (630 mm) in diameter. They provide pulling torques ranging from 1,500 to 12,500 lbs. (7,000 to 56,000 N), respectively.



PipeMaster™ MBC Series Haul-offs offer heavy duty pulling for extruded pipe production.


Each of the six MBC Series haul-off models feature motorized, direct-vector drives for smooth, consistent power delivery and pulling speed. Once extruded pipe enters the haul-off on a guide roller, pulling power is delivered through 59.1 inch (1500 mm) cleated belts that maintain controlled contact, without slippage or chatter marks on with the extruded pipe. The number of drive belts on the MBC Series models (two, three, four, six or eight) increases with the diameter of the pipe to uniformly distribute pulling power and maintain even, distortion-free pressure on the pipe circumference.  Clamping force is evenly applied from above and below, with motors used to position the lower belts and pneumatics supplying proper positioning and positive pressure from above.


All MBC Series Haul-offs synchronize automatically with extruder screw speed controls and gravimetric material dosing systems to ensure stable production and consistent pipe unit weights. Speeds are adjustable depending on pipe size, ranging from 0.66 – 82 ft/minute. Haul-off controls are managed using an eye-level touchscreen HMI that provides straightforward access to speed control, alarms, and stored recipes, while maintaining communications with extruders, measurement systems, cutters, and other key equipment. Full equipment guarding for personnel protection is also standard.


According Mr. Preiato, the MBC haul-offs “bring together rugged reliability, cost-efficient performance, and simple, well-engineered controls – all part of a larger PipeMaster line that is backed by Conair global service and support. The size range and versatility of MBC Series haul-offs makes it easy for pipe producers to ‘right-size’ pulling capacity. Their precision performance helps maintain minimum wall thicknesses, essential to meeting pipe tolerances and strength requirements, and avoid excessive material usage, which could affect their profitability.”

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