In the pipe extrusion sector there’s a definite trend away from single-layer standard pipe and towards multilayer pipe with the extra functional layers. Pipe producers around the world are turning to innovative concepts from KraussMaffei Berstorff, for example, to produce PP-R fiber-composite pipe or PP foamcore pipe. They’re benefiting both from improved production processes and from cost savings.
In Turkey, KraussMaffei Berstorff is market leader in multilayer pipe extrusion systems. Companies such as Pakpen Plastik Boru ve Yapi, which is among Turkey’s largest pipe producers, produce PP-R fiber-composite pipe on KraussMaffei Berstorff lines. The pipe has several applications, among them for hot water supply. Other KraussMaffei Berstorff customers producing PP-R fiber-composite pipe include some of the big Russian pipe producers, such as Politek Ptk or Politron, and Estonian pipe producer Gallaplast. All these extrusion lines are headed by single-screw extruders from the 36D series with multilayer tooling and material-specific calibration and cooling systems.
Three-layer PP-R fiber-composite pipe has some clear advantages over conventional hot water pipe; the hot water passing through them causes only minimal longitudinal expansion. This makes them far easier to lay, because the installer need not allow for expansion in his choice of connecting fittings.
In addition, the extra stiffness of PP-R fiber-composite pipe means that the fixing clips can be spaced further apart than in the case of unfilled PP-R pipe.
The 3-layer foamcore PP pipe used in domestic applications has weight and cost advantages over single-layer compact PP pipe with the same dimensions and ring stiffness. The lower density of the foam layer can result in raw material savings of over 20% compared with compact pipe. Considering that raw material costs can account for as much as 90% of the total manufacturing cost of plastic pipe, savings of this magnitude are highly relevant.
Pipe producers continue to rely on solutions from KraussMaffei Berstorff. One recent order came from a pipe manufacturer for an extrusion line to produce chemically foamed PP foamcore pipe to be used for domestic waste water.