battenfeld-cicinnatiThe new helix VSI-T+ with an EAC (efficient air cooling) system uses cold air for internal pipe cooling, which is subsequently transferred to the Labotek material drying system.
Extrusion machinery specialist battenfeld-cincinnati recently joined forces with partner companies Labotek and SABIC to demonstrate its the latest version of its PO pipe extrusion line at an Open House event held at the group’s site in Germany. The line is reported to consume at least 30% less energy than a predecessor model. 75 visitors were given demonstrations on the ways to run a pipe extrusion line in an ecological and economical way.
With an annual production time of 7,000 hours, about €300,000 can be saved in electricity costs alone if a pipe extrusion line is equipped with certain components, claims battenfeld-cincinnati.
The example used during the event was a co-extrusion line producing a two-layer pipe for pressure pipe applications, which reached an output of 750kg per hour and a line speed of 0.93 meters per minute.
The group’s uniEX 35-30 and solEX 75-40 extruders were used, as well as the helix 250-3 VSI-T+ pipe die with an EAC (efficient air cooling) internal cooling system, and the “Green Pipe” downstream equipment.
uniEX single screw series extruders are equipped with AC motors using air-cooled frequency converters. Models from the solEX series use an AC motor with a water-cooled frequency converter.
battenfeld-cincinnati has also revised its helix VSI-T pipe dies in an effort to reduce energy consumption. The core component of the new helix 250 VSI-T+ 3-layer pipe die is a cooling basket installed between the spiral mandrel and the lattice basket. The EAC internal cooling system blows in cold air for internal pipe cooling and subsequently transfers heated air to the Labotek material drying system. The sagging effect (uneven wall thickness distribution) is significantly reduced, especially in large-diameter pipes, claims the company.
The third key component is the “Green Pipe” downstream equipment with built-in cooling system. This system uses frequency-controlled vacuum and water pumps. The cooling system also operates with a water volume flow cut by almost 90%, a reduction which is achieved by pumping the cooling water into the last tank and then passing it on from one tank to the next in the opposite direction to the extrusion process. With those amendments, battenfeld-cincinnati is claiming that energy cost savings of at least 30% can be achieved.
Labotek a supplier of drying systems for the plastics industry has worked with battenfeld-cincinnati to develop an EAC variant of its combination dryer, which was demonstrated at the open house in operation with the line.
The drying system operates with two separate drying zones. The hot air drawn from the pipe die is blown into the top zone. The bottom zone is laid out as a conventional drying zone with a dry air drying system to ensure the necessary degree of dryness for the material. The dryer consumes no more than 11 kW for drying 1,500 kg/h of granulate.
SABIC has developed a new PE compound designed for energy-efficient pipe extrusion. Vestolen A-Rely 5924 R 10.000 was used to produce the pipe during the Open House demonstration. Compared to a conventional type of PE-100, it is said to require measurably less energy for melting and processing in an extruder.