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Düsseldorf  - "Plastic pipes have been around for over 50 years, but that doesn't mean that innovations aren't possible," said Detlef Schramm, polyethylene pipe marketing manager at LyondellBasell. "Here at K, we're proud to announce the latest additions to our portfolio of resins used in pipe applications: Hostalen CRP 100 RT black and Hostalen CRP 100 RD black."

Karen Laird

October 17, 2013

2 Min Read
K 2013: LyondellBasell makes pipe dreams come true

Düsseldorf  - "Plastic pipes have been around for over 50 years, but that doesn't mean that innovations aren't possible," said Detlef Schramm, polyethylene pipe marketing manager at LyondellBasell. "Here at K, we're proud to announce the latest additions to our portfolio of resins used in pipe applications: Hostalen CRP 100 RT black and Hostalen CRP 100 RD black."

The new grades address the need for higher temperature resistant materials and greater resistance to the disinfectants used to sanitize drinking water. "We wanted to improve the standard by bringing these properties into the pressure pipe area," Schramm said.

The new grades are produced using the company's Hostalen Advanced Cascade Process technology, i.e. three reactors in cascade, enabling the production of multimodal HDPE resins. Polymerization conditions can be adjusted independently for each reactor.

"Basically, what this means is that we have three products from three reactors, with low, medium and high molecular weight. Most of the comonomer - in this case, butene, is found in the low molecular weight fraction. We force the catalyst to the high molecular weight range. So, we tailor the molecular weight and distribution in order to get the properties in the PE that our customers need," Schramm said.

The extended temperature window offered by the new PE-RT black resin makes applications possible far beyond the usual limitation of 40oC. "In Europe, the materials are used for geothermal probes and piping systems," Schramm said. Other applications include hot fluid transport, hot water pipes, desalination units and power cable conduits.

Oven aging was done to test the long-term stability of the material; water pressure testing showed the material could last for a very extensive period at high temperatures.

"The new PE grade with improved resistance to disinfectants, such as chlorine, is especially suitable for use in warmer regions, where more disinfectant has to be used because of increased bacterial growth. It's an excellent replacement for metal pipes, as these corrode more easily. An application such as biomass distribution, which takes place at 60oC or so and is extremely corrosive, is perfect for this material," said Schramm. "But also sewage pipes."

He added: "Another advantage is that, unlike cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) that is normally used in these applications, the new HDPE grades are weldable. At big diameters of the sizes found in these applications, mechanical connections are preferably not used." 

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