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Less time and money for better pipe sockets

Better output, smaller footprint, greater reliability, simpler operation, and cheaper operating costs: if even half of what is advertised is true, then these new pipe socketing machines may offer processors a pretty good deal.

PlasticsToday Staff

October 8, 2009

3 Min Read
Less time and money for better pipe sockets

Better output, smaller footprint, greater reliability, simpler operation, and cheaper operating costs: if even half of what is advertised is true, then these new pipe socketing machines may offer processors a pretty good deal.
 
According to Sica (Alfonsine, Italy), a manufacturer of advanced tooling and downstream equipment for plastic pipe processing lines, the use of shortwave infrared (SW-IR) heating elements, combined with efficient cooling systems with an internal refrigerating cycle (Sica patent), can be economically implemented for pipe socketing machines to help processors enjoy these advantages over conventional machines. These systems can be used in socketing machines for both PVC-U and PP or HDPE pipes, and can be adapted for the different materials. Already installed on some new pipe bellowing machines, the company now reports the new systems also can be retrofitted on its BA and CA socketing systems already installed in processors’ extrusion lines.

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Sica’s Unibell range is used for adding sockets to PVC pipe.

For processors, the biggest advantage is the reduction of the number of heating stations—leading to a smaller socketing machine with simplified operating management, and better operator accessibility that maintains the same production capacity. In this way, a single-oven socketing machine can attain output equal to or higher than those of traditional double-oven socketing machines.

According to Sica, the advantage reaped in terms of heating-time reduction with IR-SW ovens is especially apparent with medium- and thick-walled pipes. Sica developed and patented a fluid treatment system for socket forming and cooling inside the forming mold. The new Sica process re-uses compressed air for forming. In order to further increase the system's refrigerating capacity, the system can be equipped with controlled water spray.

For compact, smooth-wall or multilayer PVC-U pipes, socketing models are available in different sizes up to maximum diameters of 250, 400, and 500 mm. Output rates reached with the Unibell 2 500 J (J indicates controlled water spray) with mechanical mandrel, forming ring seat sockets on PVC-U sewage pipes according to EN 1401-1, range from up to 140 sockets per hour, as per DN200 SN4 (200 X 4,9), to 39 sockets/hr, as per DN500 SN8 (500 X 14,6), with output dependant on the pipe-wall structure (single or multilayer) and on the material formulation.

The socketing machines for smooth polyolefin pipes are marketed under the name Everbell H. Different models are available according to a pipe’s maximum diameter (200, 315, 500, and 630 mm). The machines are equipped with two heating stations: the first has an IR-SW oven, the second a standard contact oven. The IR-SW oven is used to reduce heating times; the contact oven provides a uniform thermal condition and stabilizes the material temperature with variability of just ± 1°C. Output rates for an Everbell system processing multilayer PP pipes for outdoor sewer lines are, on average, about half those of the above-cited PVC-U line. —[email protected]

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