via spider-type mandrel geometry. It ensures that a wide range of different materials, such as com- pounds with high filler content, regrind mixtures and even foaming compounds can be processed without any problems. A spider-type mandrel which offers the same advantages is also used for the inner layer. The flow channel geometry of the outer layer consists of several coat hanger distribu- tors positioned around the circumference and a matching pre-distribution unit supplying them with even flow quantities. In this way, extremely narrow wall thickness tolerances can be achieved. The system also shows excellent flushing

Above: Battenfeld- Cincinnati’s new three- layer Spider NG 250-3 pipe head is suitable for pipes from 110 to 250mm in diameter

Quattro die-head for the production of PE pipes up to 400mm in four layers. Tecnomatic has also adapted the design of its Athena die heads to improve their flexibility and accuracy. A modified Athena die was recently delivered to

a European producer of plumbing pipe, to make five-layer polybutene and PEX pipe. In the die, the radial distributors do not have any

dead zones or edges where material could get stuck – which aids cleaning and rapid assembly/ disassembly. Radial spirals allow low pressure losses and high flexibility in terms of layer structure (thick or thin) and number of layers – while their short flow path leads to reduced residence time and rapid material and colour changes. The line has a working range of 8-32mm and is

characterised by throughputs up to 50 m/min – for five-layer PEX or PE-RT in diameters of 16mm – and up to 40 m/min for most of the polybutene pipes diameters.

Right: iXray from Inoex uses X-rays to measure pipe wall thickness and diameter with micron- scale accuracy

Die geometry Battenfeld-Cincinnati exhibited a number of pipe die technologies at K2019, including its new three-layer Spider NG 250-3 pipe head – which is suitable for pipes from 110 to 250mm in diameter and outputs from 400 to 850 kg/h. The new pipe head was demon-

strated as part of a space-saving piggyback solution. A ConEx NG 54 conical twin screw extruder was mounted on top of a TwinEx 93-34 R parallel twin screw extruder with a pipe head. The three-layer Spider has a completely new design. Here, the middle layer is distributed

20 PIPE & PROFILE EXTRUSION | November/December 2019

properties. A pipe manufacturer who had been testing the die in practice for some time was satisfied with its low material consumption and narrow pipe tolerances. The Spider NG 250-3 was seen at K2019 for the first time.

X-ray technology Inoex launched its iXray technology at K2019. The system uses X-rays to measure wall thickness and pipe diameter, with micron-scale accuracy. It can be applied to single and multiple layer

pipes, tubes and rubber products. The core pieces are X-ray components combined with semiconduc- tor sensor technology. They allow a precise spatial resolution and accuracies in the micron range. Even with high line speeds the X-ray system supplies precise measuring results, on either two or three axes. Standard iXray systems made by Inoex are designed for pipe dimensions from 0.6 to 110mm. During development, Inoex focused on wall thickness and diameter measurement for multiple layers. This included aluminium composite pipes, fabric-reinforced pressure tubes, foam products, medical tubes and hoses as well as cables. The main focus is on reproduc- ible dimensional product accuracy in the micron range and thus the quality assurance aspect. In PVC extrusion, the centring

of the extrusion die (such as for rubber tubing) or the thermal die

head centring are achieved by way of an additional interface. Another advantage is that it uses the standardised process data inter- face OPC-UA. X-ray systems of the iXray line have been designed to protect the operator from any risk. Because of their low radiation

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