Multi-layer pipes made in a single step

Three Austrian companies have devised a process to make multi-layer pipes in a single operation. Multi-layer PP and HDPE pipes are usually made by extruding separate inner and outer layers, then joining them with injection moulded separators in a hand welding process. The new technique reduces this to a single stage. Austrian pipe producer Agru Kunststofftechnik says this will allow it to compete with producers of multi-layer pipes from lower wage countries. Agru has spent 10 months on the project with GS-Tech – and extrusion tooling consultancy – and toolmaker Puhl. The project partners – all members of the Kunststoff Cluster – say that the high degree of crystallinity of PP and HDPE compared with PVC meant that the calibration has to be optimised carefully in order to respect dimensional tolerance limits. The companies claim enhanced stiffness and endurance for pipes made with the new technique.

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