AGRU piping system with chemical resistance in Chile

Industry project with Austrian PP-R piping system

A special project was realized in Calama (Chile)

For the application a PP-R piping system with white outside layer and a total length of 6 km was installed. Large quantities of abrasive industrial slurry accumulate at the company Ecometales which are then transported over a distance of 6 km to a treatment plant. Different solutions were evaluated, such as the transport of the waste by trucks or the construction of a waste disposal piping system. Due to easier logistics and the resulting lower costs the installation of a pipeline was preferred.

The PP-R pipes

Various requirements have to be met by this piping system, for example a temperature resistance of up to 60 °C and a pressure resistance of up to 7.4 bar (108 psi). In addition, the pipes are installed above ground which means that resistance against UV radiation is also required. A special challenge is the high abrasion which resulting from the transported slurry.

PP-R pipes with white UV resistant outside layer are the appropriate solution and have therefore been selected for this specific application. This means excellent pressure resistance at high temperatures, greater flexibility and impact resistance (very important for the conditions in Chile). Another important feature is the very high abrasion resistance of PP-R. Tests confirm that PP-R is more resistant to abrasion than other materials like steel or concrete. For this application, pipes with three different outside diameters are used:

  • OD 225 mm
  • OD 280 mm with a pressure rating of SDR 11 but
  • OD 250 mm with a SDR 7.4

Pipes with a length of 11.8 m were supplied to keep the number of welding joints to a minimum.

The so called PP-R multi-layer pipes are coextruded. The white outside layer with a thickness of approximately 2.5 mm is integrated in the wall thickness. The total wall thickness correlates with international standards regarding the wall thickness for the individual diameters and pressure ratings especially UV resistant. The white outside layer is specifically stabilized in order to and guarantees the required lifetime of more than 5 years in Chile.

Excellent cooperation with our local representative “Agru Tecnología en Plástico Sudamerica Ltda.” in Santiago de Chile insured that project was quickly engineered and realised. In total 6,000 m of pipes were installed. In addition to this product which is specially manufactured for the application in the mining industry, AGRU has developed a new piping system based on PE 100 / PE 100-RC material, called “Mine-Line”. This piping system provides an extra coextruded inside abrasion resistance layer as an innovative solution for slurry pipelines in the mining industry.

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