Conference on developments in desalination technology
The total cost of ownership (TCO) of a piping system depends on several factors such as material, design of pipes and fittings and maintenance intervals. The Plas-tics Experts from AGRU Kunststofftechnik GmbH manufacture pipes and fittings at the cutting edge of technology, improving processes and optimising results for more than 50 years.
Thermoplastic piping systems in PE 100-RC, PP, PVDF and ECTFE have been proving their value for decades in industrial plants around the globe. Let us see how pipes and fittings affect the total cost of ownership of a piping system.
A pump should always operate at its best efficiency to minimize the total cost of owner-ship. If a piping system loses hydraulic capacity, it will result in longer pump hours and increased energy costs. Impacts on the hydraulic capacity of a piping system are incrustations e.g. biofilms that grow over time, the roughness of the inner pipe surface, the hydraulic design of fittings and ineffective de-aeration due to failures in pipeline design.
Biofilms and incrustations occur with all different piping materials and have a negative impact on the internal diameter of the pipe. If a pipe becomes overgrown from the inside, the flow rate decreases due to the reduced diameter. More pressure and therefore more energy will be necessary to maintain the flow rate. Pipe cleaning by the means of pigs is necessary. In this case, thermoplastic pipes and fittings are much easier to clean than conventional pipes because of their very smooth internal surface that prevents a strong adhesion of lime, shells or other organic materials.
The roughness of the pipe’s interior surface determines the friction loss in a piping sys-tem. If the pipe’s internal surface is rough, the fluid flow causes friction on the pipe wall and a higher pressure loss is the result. Depending on the transported liquid, also abrasion of the pipe walls can occur. Thermoplastic pipes do have a very high abrasion resistance which results in a reduced influence to the surface roughness of the piping system.
It is a known fact that metallic, concrete and stoneware pipes develop a rougher inside surface due to corrosion and abrasion over time. In contrast, plastic piping systems offer the advantage of a long-term slick inner surface that reduces friction and therefore head loss significantly. Reduced head loss means less power consumption, cutting down the total cost of ownership of a pipeline. The optimised design of AGRU plastic piping sys-tems allows space saving installation on the job site. This saves cost in industrial operations.
Another aspect is the hydraulic design of fittings. The hydraulic performance of AGRU piping systems is mainly based on the expert fittings design which was accomplished within 55 years of research and development. AGRU has been producing injection moulded fittings since 1966 and has flow-optimized them in every aspect. The extensive product range between OD 20 mm and OD 3500 mm offers a high pressure resistance up to SDR 7,4, superior flow properties and a vast material range for outstanding chemical and temperature resistance. The job site proven joining methods such as electrofusion welding, heated tool butt-welding and infrared welding are further key competences of AGRU, The Plastics Experts. The welding technology and consulting for every material and diameter of their piping components is state-of-the-art.
AGRU plastic pipes in PP-R and PP-H and fittings in PP-R have been proving their value for decades in every area of industry. PP is characterised by its superior strength, stiff-ness, hardness and its temperature and chemical resistance. This thermoplastic is used in a temperature range between -5 °C and +95 °C. PP piping systems also play an im-portant role in reverse osmosis, which is applied in desalination plants. Long-term resistance to corrosion, salts and minerals, as well as the smooth inner surfaces, ensure decades of maintenance-free operation. As high operating pressures are typical in plants of this type, PP – with its high creep strength – is the most popular material. AGRU pro-vides pipes, multi fittings, extended fittings, short spigot fittings, segmented fittings, socket welding fittings, electrofusion welding fittings and valves for industrial use in various dimensions.
AGRU Kunststofftechnik offers a vast assortment of piping systems characterised by out-standing operational reliability, easy installation and extremely low maintenance over-heads. Be it the leakage-monitored double containment piping system Poly-Flo, the abra-sion-resistant multilayer system MINELINE, or the ECTFE system, which is even resistant to nitric acid, AGRU has the best solution for virtually any industrial application in its port-folio. Below you will find an overview of the AGRU piping systems:
AGRULINE pipes and fittings made of the innovative material PE 100-RC are extremely resilient and resistant to cracks. They are used for water, wastewater and gas transport and can be installed without cost intensive sand bedding. Universal welding machines connect pipes made of PE 80, PE 100 and PE 100-RC with AGRULINE fittings to create leak-proof joints. All components of the system are available in sizes from OD 20 mm up to OD 3500 mm. Since the pipes and fittings come from one factory, they fit with highest accuracy. Additionally, AGRU technicians consult you personally on your project. Since AGRULINE is a maintenance free pipework, that is homogenous, longitudinally fore-locked and leak-tight, you will experience very low costs of ownership. Many AGRULINE pipelines are still intact and in operation 50 years after their installation, meaning the in-vestment intervals for PE pipes are calculated in terms of several decades. Polyethylene has a further advantage: ease of installation. In comparison to steel or concrete pipes, PE pipes are a featherweight and often allow direction changes without fittings due to the flexibility of the material. The smooth inner surfaces prevent adhesion and offer perfect flow characteristics, reducing head loss of the pump. AGRU only processes certified ma-terials in accordance to PE 100+ Association guidelines. Because of this, pipes and fit-tings possess high rupture strength, extreme resistance to crack growth, pressure surges and seismic activity.
PVDF is a thermoplastic homopolymer with excellent media resistance, a high level of mechanical strength, and maximum purity without additives or stabilisers. This makes it physiologically safe and suitable for use in ultra-high-purity applications. It also offers high mechanical strength and excellent chemical resistance, working well at temperatures between -20 °C and +120 °C. For applications involving temperatures between -30 °C and +140 °C or very aggressive chemicals, ECTFE is the right choice. ECTFE consists of an alternating arrangement of ethylene and chlorotrifluoroethylene. This makes it the ideal material for applications involving high temperatures and extremely aggressive media. When transporting aggressive media like concentrated sulphuric acid (H2SO4), nitric acid (HNO3) or oxidising agents such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) as well as concentrated alkalis, ECTFE is the only resistant plastic with an excellent price-performance ratio. Even when these media are transported under high pressure or at high temperatures, the AGRU ECTFE piping system remains permeation-resistant and leak-proof. The excellent surface quality and abrasion resistance make fluoropolymers the ideal materials for use in the petrochemicals industry, life sciences and the food industry.
Electrostatic charges in the pipework must be prevented when flammable media is being handled. If the pipeline passes through a potentially explosive atmosphere, a single spark can cause an explosion. ESD (electrostatic discharge sensitive) plastics such as HDPE-ESD-el offer safety by dissipating electrostatic charges in a controlled manner. These ma-terials are electrically conductive due to the addition of carbon black whilst retaining the known benefits of polyolefines, such as chemical resistance and easy processing and installation.
Pipes and fittings of the reliable Poly-Flo double containment piping system are extruded seamlessly using PP-R or PE 100-RC granules. Its compact design with a small annular gap and low weight, allows the easy and quick installation even in confined spaces by using simultaneous welding. Poly-Flo doubles the operational safety due to the simulta-neously extruded media and protective pipe as well as the leakage monitoring of the an-nular gap after installation. AGRU also offers prefabricated double containment pipes up to OD 800 mm made of PE 100-RC, PP, PVDF and ECTFE in various pressure ratings.
The three-layer MINELINE piping system was developed to transport very abrasive media (e.g. slurries). Economic operation due to a longer service life, minimal thermal expansion because of the white surface, and high operating reliability are the system‘s most im-portant properties. An abrasion-resistant inner layer inside the pipes and fittings protects the pipework against fast and heavy abrasion. Designed for the toughest use in mining, MINELINE is also the best choice for other rugged applications. For more information about AGRU piping systems please visit the website www.agru.at