Plastic pipelines for battery recycling

This case study presents the installation of a GRP piping system with an inner lining of PP pipes in the battery recycling factory. Our Finnish customer Atolli carried out the planning and coordinated the installation of the piping. A team of ten installers carried out this important project over a period of several months. The piping systems played an essential role in various applications within the factory.

Fig. 1.: Pipe systems produced at AGRU and coated by Atolli being installed
Fig. 1.: Pipe systems produced at AGRU and coated by Atolli being installed

Piping systems installed:

Circulation water of waste gas cleaning system. Temperature controlling and releasing heat back to the process. Collecting Waste Gas: The factory employed various chemicals in its extraction processes, generating waste gas. Pipes collected and transported this waste gas to a treatment facility, ensuring environmental compliance. Chemical recycling: Recycling process chemicals from waste gas treatment systems and other equipment to re-using in the process. Various pipe sizes, ranging from DN25 to DN500, were utilized.

Material selection:

Material selection was based on factors such as operating conditions, chemical resistance, and UV resistance. Notably, the chosen material was a glass fiber-laminated polypropylene, emphasizing a shift away from traditional metal pipelines. The material's dual-laminate construction offers significant advantages: Corrosion Resistance: Glass fiber-laminated polypropylene pipes are highly resistant to corrosion, ensuring durability and minimal maintenance compared to metal counterparts.

Easy Installation: These pipes are notably lighter than metal, simplifying installation and transport. The installation process, including support clamps, is faster and easier than with standard polypropylene pipes. Leak Detection: The dual-lamination system allows for easy identification of potential leaks through the visible glass fiber laminate.

Thermal Dimensional Stability: Glass fiber limits thermal expansion, ensuring excellent dimensional stability, even with temperature fluctuations.

AGRU supplied all polypropylene pipes and fittings. In addition to their core functions in product manufacturing and distribution, AGRU possesses a robust team of professionals dedicated to providing technical guidance to their clients. In the context of this project, Manfred Wimmer and his technical department team made substantial contributions during the pipeline design phase. Leveraging their extensive experience and expertise accumulated over the years, AGRU has the capability to translate this knowledge into precise assessments of material performance under working conditions, offering tailored recommendations for each pipeline.

Fig. 2.: PP-FRP with PP and PFA lined valves.
Fig. 2.: PP-FRP with PP and PFA lined valves.

Installation

The installation process involved two key phases:

Preliminary lamination work was carried out at Atolli's warehouse, optimizing time and reducing costs. This phase was executed using specialized machines and certified welders.

Remaining lamination was conducted post-welding to cover the plastic welding seams, ensuring adherence to industry standards and material certifications.

The butt-welding method was employed for joining the plastic pipes, adhering to DVS guidelines, which provide detailed instructions for butt-welding plastic pipes, including preparation, welding parameters, and quality control.

Atolli managed the installation process, including planning, coordination, and execution. Their extensive experience in plastic piping installation projects ensured the project's success, from design to installation. Their certified professionals adhered to the latest industry standards, offering customized solutions that met specific project requirements, ensuring the system's reliability.

The installation of the polypropylene glass fiber laminated piping system in the battery recycling factory played a vital role in safeguarding worker safety and environmental preservation. The polypropylene pipes' chemical resistance contributed to the system's extended longevity, making it a cost-effective and eco-friendly solution for the industrial context.

The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes) enforced the Pressure Equipment Directive (PED) I in Finland, overseeing safety standards for pressure equipment and pipelines used in the chemical industry. In compliance with these regulations, Plasthouse Oy provided comprehensive documentation for every installed pipeline, including material and welding certificates, drawings, safety documents, welding and testing reports, all delivered to the customer upon project completion, ensuring compliance with Tukes regulations.

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