Two technological highlights for pipe extrusion were presented at the Competence Forum on KraussMaffei’s 180th anniversary.

With the TCP (Thermoplastic Composite Pipes) pilot line, KraussMaffei Berstorff is taking new strides in fibre composite technology and thus supports pre-qualifying customer-specific sample pipes meeting the pressure standards of the oil and gas industry.

Also, the newly developed tube die features a three-layer pipe with a functional inner layer made of PA 12, especially suited for transporting corrosive and abrasive media.

One-of-a-kind service for pre-qualifying TCP sample pipes

The TCP pilot system (Thermoplastic Composite Pipes) demonstrated the wrapping process with fibre-reinforced UD tapes. The base pipe can be produced on the in-house lines for manufacturing pipes, purchased on the market or provided by the customer. The tapes are then wrapped on the TCP pilot line. A reconfiguration of the line allows for subsequent sheathing with a protective layer.

The pilot line supports customers with their standards regarding the design of fibre-reinforced pipes from a process technology standpoint, according to the KraussMaffei Group. In the pre-qualification of new developments, this is a real benefit to customers, as lengthy and time-consuming process steps are drastically shortened.

Maximum flexibility thanks to a three-level process

An innovative pipe head concept produces a three-layer pipe based on engineering polymers as a functional inner in the manufacturing of TCP pipes. For the customer, this process ensures maximum flexibility in production, combined with a minimum risk in the production process.

At the second stage of the process, the surface of the PE pipe on the winding system is heated with infrared. The tape is attached at two successive winding stations. An infrared oven for each layer ensures the fusion of the inner pipe with the reinforcing layers, thus ensuring complete bonding. A corresponding guiding device ensures exact positioning and prevents potential tape overlapping.

The fibre-reinforced pipes are excellently suited for the challenging safety requirements and high-pressure loads in the oil and gas industry. In onshore use, the working pressure attains 150 bar at times. In offshore use, the pipe can be required to withstand pressure stability of more than 500 bar.

The system for live demonstration at the Competence Forum is designed for a pipe interior diameter range of 50.8 to 152.4 mm (2 to 6 inches) and a maximum permissible operating pressure up to 100 bar (1500 psi). It is currently intended for the use of PE pipes coated with glass-fibre reinforced PE tape. On the long run, however, multi-layer pipes, other fibres and engineering polymers will also be tested.

Engineering polymers as a functional inner layer

As a complement to the composite pipes, KraussMaffei Berstorrf is taking groundbreaking steps in pipe extrusion by processing engineering polymers. Integrated into a complete production line, the KM-3L RKW 250 F³ tube die produces a three-layer PE pipe with a functional inner layer made from polyamide (PA 12).

The development team was successful in combining the various processing parameters of raw materials such as temperature or shrinkage in this innovative tube die design. The combination of the materials was immediately obvious as PA is substantially more expensive than PE but offers very high chemical and abrasion resistance.

For complete bonding, an additional bonding layer is required. Due to their high impact strength and abrasion resistance, pipes manufactured in this way are particularly well suited to corrosive and abrasive media such as those frequently used in the oil, gas and chemical industries.

The live system with the KME 75-36 B/R, KME 45-36 B/R and KME 30-25 D/C single-screw extruders is designed for the dimensional range of 50 to 282 mm and an output of 800 kg/h for PE, 30 kg/h for the bonding agent and 180 kg/h for the functional layer.

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