An extrusion line for 63-in.-diam., smooth-walled HDPE pipe, reportedly the largest in the U.S., was installed last November at an undisclosed customer by American Maplan Corp., McPherson, Kan. The system has a 150-mm, single-screw, grooved-feed extruder built by Maplan, while sister company Battenfeld Extrusionstechnik in Germany built the die and downstream equipment, including vacuum calibrators, spray cooling tanks, pullers, and cutters. Battenfeld's die is a combination of a spiral and lattice-basket type, designed to distribute material evenly in pipe walls up to 3.5-in. thick at the lower operating temperature (by about 10° F) of a grooved-feed extruder. American Maplan has sold two more 63-in. pipe lines to other customers for delivery this year. The lines can also make pipe down to 30 in. Maplan is now designing extrusion lines for 72- and 78-in. diam. pipe. Battenfeld has installed systems for pipe up to 78-in. diam. in Europe.
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