Firbimatic Metal Cleaning Division has been working proficiently for several years alongside major manufacturers of pipes and metal profiles to develop some projects to consolidate the production of an interesting range of special systems to clean pipes and metal profiles, as well as applications for the aeronautics and military industry with closed-circuit system.
The systems built so far not only have an impressive hourly production output, because they are pre-arranged to work over 3 shifts and for more than 320 days a year, but also ensure and easily exceed the internal cleaning parameters of the parts, laid down by EN 723 (< 0.2 mg/dm2), using both perchloroethylene solvent and modified alcohol based solvents.
The operational principle is basically the same as that of standard systems, with the possibility to have the cycle entirely under vacuum, but is more flexible thanks to the modular design, which means that it can be adapted to the lay-out of the customer’s factory and can be integrated with existent production lines.
The cycle of pipe cleaning machine is totally automatic and it takes just one operator to merely load and unload the pipe bundles roughly every 20/30 minutes.
The Siemens PLC S7-300, coupled with the PC where alarms and functions can be viewed and controlled, provides a clear picture of the working conditions of the system, even remotely.
Once the upper hatch of the washing chamber is closed, the cycle starts with a pre-washing phase in which hot solvent is sprayed by special bars and re-circulated at high pressure, to eliminate the contaminants from the outer parts of the pipes/profiles.
The parts are then soaked in hot solvent, which is re-circulated longitudinally, reinforced with the important alternated kinetic movement of the piece holder basket, which substantially improves internal cleaning of the pipes, even for diameters smaller than 4 mm.
The end of the two washing phases (external and internal) is followed by the direct vaporisation phase of the parts with solvent as a final touch and to prepare them for the drying phase.
Drying involves the further reduction of the pressure inside the washing chamber, which instantly causes the solvent inside to evaporate, even that inside the pipes, after which it is recovered in the refrigeration unit.
Upon completion, the solvent crosses the active charcoal bed and its concentration in the vapours inside the washing chamber is measured; the cycle ends when the value imposed by the relevant standard is reached. The cycle of cleaning machine takes roughly 20 minutes or so, based on the inside diameter of the pipes and on their quantity.
The solvent is continually regenerated by the two powerful continuously running stills that regenerate the solvent periodically.
|Dimensions of the pipes to be cleaned||Up to 12 meters (longer pipes are also possible)|
|Load weight||max. 2.5 t (with swinging system) – 5 T static|
|Solvent||Perchloroethylene, Hydrocarbons or Modified Alcohol|
|Possible cleaning methods||Pre-washing with hot solvent
Immersion with hot solvent
(with/without basket movement)
|Number of cycles/hour||2/3 based on the sequences chosen|
- The pipe cleaning machines require saturated steam at at least 5 bar throughout the cycle to be able to hold the solvent at the chosen temperature and for the distillation and carbon regeneration phases.
For this purpose, the specifications and position of a feasible steam generator shall be established when defining the system.
- Cooling water is also needed to condensate the distillation vapours (water at 30 °C max.) and to cool the refrigeration gas of the closed circuit of the chiller (water at 15 °C max.).