Technology overview: The existing electro-fusion sheet for pipes has superior watertightness and durability, compared to a mechanical connection method, as the surface of a pipe and a PE sheet is melted by electrothermal wire for fusion. However, a gap caused by the overlapped part of sheets or a difference in external diameters of two pipes, arising during production or moving of pipes, can’t be solved by the heat of electrothermal wire, which often leads to leakage. This problem can be solved by the electro-foaming fusion wrap, which can close such gaps through a foaming method for improved watertightness and durability. The electro-foaming fusion wrap contains electrothermal wire and a temperature sensor inside the foaming fusion sheet. As for products with small and medium diameters (D150~D600), electrothermal wire is laid at an interval of 8㎜ (single) and 10㎜ (dual) in order to prevent a dent of a pipe wall, caused by rising temperatures of the overlapped part. In addition, electrothermal wire is coated with glass fiber, and base mesh which fixes the wire is included in the foaming sheet so as to solve the short circuit problem of the wire. And the surface area for heat dissipation has been increased by adopting an indirect heating method through glass fiber coating instead of direct heating, which also prevents carbonization of resin caused by high temperature.
Industrialization: The product has especially targeted the European market where most countries use PE pipes. Between 2011 and 2012, a sample of the electro-foaming fusion wrap was sent to KWH Pipe in Finland for testing. As a result, the product was registered with KWH Pipe in 2013 for regular supply, and products of various diameters have been exported to KWH Pipe Sweden. In 2012, KWH Pipe presented the electro-foaming fusion wrap at the Water and Sewer Pipe Exhibition held in Sweden. The successful results in Sweden led to another opportunity such as sample presentation and testing for Plastitalia S.p.A in Italy, Pipelife in Austria, and INOAC in Japan. In particular, there has been an effort to register international standards for the product, so that NP (New Proposal) and CD (Committee Draft) in the area of ISO/ TC 138/SC 1(pipes) were submitted in 2012. The DIS (Draft International Standard) was circulated to the member bodies for the vote but the draft is to be approved as TS (Technical Specification) first and then as an international standard later because the product is a relatively new item and has not many cases of use in countries other than Korea.
Problem-solving in industrialization: The entry to the domestic market was relatively easy, but penetration to the global market as a new item and standardization was a significant challenge. Therefore, joint research with KWH (Finland), leading the PE sewer pipe market in terms of technologies and scale, began in 2008 prior to the submission of NP (New Proposal) in 2012, and samples were presented to Plastitalia in Italy and Pipelife in Austria so as to make known the product to the global market. In addition, a presentation on the product and standardization was given at the Plastic Pipe Conference in 2011, drawing the attention of the market to EFF WRAP, and then NP was submitted to ISO.
Industry Academic Cooperation Foundation Mokwon University / +82-42-829-7831 / http://sanhak.mokwon.ac.kr
AZUMI / +82-31-701-1305 / www.azumi.co.kr
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