Trelleborg’s pipe seals operation has launched a new generation of integrated pipe seal for irrigation pipes in North America. The new ‘patent pending’ PIP-Lock system will deliver improved performance, longer life and reduced scrap rates for PVC pipe manufacturers and contractors.
Trelleborg has manufactured the composite seal using two thermoplastic formulations. Forming a blend of Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) and polypropylene, these specially developed materials join as one integrated system to provide excellent resistance against ozone, heat, and chemicals, as well as exceptional flexibility characteristics. The PIP-Lock seal can also be recycled, reducing waste and cost.
Alan Guzowzki, Director of Trelleborg’s pipe seals operation, America says: “We were keen to produce a sustainable and high performance solution which would provide optimum sealing, while remaining intact and in place for the life of the pipe.
“Our proven combination of materials ensures a solution that can be automatically installed within a PVC pipe as an integrated seal. Which, when compared with some alternative seals, means that productivity is increased and scrap rates during belling are reduced. Similarly, by incorporating a reinforced thermoplastic material at the front of the seal, our solution provides lower friction which reduces the likelihood of seals being wrongly installed and even lost within the pipe - a common challenge faced by installers when using some competitor products.”
The seal features a flexible thermoplastic elastomeric solution which ensures an effective, leak-free seal against the spigot and socket, while the thermoplastic reinforcement element ensures an integrated seal on the bell of the pipe. Due to its integrated nature, it cannot be displaced during transportation or installation, reducing scrap rates and product failures. Similarly, by removing the metal ring found in some other seal designs, corrosion risks are reduced and replacement of the seal in the field is made much easier.
In addition, this new seal can easily be belled by PVC pipe producers using their current manufacturing equipment. During manufacture, the seal becomes part of the socket forming tool used to shape its own seal groove, which reduces irregularities and tolerances in the socket.
The PIP-Lock seal exceeds ASTM F-477 requirements including the optional oil resistance requirement and the materials used are inherently resistant to UV rays and rain water. The specially developed material complies with ASTM F477 High Head requirements, which shows very good mechanical and physical properties. Furthermore, the design optimizes seal performance and provides low assembly forces, making pipe jointing easier too.
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