Full-length pipe expander
A full-length pipe expander is one of the essential machines in the production process of Longitudinal Submerged Arc Welded (LSAW) pipes. Tolerances for ovality and straightness of pipes are becoming increasingly important to the laying process of pipes in the field. The new pipe expander process makes the welding of the pipeline in the field much easier. Fontijne Grotnes is constantly improving and preparing the full-length pipe expander process for new market demands like higher outputs, higher wall thicknesses, higher material grades up to X120, and stricter ovality and straightness tolerances.
In this research project it is investigated why the expansion process of welded tubes (up to 24”) sometimes results in a banana shape and how to make the expansion process more robust in order to avoid the banana shape.
• Quantify potential causes and solution methods.
• Use numerical modeling to evaluate the effect of design and process modifications.
• Modified equipment design with “first time right” success.
• Eight systems sold of which one is installed on competitor’s equipment.
• Extra turnover of more than € 2.000.000.