PROCESS

Bimetallic tubes beat corrosion

Process tubing is prone to corrosive attack because of the design trade-off necessary between pipes made from strong metal that will not corrode. No alloy combines the best of both qualities.

But Sandvik Steel has developed a bimetallic tube with an inner and outer liner, that will help. The choice of metals will depend on the process fluid and operating conditions.

In the case of industrial urea plant, a bimetallic pipe made from a thin liner of Zirconium 702 and outer high strength stainless steel replaces all-titanium tubing in the `stripper’ bundle. This is prone to localised erosion from ammonium carbonate being processed at 200 degreesC, 150bar.

The bimetallic solution also costs less than a bundle made solely from titanium. Tube and liner are joined mechanically.

Sandvik research and development staff say there are numerous potential applications with different metal combinations and they welcome user’s ideas.

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* High-quality emulsions can be produced on a commercially viable scale using equipment on trial in Swansea.

The crossflow membrane low-energy system was developed by Memtech, Disperse Technologies and Fairey Industrial Ceramics at the University of Exeter. It is said to provide excellent control over the physical properties of the emulsion.

This is achieved by adjusting the differential pressure, temperature and crossflow velocity of the oil and water to produce droplets that can range from sub micron to several hundred microns diameter.

Likely users are cosmetic, toiletry, pharmaceutical and food makers. The equipment is modular and can be scaled to suit the application. Trials can also be set up at potential customer sites.

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* A low cost factory floor network connecting sensors to actuators is simple to set up and use. Two-wire connections handle analogue and digital signals over distances up to 10m. Electrical noise is kept low using one-chip technology with embedded software. Programming Dupline is said to be as simple as dialling a telephone number.

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