plastic_pipe_installationJust completed for an F1 motor racing team based here in the UK is a coolant management installation redesign. The cutting fluid management system supplies the teams machine shop facility which has been continually expanded since the initial installation. Problem was that cutting fluid returning from the CNC machine tool sumps for reprocessing was now not flowing quickly enough through the existing pipeline system and was often found to be backing up into the machine tools.

It was decided, in discussion with their maintenance team, to increase the pipe diameter of the header pipeline to allow fluid to flow more freely. The original plant was installed using plastic pipework so the obvious solution was to continue with the concept and exchange the problem three inch main with a six inch one.

Large bore plastic piping such as this needs special care and since the fittings are quite expensive at this size, mistakes are not an option. Also required in the new pipeline was a clear section to aid as a viewing window so that the fluid flowing back to the processing plant could be monitored visually.

When gluing either pvc or abs plastic piping its essential that all parts are scrupulously clean. Additionally solvent based cement used with plastic pipe fittings cures very quickly, once the glue has been applied operatives must work quickly to assemble the parts. Any mistakes here means cutting out the affected sections and starting over, that can be costly. With large bore installations its not advisable to try to install without having extra hands available.

The trickiest bit of the installation was fitting this final clear section. The majority of the other work could be completed at floor level whereas this last portion had to be fitted in one attempt, operating from step ladders. The video below covers the main parts of the plastic pipework installation and gives an overview of best practice when working with plastic piping. With the work completed the coolant management system is more able to operate to specification.

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