Improved corrugator technology opens new fields of application for metal tubes and cable sheaths

Hanover, March 13, 2006 – Nexans, the worldwiede leader in the cable industry is presenting optimised corrugator technologies for its Uniwema machines at the Wire&Tube trade fair. These machines manufacture smooth or corrugated tubes and cable sheaths by continuous forming and welding of metal strips. For example, they process stainless steel, steel, copper or aluminium and their alloys, welding the material in the TIG (Tungsten Inert Gas) process or using lasers. Depending on the machine model and equipment, tubes with an outer diameter of 2 to 350mm can be produced; typical wall thicknesses for steel are between 0.1 and 3.0mm.

Corrugation gives the tubes or cable sheaths flexibility. To this end, a rotating disctype tool presses helical or annular corrugations into the tube, the shape of the corrugations vary depending on the tool, feed rate, pressure and corrugator speed. Thanks to the new tools, now even deeper corrugations and extremely high processing speeds can be reached. This is possible because of structural improvements to the corrugator head bearing, among other factors. It allows production speeds of up to 35m/min (with Uniwema 25) and corrugator speeds up to 6,000rpm. The optimised tools are available with immediate effect and can also be used to retrofit older Uniwema systems.

With the corrugation depth, the surface per cable length increases, to the benefit of heat dissipation, and flexibility also increases. The improved bending properties of corrugated stainless steel tubes (CSST) in particular, open up attractive fields of application. For example, this enables the production of particularly easy-to-install water and gas lines for mains connection. The prospects are also interesting for vehicle air conditioning systems: Here, the shock- and pressure-resistant flexible corrugated stainless steel tubes take on the task of transporting carbon dioxide, which is soon to replace conventional refrigerants.

Specialists of Nexans Deutschland Industries GmbH will explain the improvements and potential applications of Uniwema machines, as well as the related control technology, at Stall C41 in Hall 9 at the Wire&Tube trade fair, which takes place in Düsseldorf from 24 to 28 April 2006.

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