Professor Wang Qingzhao, director of the Polymer Processing Technology Institute at Shandong University of Science and Technology in China, brought extrusion technology for ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylene to NPE2012, looking to “fill in the blanks” in the U.S. market.
The single-screw extruder can make UHMW PE pipes in diameters of 50-1,200 millimeters and thicknesses that range from 2-50 millimeters, he said.
The machine also can make rods, profiles and sheets.
According to Wang, his technology is being used by more than 20 processors in China, in such applications as pipe for mine tailings, oil well pumps and infrastructure.
“I think there are blanks in the U.S. market,” he said at the show, held April 1-5 in Orlando.
U.S. drilling operations use high density PE to protect the inner walls of steel pipe, Wang said, citing the American Petroleum Institute.
UHMW PE is a much better alternative, he said, as it offers superior resistance to abrasion, high impact strength, chemical stability and solvent resistance.
Europe makes ram extruders for UHMW PE, but Wang said his single-screw technology is more efficient.
“I'm looking for distribution partners in the U.S.,” he said at the NPE of booth of Sichuan Gaodete Science & Technology Co. Ltd. of China, where he is a partner.