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Automatic PEX pipe coilers

For PEX pipes FB Balzanelli has made automatic coilers in the Premium and Excellence series. A complete range of machines capable of coiling the main sizes of PEX pipes on the market ranging from 8 mm outer diameter up to 32 mm. Automatic coilers that meet all the requirements of producers of this specific type of tube such as coiling speed, coil size, and strapping. Each coiler can be further customized according to the specific requirements of manufacturing customers by analyzing the production lines and the desired investment budget.

On the strength of a long experience at the side of companies that manufacture pipes for plants, FB Balzanelli knows how to combine knowledge of the extrusion industry with a deep culture of the market and its specificities. Design and development divisions and a top-notch customer service have enabled the development of automatic and semiautomatic coilers that stand out for their performance, reliability, and innovative solutions.

PEX pipe coiling

PEX (or more correctly PE-X) pipes are popular globally because they are used for plumbing, sanitary installations,and underfloor heating. The acronym PEX denotes a polyethylene (PE) pipe that during or after processing is cross-linked (X). The cross-linking process creates molecular chains in the polyethylene that are structured into a kind of three-dimensional network that gives the pipe greater resistance to temperature and pressure than PE pipe. In fact, cross-linked polyethylene withstands temperatures up to 120°C without deforming or breaking and possesses high resistance to stress cracking.

Depending on the cross-linking process chosen, PEX is distinguished by different designations PE-Xa, Xb, Xc and Xd.

PE-Xa cross-linking with peroxide

Cross-linking is developed with the use of peroxides and high temperatures. The pipe has an extremely smooth surface and allows for a drastic reduction in pressure drop compared to the traditional metal pipe used in the plumbing and heating industry.

PE-Xb cross-linking with silane

This is a purely chemical method that uses silane (silicon derivative) and water vapor in an autoclave. This gives the pipe greater durability and resistance to temperature, chemicals, and deformation than the peroxide method. Because of this and its cost-effectiveness, it is one of the most popular products in plumbing and thermo-sanitary applications.

PE-Xc cross-linking by irradiation

If the previous two methods involve the addition of a chemical compound, PE-Xc is cross-linked through an electronic process achieved by intense ionizing electron irradiation. This is a post-extrusion treatment in which through adjustment of the radiation (B rays up to 10 mm, G rays up to 100 mm), it is possible to define the thickness of the section that will be cross-linked and the section that will not be cross-linked. PE-Xc pipes are more environmentally friendly than others but have modest flexibility and durability compared to PE-Xa pipes, but better performance than PE-Xb pipes.

PE-Xd cross-linking with nitrogen

This is a process that uses azo compounds for crosslinking (known as the Lubonyl process). Azo compounds are added to the PE product and then immersed downstream in a hot salt bath to form the bridges between the molecules. It is rarely used because of its high environmental impact.

An alternative to PEX is PE-RT pipe developed specifically for use in underfloor heating systems and radiator fittings. The acronym PE-RT stands for PE (polyethylene) and RT (high temperature). This pipe is characterized by higher temperature resistance and has an EVOH barrier layer. Its high-temperature resistance, and ease of installation even when cold make it a success in this specific industry.

In PEX pipe coiling, the management of three main factors is crucial:

  • precise cutting of the material
  • fast transition periods from one reel to another
  • coiling tension control.
  • reduced ovality and no damage to the pipe surface

FB Balzanelli equips PEX pipe coilers with a cutting device integrated into the coiler’s pipe guide. An extremely fast patented system that allows:

  • controlled retrieval of the cut pipe and subsequent hooking onto the free reel to begin a new and precise coiling;
  • a minimal amount of pipe accumulated on the ground that is immediately rewound after reattachment;
  • smooth distribution of the product on the reel with a constant coiling tension such that the PEX tube is not ruined.

Premium Series for coiling PEX Pipes

In the Premium Series, the DR1201PE and the DR1401PE are among the most widely adopted models for coiling PEX pipes. The DR1201PE W4 can work with pipes up to 25 mm while the DR1401M can coil pipes up to 32 mm in diameter. Both can also be adapted with a second strapping unit and make up to 6 straps on the coil.

To enable longer coils to be wound, the DR1201PE W6 model features the possibility of widening the reel up to 600 mm. In this case, the machine is equipped with a single strapping unit.

Adjustments and settings are extremely simplified and manual for both inside diameter and width. The Premium series is ideal for those who have production lines dedicated to the same item for a substantial amount of time and who find the best return on investment in this model.

Excellence Series for coiling PEX Pipes

In the Excellence Series, which is the top of the range of our automatic coilers, the TR1400PE model is the one that is recommended for PEX pipe coils. This machine comes in three widths, W4 (400 mm), W6 (600 mm), and W7 (700 mm), and has the option of having one or two strapping units.

To ensure frequent changes in reel size, adjustments can be made fully automatically. TR1400PE has been very popular with those customers who produce PEX pipe coils with variable dimensions and high extrusion speed because, in addition to speed and automatisms, all settings are storable and operational in playlist mode.

A puller, an accessory suitable for PEX tubing, can be used on this series because the reduction in coiling tension allows a minimum reel inside diameter to be chosen without causing kinking or excessive ovalization of the pipe. An overall decrease in coil size results in large savings in both transport and storage.

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