Large diameter rubber hoses for dredging, mining and marine applications

TANIQ has specially developed new deesign and automation technology for large rubber hoses such as (floating) dredging hoses, offloading hoses, mining hoses and rubber hose bends (elbows). The automated production is based on fast and accurate robotic winding of all material layers (reinforcement, rubber and wrapping tape) with Scorpo TAURUS Robotics for large size products. Using TANIQ's product design principles, the reinforcement structure of the hoses has been optimised, resulting in significant material savings. Furthermore, the metal couplings at the end of the hose are integrally wound with the hose body, elimating the manual folding of fabric sheets and winding of metal wires in the coupling area. Because of the design, the cords will clamp the coupling solidly in place. The technology has been validated with extensive prototyping of various products has been successfully tested up to 75 bar, using 50% less reinforcement material. 

 

 

Large diameter rubber hoses automated production at lower costs

The optimization of the reinforcement structure of the hose is based on accurate robotic winding of the reinforcement cords. Winding all reinforcement cords on their optimal winding angle with uniform tension results in most efficient material use whereby the cords are loaded on tensile strength. Compared to manual winding of fabric sheets improvements of 50% material savings have been obtained.

Rubber_large_hose_automation1.jpg

Opimization of multi-layer reinforcement structures

The large diameter hoses require multi-layer reinforcement structures to obtain their required strength and working pressures. First of all, reducing the total required volume of reinforcement by accurate winding at optimal winding angles, will reduce the required number of reinforcement layers. A challenge with multi-layer reinforcement structures is to efficiently activate the outer layers. TANIQ has developed and tested design algortihms to increase multi-layer efficiency by variation of the winding angles per reinforcement layer. Optimization of the multi-layer interaction can further decrease the required reinforcement material in the rubber hose. Variation of the winding angles with 1-5 degrees per layer requires accurate automated winding equipment, which has been realised with Scorpo robotics.

 
Rubber_large_hose_automation2.jpg
 
 

Integral reinforced hose coupling

With conventional hose production, the reinforcement materials are cut and folded around the metal couplings to create a solid product. The reinforcement sheets are fixed behind the retainer rings on the couplings by winding metal wire in circumferential direction over the sheets behind the retainer rings. TANIQ has developed a method to integrally wind cords over the couplings to create a solid fixation. During production, the reinforcement cords are continuously winded back and forth over the hose and build-in couplings by the robot. The reinforcement cords are wound behind the retainer ring, creating a local retaining cord structure. As a result,  no manual folding steps and no additional metal wires are needed to fixate the metal ends and the reinforcement sheet. This integrated coupling principle has successfully been tested on various hoses.

 
Rubber_large_hose_automation3.jpg
Rubber_large_hose_automation4.jpg
 
 

Historically, the production of reinforced rubber products has been a manual process, relying heavily on skill and extensive experience. This introduces three areas of production risk. Firstly, manual material application can result in inconsistency and inaccurate placement of reinforcements as the operator varies the amount and orientation of the reinforcement-sheets. Secondly, the cords in the sheets cannot correctly be aligned with the stresses, wherefore additional reinforcement material is required. Thirdly, the tapes are not always applied with the same tension. Most important of all, production speed is limited by human capabilities and requires extensive training and product knowledge. All these risks are eliminated using TANIQ's approach.

Rubber_large_hose_automation5.jpg

Single cord versus fabric sheet

TANIQ uses single cord instead of calandered fabric sheet. To obtain high production speeds 16 or more cords can be wound simultaneously. The single cord is commercially available and is supplied on standard bobbins. This makes it possible to use different cord constructions for different products. The costs of using single cords is lower than using calendered sheet, because the cord weaving, calendering and slicing steps are not necessary. TANIQ works together with renown converters like Milliken to develop the optimal cord coating for each product and production process.