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Advances in temperature profiling equipment
for the tube & pipe industries

Dave Plester, Datapaq Ltd

For more than ten years, Datapaq has been designing and developing temperature profiling systems, designed to travel through the furnace with the product as it is being heat treated. In the heat treatment of tubes and pipes, monitoring the actual temperature of the product can be difficult, particularly when the heat treatment process is continuous and may have atmosphere locks in it. Using Datapaq's Furnace Tracker System, even this critical type of process can be closely monitored.

The Datapaq Furnace Tracker works by travelling straight through the entire furnace with the product, and can withstand temperatures up to an incredible 1300C! A high accuracy data logger collects temperature data from up to eight thermocouples which are placed directly on the product. As it travels through the process the logger is protected from the heat of the furnace by a high efficiency thermal barrier. A powerful, yet easy to use software programme, supplied as a standard part of the system, is then used to analyse the information gathered during the run.

There are many products in the tube and pipe industry that are monitored with the Furnace Tracker system. These include:

Ductile iron pipes for water transportation

After being centrifugally cast, the pipes pass through a continuous furnace to homogenise the pipe. In this process the Datapaq system sits inside the pipe and monitors at set distances along the pipe's length.

High tensile steel tube for the auto industry

Used in the manufacture of shock absorbers, valve guides, and structural tubing, these tubes are annealed in a carbon rich atmosphere to prevent the carbon content of the product decreasing. Atmosphere locks within the furnace do not present a problem to monitoring, nor does a maximum process temperature of 900C.

High grade alloy steel tube for oil drilling and transportation

These tubes must pass consecutively through two walking beam furnaces to homogenise the tube. As the Furnace Tracker travels inside the tube, the final shaping rolls at the end of the line can be negotiated without a problem.

Copper tubing for the construction industry

Copper tubing is annealed in continuous furnaces both in coil and straight length form. Careful monitoring of this process means that optimum furnace conditions can be achieved so that the product meets the correct specification, while ensuring that over annealing does not take place.

Historically temperature profiling has been employed purely for the basis of product quality assurance, but today it is far more important. Gone are the days when the equipment was taken out of the cupboard only when problems were experienced. Companies now use their Datapaq systems to pro-actively prevent problems, and so maximise the potential of their heat-treatment operations.

Further information can be obtained from:

- Tel: +44 (01223) 423141
- Fax: +44 (01223) 423306
- WWW:
- Email:
- Contact: Dave Plester

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