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Recycling Irrigation Hoses

There are two types of irrigation systems made from plastic:

  • Thin-walled HDPE drip tapes also called irrigation hoses, which are laid on the surface of the soil, and
  • Thick-walled HDPE pipes buried under the soil.

These distribute water through emitters. In thin-walled irrigation hoses, (150-250 µm) LLDPE injection moldings are installed at regular intervals of about 20 cm. In thick-walled irrigation pipes (> 300 µm), the emitters are also fitted with a silicone membrane for pressure compensation.

Irrigation systems have to meet high quality requirements. This is because the hoses installed are designed to provide a constant flow of water over several kilometers.

To ensure this, thin-walled drip tapes are subjected to strict quality controls. Even a small flaw immediately leads to rejection. Because the disposal as well as the purchase of new drip tapes involves costs, it makes sense to recycle the irrigation hoses.

At first glance, however, the process does not seem easy. The large-volume and bulky input materials and the different types of plastic that go into manufacturing irrigation systems often present major challenges in the recycling process.

The Advantages of Recycling Drip Tapes

Saves costs

Energy efficient

High quality recycled pellets

Recycling Irrigation Hoses with ISEC evo

Irrigation hoses recycled with ISEC evo

The ISEC evo from PURE LOOP with double degassing and an EREMA Laserfilter is particularly suitable for recycling irrigation hoses. Manufacturers that recycle their drip tapes and irrigation pipes using PURE LOOP's technology achieve refeeding quotas of up to 20 percent without sacrificing quality.

The advantages become clear as soon as the materials are fed in:

  • Regardless of whether the feed material is bulky hoses,
  • Production waste,
  • Start-up clumps or
  • Complete rolls of drip tapes

- the ISEC evo is extremely flexible in terms of material feed

Machine featuring degassing against moisture

Water is used in the quality control of drip tapes. This often makes it difficult to recycle irrigation hoses.

To counteract possible loss of quality in the recyclate, a recycling machine with extruder degassing is required. This configuration processes hygroscopic materials and plastics with a total moisture content of up to 4% or other impurities.

Machines with degassing technology remove moisture at two points.

  1. During reverse degassing, which takes place in the conical transition between the shredder and the extruder. Here, the material is heated, gently melted and moisture is degassed in reverse.
  2. The remaining moisture is then removed from the melt by means of highly efficient vacuum-assisted degassing.

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Would you like to find out more about recycling irrigation hoses?

We would be pleased to help you free of charge and without obligation.

Highly Flexible System for Recycling Irrigation Hoses

The ISEC evo can process a wide selection of different types and shapes of plastic:

  • Thin-walled tapes
  • Thick-walled pipes
  • Clumps
  • Whole rolls

Processing start-up clumps

The ISEC evo recycling machine can recycle clumps from the production of irrigation hoses. This enables later reuse of the material for the production of drip tapes and thick-walled pipes.

Success Story

Previously, one of PURE LOOP’s European customers used only new material in the production of irrigation hoses. With a view to possible cost minimization, they requested a trial using their own material at PURE LOOP's test center. During the trial, irrigation hoses (110 µm) in the form of rolls and blocks were recycled using the ISEC evo. In a subsequent 46-hour production test, the recycled pellets produced were added to the virgin material at a proportion of 10 percent. The prospective customer was impressed by the result. The knowledge that the high quality of the recyclate would allow it to be fed back into production led to them investing in PURE LOOP technology.

Read our article "The Best Recycled Pellets for Irrigation Pipes" to find out more about recycling irrigation hoses and pipes. Read now.




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