Pipe Cleaning Machines – Special Systems for big components, profiles, coils


Firbimatic Metal Cleaning Division has been working proficiently for several years alongside major manufacturers of tubes, coils and metal profiles to develop some projects to consolidate the production of an interesting range of special  industrial customized cleaning systems  with  applications extended to the surface treatment of all type of components including piping production,  aerospace and military industry with closed-circuit system.

The systems built so far not only have an impressive hourly production output, because they are pre-arranged to work over 3 shifts and for more than 320 days a year, but also ensure and easily exceed the internal cleaning parameters of the parts, laid down by EN 723 (< 0.2 mg/dm2), using both perchloroethylene solvent and modified alcohol based solvents.

The operational principle is basically the same as that of standard systems, with the possibility to have the cycle entirely under vacuum, but is more flexible thanks to the modular design, which means that it can be adapted to the lay-out of the customer’s factory and can be integrated with existent production lines.



The cycle of pipe cleaning machine is totally automatic and it takes just one operator to merely load and unload the pipe bundles roughly every 20/40 minutes.

The Siemens PLC ET 200 SP, coupled with the PC or with the Siemens Touch-panel,  where alarms and functions can be viewed and controlled, provides a clear picture of the working conditions of the system, even remotely.

Once the upper hatch of the washing chamber is closed, the cycle starts with a prewashing phase in which hot solvent is sprayed by special bars and re-circulated at high pressure, to eliminate the contaminants from the outer parts of the pipes/profiles.

The parts are then soaked in hot solvent, which is re-circulated longitudinally, reinforced with the important alternated kinetic movement of the piece holder basket, which substantially improves internal cleaning of the pipes, even for diameters smaller than 4 mm.PIPE CLEANING MACHINES

The end of the two washing phases (external and internal) is followed by the direct vaporisation phase of the parts with solvent as a final touch and to prepare them for the drying phase.

Drying involves the further reduction of the pressure inside the washing chamber, which instantly causes the solvent inside to evaporate, even that inside the pipes, after which it is recovered in the refrigeration unit.

In the case of Coils cleaning, which can be up to 3 km long and with an internal diameter of up to 0.5 mm, each end needs to be positioned and fixed to a suitable structure to allow high pressure solvent washing recirculated inside, up to a pressure of 400 BAR.

Upon completion, in case of a perchloroethylene operated machine, the solvent crosses the active charcoal bed and its concentration in the vapours inside the washing chamber is then measured; the cycle ends when the value imposed by the relevant standard is reached. The cycle of cleaning machine takes roughly 30 minutes or so, based on the inside diameter of the tubes/coils and on their quantity.

The solvent is continually regenerated by the two powerful continuously running stills that regenerate the solvent periodically.


Dimensions of the pipes to be cleaned Up to 12 meters (longer pipes are also possible)
Load weight max. 2.5 t (with swinging system) – 5 T static
Solvent Perchloroethylene, Hydrocarbons or Modified Alcohol
Possible cleaning methods Pre-washing with hot solvent
Immersion with hot solvent
(with/without basket movement)
Vapour phase
Vacuum drying
Number of cycles/hour 1/3 based on the sequences chosen

Additional notes

  • The pipe cleaning machines require saturated steam at at least 5 bar throughout the cycle to be able to hold the solvent at the chosen temperature and for the distillation and carbon regeneration phases.
    For this purpose, the specifications and position of a feasible steam generator shall be established when defining the system.
  • Cooling water is also needed to condensate the distillation vapours and to cool down the refrigeration gas of the closed circuit of the integrated fridge group (water at 10 °C max.).

Pipe Cleaning Machine

Further information can be requested from the Sales department of Firbimatic Spa by writing to metal-cleaning@firbimatic.it.