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Hermetically Sealed Hydraulic Systems

By April 27, 2022 December 30th, 2022 No Comments

Customers are increasingly turning to trusted suppliers to not only provide discrete fluid control components, but to design and manufacture complete integrated liquid delivery systems. Relying on this approach provides the customer with three crucial benefits: their engineering team can focus on product design, the procurement group can purchase a complete turn-key system rather than individual components, and the manufacturing group can install a fully assembled, tested and warranted system rather than build it in-house. All of these benefits roll up to significant cost and labor savings for the customer.

Recently, one of Valcor’s valued customers requested a novel, custom-designed hydraulic delivery system. The system is designed to provide the flow-controlled delivery of hydraulic or other fluid (process media) to a device downstream, in a one-time use. The customer required a system that is loaded with the process media (liquid) at the assembly level, thereby saving integration time and effort. The fluid delivery system must be shelf-stable for 20 years or more after manufacture; this requires that the entire system be hermetically sealed against internal and external leaks. The nitrogen cylinder providing the push gas is also sealed, with a pyrotechnic bottle opener employed to puncture the seal on demand and allow pressure-regulated nitrogen to flow to the accumulator headspace. The schematic of the system is shown below:

Flow of the process media is controlled two ways; via a pressure regulator on the headspace push gas, and a fixed orifice downstream.

The system includes a burst disc, to ensure the liquid does not leak during the 20 year life of the system.

The accumulator used here is an edge-welded bellows design, providing extreme sensitivity for low delivery pressures. A piston-style accumulator can be substituted to provide higher delivery pressures, if needed. The size of the accumulator is tailored for the volume of liquid required during the operation of the customer’s device. This system is flexible, and can be easily adaptable to many different liquids, providing maximum flexibility for current and future needs.

Should the application require varying media pressure during use, a pulse-width modulated solenoid valve would replace the pressure regulator on the pressurization gas. If needed, a pressure transducer could provide closed-loop feedback to the process control system for precise pressure control.

Custom Systems and Solutions are part of our DNA. Our customers are increasingly asking our Application and Design Engineers to analyze their systems as part of collaborative approach to the component design and development process. Using our 70-year plus fluid control component and system experience and product portfolio, we frequently recommend changes to improve the performance and reliability of the customer’s system, and often end up redesigning and manufacturing a part or all of it as a value-added turnkey package.

We do the hard stuff! May we do this for you?

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