mechanical and fluid systems
Deployable Emergency Shutoff Device Blocks High-Velocity Fluid Flows
Deployable Emergency Shutoff Device Blocks High-Velocity Fluid Flows
How it works The device incorporates a metallic, variable-area cone-shaped mechanism to restrict the cross-sectional area of a pipe to throttle and control gas and liquid flow. The pointed shape allows easy insertion into a flowing pipe with minimal resistance. The device is anchored within the pipe using compression, lead screws, or pyrotechnic mechanisms when activated remotely. Actuators are used to mechanically change the device shape, which stops or controls pipe flow; with appropriate robotics, activation can be performed remotely. With proper pipe framing, nearly 100-percent flow blockage is possible. Rugged and strong, the device is well-suited for harsh environments and high fluid velocities and pressures. For the oil industry, the device can reduce the amount of escaping oil from a broken pipe while relief wells are drilled. The device can then be removed or used as a valve to measure the amount of flow from inside the pipe, much like a control valve. In the fluid handling industry, the device can be used with additional instrumentation as a variable area flow meter that can be set based upon flow conditions to enhance flow metering accuracy, control pressure losses, or control flow in a closed-loop feedback. Why it is better Millions of gallons of crude oil were released into the Gulf of Mexico during the seabed oil drilling catastrophe of 2010. Numerous strategies to stop or stem the oil flow (underwater vehicles, containment dome, cement seal top kill) proved unworkable before the well was finally capped. Even more controversial than the escaping oil was the inability to monitor and measure the oil flow while repairs were attempted. The NASA innovation can be left in place to permanently plug a pipe, or it can be removed after necessary repairs. Other repair strategies are not removable so permanently block pipe access when used. Also unique is the devices ability to control flow in a wide range (1-95 percent of the original flow) and to measure flow while repairs are made. The first of its kind, this NASA technology can stop, measure, and meter fluid flow from an open or broken pipe and is removable when it is no longer needed.
mechanical and fluid systems
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Variable-Aperture Reciprocating Reed (VARR) Valve
The VARR valve has been designed to provide a variable-size aperture that proportionately changes in relation to gas flow demand. When the pressure delta between two chambers is low, the effective aperture cross-sectional area is small, while at high delta pressure the effective aperture cross-sectional area is large. This variable aperture prevents overly restricted gas flow. As shown in the drawing below, gas flow through the VARR valve is not one way. Gas flow can traverse through the device in a back-and-forth reversing flow manner or be used in a single flow direction manner. The contour shapes and spacing can be set to create a linear delta pressure vs. flow rate or other pressure functions not enabled by current standard orifices. Also, the device can be tuned to operate as a flow meter over an extremely large flow range as compared to fixed-orifice meters. As a meter, the device is capable of matching or exceeding the turbine meter ratio of 150:1 without possessing the many mechanical failure modes associated with turbine bearings, blades, and friction, etc.
mechanical and fluid systems
Conical Seat ShutOff Valve
Floating Piston Valve
Instead of looking to improve current valve designs, a new type of valve was conceived that not only addresses recurring failures but could operate at very high pressures and flow rates, while maintaining high reliability and longevity. The valve design is applicable for pressures ranging from 15-15,000+ psi, and incorporates a floating piston design, used for controlling a flow of a pressurized working fluid. The balanced, floating piston valve design has a wide range of potential applications in all sizes and pressure ranges. The extremely simple design and few parts makes the design inherently reliable, simple to manufacture, and easy to maintain. The valve concept works with soft or hard metal seats, and the closing force is easily adjustable so that any closing force desired can be created. The fact that no adjustment is required in the design, ensures valve performance throughout valve life and operation. This valve has many unique features and design advantages over conventional valve concepts: - The largest advantage is the elimination of the valve stem and any conventional actuator, reduces physical size and cost. - It is constructed with only 5 parts. - It eliminates the need for many seals, which reduces failure, downtime and maintenance while increasing reliability and seat life. - The flow path is always axially and radially symmetric, eliminating almost all of the flow induced thrust loads - even during transition from closed to open.
mechanical and fluid systems
Low Separation Force Quick Disconnect Device
The Low Separation Force Quick Disconnect device uses an innovative seal arrangement and flow path to eliminate separation force from line pressure. A radial design ensures a low separation force regardless of line pressure. Ten holes around the internal seal cancel loads due to balanced pressure; thus, the central force exerted on the device is due to the springs fixed internally. The device also provides for additional optional characteristics including a self-aligning feature from a compliant mount and a self-sealing mechanism that keeps dust out of the device. The Low Separation Force Quick Disconnect device is designed to transport pneumatics and cryogenic fluid. Due to the low separation force and overall design, the system requires less heavy and high-strength support structures than conventional designs; the design permits lighter retention systems and reduces deflection variations. Aerospace specific uses of the invention include flight-to-ground, flight-to-flight and surface-system applications. Other uses of the invention include any mechanism in which fluid is being transferred from ground to a vehicle or another system, especially where a high line pressure is used.
Oxygen Fugacity Control Helps Simulate Extra-Terrestrial Environments
Accurately replicating relevant fO2 values in high pressure, high temperature experimentation is directly relevant to the study of the origins of the solar system and of life. The invention has already been used to produce fO2 environments relevant to natural material samples from the interior of the Moon, Earths deep crust, and Mars magma chambers. It may be further extended to high pressure, high temperature studies relevant to deeper planetary interiors. NASA's fO2 control system uses a double capsule approach, where the outer capsule is the metal of the fO2 buffer, and inside the bottom of the outer capsule is a layer of the oxide portion of the buffer. The inner capsule is a standard MgO capsule, which is used to contain the sample of interest. Various metal-oxide pairs were used for the oxide portion of the buffer; the fO2 defined by each pair was calculated using thermodynamic data. During proof-of-concept studies, samples were pressurized to 1 GPa and heated to 1400C and held for 6 hours before quenching to room temperature. NASA's fO2 control system was developed to enable high pressure, high temperature experimental studies of astromaterials at fO2 values relevant to the sample of interest. It may also be useful for the synthesis of materials where fO2 control is required (e.g., synthesis of crystal structures that might be stable under higher oxygen pressure). Further use cases may include mineral or melt syntheses, metal-silicate or mineral-melt element partitioning, and phase equilibria studies. This technology is readiness level (TRL) 6 (system/subsystem prototype demonstration in a relevant environment). The innovation is now available for your company to license. Please note that NASA does not manufacture products itself for commercial sale.
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