mechanical and fluid systems
A coronal mass ejection (CME), associated with the April 11 solar flare, hit Earth's magnetic field on April 13, 2013 but the impact was weak so only high latitude aurora were visible.
Normally-closed (NC) Zero Leak Valve
The valve consists of two major sub-assemblies: the actuator and the flow cavity. The actuator is preloaded to 1,250 N by adjusting the preload bolt, pressing the Terfenol-D against the now-deflected belleville springs. When actuation is needed, either solenoid coil is charged in a pulsed mode, causing magnetostriction or elongation in the Terfenol-D which deflects the belleville spring stack, supplying an increasing load to the stem until the parent metal seal is fractured. Once fractured, the spring inside the bellows drives the bellows base downward, onto a raised boss at the top of the fracture plate. When fracture has occurred, the stem and its spring stack is left, separated from the actuator column. The Terfenol-D is unloaded and returns to its original length. The valve remains open due to the spring inside the bellows.
mechanical and fluid systems
Alaskas Pavlof Volcano: NASAs View from Space
Nitinol-Actuated Normally Open Valve Assembly (NOVA)
The nitinol-actuated Normally Open Valve Assembly (NOVA) is a type of zero-leak permanent isolation valve designed for liquid propellant service on in-space propulsion systems with operating pressures less than or equal to 500 psia. The NOVA is a drop-in replacement for the currently used pyrovalve. Prior to actuation, the valve allows propellant flow with a pressure drop of < 3 psi at a flow rate of 0.15 kg/s. A compressed piece of nitinol inside the valve is heated once actuation is desired, causing the nitinol to recover to its origin shape. This recovery closes the valve, creating a leak-tight seal. The valve is compatible with all storable propellants.
mechanical and fluid systems
front image
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
Magnetic Pressure Valves
The innovation was developed for low-pressure pneumatic testing of a vacuum chamber in the Kennedy Cryogenics Test Laboratory. Standard relief valves that utilize mechanical springs did not function adequately at the low pressure (16 pounds per square inch [psi]) required by the inventors during testing. The technology is an improvement over current pressure relief valves using spring mechanisms. Typical pressure relief valves are normally held closed by a spring. After a relief valves cracking pressure is reached, the spring is compressed and the valve opens to relieve excess pressure. The NASA valve eliminates the need for a spring by instead incorporating magnets to hold the poppet relief valve in the closed position. The use of magnets in a pressure relief valve exploits the exponential decay of the magnetic field between two magnets as they are separated. This leads to a faster acting valve that does not require an increasing force to open the relief valve after cracking pressure has been surpassed, as is the case in standard pressure relief valves.
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-Cost, Long-Lasting Valve Seal
NASA&#8217s technique simplifies the seat installation process by requiring less installation equipment, eliminating the need for unnecessary apparatus such as fasteners and retainers. Multiple seals can be installed simultaneously, saving both time and money. NASA has tested the long-term performance of a solenoid actuated valve with a seat that was fitted using the new installation technique. The valve was fabricated and tested to determine high-cycle and internal leakage performance for an inductive pulsed plasma thruster (IPPT) application for in-space propulsion. The valve demonstrated the capability to throttle the gas flow rate while maintaining low leakage rates of less than 10<sup>-3</sup> standard cubic centimeters per second (sccss) of helium (He) at the beginning of the valves lifetime. The IPPT solenoid actuated valve test successfully reached 1 million cycles with desirable leakage performance, which is beyond traditional solenoid valve applications requirements. Future design iterations can further enhance the valve&#8217s life span and performance. The seat seal installation method is most applicable to small valve instruments that have a small orifice of 0.5 inches or less.
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