Pioneering vane seal manufacturing method gives cost and performance benefits to customers

Pioneering vane seal manufacturing method gives cost and performance benefits to customers

Pioneering vane seal manufacturing method gives cost and performance benefits to customers

Busak+Shamban advances in vane seal design and manufacture has helped to make possible the viability of using rotary vane actuators across a wide range of engineering applications.

The breakthrough in the effective and economic development of vane seals, for Busak+Shamban, came about through a pioneering development of an innovative method for stamping sintered Turcon® PTFE plates. This process replaced high-cost milling, previously required to achieve the rectangular seals with razor-sharp edges, essential to achieving sealing integrity within rotary actuator applications.

Rotary vane actuators have an increasing diversity of use within contemporary engineering design including the control of aircraft wings flaps, anti-roll suspension systems on high-performance premium cars, and now, within a new generation of machine tools, such as multi-directional tube bending equipment.

Stainless steel tube bending for marine and architectural fittings, a typical new machine tool application using rotary vane actuators with vane seals.

The majority of actuators are designed with one or two vanes but versions are available with three or more vanes. In a two vane rotary actuator, the piston, which operates within linear hydraulic cylinders, is replaced by a rotor with two vanes attached. When fluid pressure is applied to two of the four working chambers, the actuator turns, necessitating perfect sealing to prevent leakage across the chambers. This type of seal is called a 'vane seal'.

Effective sealing is a challenge, as the shape to be sealed is rectangular and the four corners of the rectangular seals must be razor-sharp. In the event of there not being a perfectly sealed surface, sealing integrity may be compromised as liquid could leak from one working space to another. It was thought the only effective method of producing these sharp edged rectangular seals was through a high-cost milling process.

An alternative concept proposed to reduce production costs and increase yield was to stamp sintered PTFE plates to the shape of the seal. Following attempts to achieve this by one of Europe?s leading stamping companies, Busak+Shamban turned to their own production facility in Denmark, where vane seals with razor sharp edges were successfully produced using Busak+Shamban proprietary Turcon® PTFE material. By utilising this high performance material, sealing integrity was ensured at both room temperature and extremes, ranging from ?40°C to well above +100°C, and at pressure exceeding 150 bar.

This latest manufacturing advances are providing distinct cost and performance benefits to customers and extending the potential applications for rotary vane actuators in many areas of industry.