Cameron Spring Elimination Challenge

Photo of Katherine Palmerton, Kellie Templet, Amanda Thomas Students: Katherine Palmerton, Kellie Templet, Amanda Thomas

Sponsor: Cameron

Date: Spring 2011

Requirements:
The solution must operate on land as well as below sea. The design will be exposed to high temperature and high pressure conditions. The design must be scalable for various applications. The design solution must be able to change the valve position with an internal line pressure at 5000 psi and at 5000 feet below sea level. The system needs to both provide valve actuation as well as return the valve to the fail-safe position in a power loss situation. The final mass-manufactured design must cost less than 200 dollars.

Problem:
Our goal was to design a spring-less actuator to control valve position with improved size and cost-efficiency, and reduced actuation force without compromising functionality.

Solution:
The team decided that the best concept from the Fall team's concept generation was a gas spring design. We embodied the design through detailed research and analysis and produced a prototype for Cameron. Leakage was the most important failure mode that the team considered, and a detailed study and material selection was performed. The gas spring is 18 percent smaller in height than its mechanical spring counterpart. The design also has the potential to reduce the required actuation force. At this point, the team recommends testing to establish proof of concept and to determine the leakage rates of the seals. This will establish whether the gas spring is a viable replacement for the mechanical spring.

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