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Flow meters take the pressure

Rich Little, the chief engineer at Hedland Flow Meters, doesn't do impersonations of famous people, but he does design the company's flow meters. His company's new line of flow meters monitor and measure flow rates of compressed air and other gases. The devices verify that the fluids deliver proper ratings for applications involving pneumatically actuated cylinders used in hand tools, production and packaging machinery, and injection molding machines. "The new flow meters use stainless steel to increase the pressure rating in applications where pulsating systems might present a fatigue problem," says Little. The direct-reading meters are rated at 1,500 psi for the stainless steel version. Their accuracy is plus or minus 2% and repeatability is plus or minus 1%. "We also increased the length of our reading scale and made it linear," he says. "The scale is now behind the pointer and it's much easier to read."

Hose tackles positive and negative pressure

Newflex is spiral-reinforced hose from New Age Industries for both pressure and vacuum applications. The hose is food-grade, with non-toxic ingredients conforming to FDA and USDA standards. "Its PVC construction makes it good for applications in food and beverage, pharmaceutical, and other industries where vacuum and pressure are used," says Gregg Donovan, a NewAge technical specialist. The hose resists crushing and kinking, but remains flexible. Its vacuum rating is 28 in. Hg. Inside diameter sizes range from 3/8 to 4 inches. The company offers a choice of connectors and clamps for the hose.

Short-stroke pistons are hexagonal

"The pistons in most cylinders are round, so they are free-spinning and rotate," says Justin Hampton, who works in the engineering department at Mack Corp. The company introduced a new line of pneumatic cylinders that have hexagon-shaped pistons. "It won't spin off if a side load is applied to it," explains Hampton. "Anything mounted to it stays put." The cylinders are used in industrial machinery applications requiring controlled angular orientation of translating motion. The cylinders operate on standard plant air in single-acting, spring-return mode. Increment strokes are one-tenth of an inch. The cylinder is available with optional mounting configurations and rod ends with external threads.

Air regulator provides precise control

Clippard's MAR-1 air regulator product line has new, redesigned range springs for precision control of pneumatic applications, especially in medical products where precise flow adjustment of fluids going to patients is important. The previous range spring worked at 0-100 psi only. The new series of regulators has spring ranges of 0-10, 0-20, 0-30, 0-40, 0-50, 0-60, and 0-70 psi. "With our old springs, eight turns of the adjustment knob reduced pressure from 100 to 0 psi, or 12.5 psi per turn," says Rich Boutell, the engineering manager at Clippard Instrument Laboratory, Inc. "With the new springs, you get adjustments of 1.25 psi per turn." he says. The regulators are available with either screw adjustment or plunger control in relieving and non-relieving versions.

Valve has unique shut-off design

The Tube-O-Matic valve from Lexair uses pneumatic pilot pressure for opening and closing on an airfoil center coil. Valve closure requires only 10 psi over line pressure. "Generally, a pinch valve doesn't have a center core," says George Allen, vice-president of Lexair. "We have a center core that reduces deflection on the sleeve, which helps increase the life of the valve." The valve is bi-directional, allowing fluid flow in both directions. Its maximum working pressure is 250 psi for applications in food and beverage, marine, machine tools, and chemical processing. The valve is also suitable for hydraulic applications. Available port sizes range from 1/4 to 2-1/2 inches. The maximum flow rate is 1,100 gpm.

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