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Small shock absorber handles big weight

Small shock absorber handles big weight

Farmington, MI--Smaller and faster: As machine builders focus on the needs of the next century, they're striving for smaller, faster machines.

The problem is, fast-moving mechanical systems typically need more space to decelerate, not less.

Using a new series of industrial shock absorbers, however, engineers may now have a way to meet both needs. Known as the SC(super2) Heavyweight Series, the new shock absorbers offer a jump forward in energy absorption capacity, without an increase in package size. The units can be used on rotary actuators and pneumatic slides on machine tools, material handling devices, and automation equipment.

The key to the new design is its stark departure from conventional shock absorber construction. Unlike conventional systems--which typically use an outer tube, inner tube, and piston--the Heavyweight Series combines the piston and inner tube in a single element. That's important, because the removal of the inner tube results in a much larger piston. And a larger piston, in turn, provides greater energy absorption capacity. The reason: Energy absorption is the product of the piston diameter and the force.

Combining the inner tube and piston, though, was no simple task. Engineers from ACE Controls Inc., designers of the new shock absorber, had to configure the so-called "piston tube" so it fulfilled two functions--pressure creation and pressure control. To accomplish that, they incorporated pressure control orifices in the piston tube.

The result is a unit that offers extraordinary improvements. A Heavyweight Series 3/4-inch-diameter shock absorber, for example, offers an energy-per-cycle rating of 620 inch-lb and an effective weight capacity of 4,300 lb. In contrast, a conventional 3/4-inch-diameter shock absorber offers energy-per-cycle of 300 inch-lb and effective weight of 450 lb. That's more than twice the energy-per-cycle of conventional designs and 9.5 times the effective weight.

Those vast improvements do entail trade-offs: Shock absorbers using the technology are more costly and less able to handle side loading. For users who want more capacity in a smaller package, however, the Heavyweight Series can provide a sorely needed solution.

Additional details...Contact Bob Kulka, ACE Controls, 23435 Industrial Park Drive, Farmington, MI 48335; (248) 476-0213.

Other Applications

- Machine tools

- Material handling systems

- Automation equipment

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