Grippers were never designed to live in this environment much less operate accurately! Just outside of Birmingham, England there is a firm that makes valves for the automotive industry. What makes their valves special is that the seats are carbide. This allows the valves to operate hotter, faster and longer than their competitor's valves. While we can not describe the complete process because it is a trade secret we can give you an idea of what these grippers have to tolerate.
Each valve is held by a gripper as is is slowly rotated. During this rotation an ultra-fine carbide powder is metered on the seat. As this powder lands on the seat it is welded to the valve with a fusion welding torch. Still cherry red the the valve is then dropped into the out box.
There are two elements to this application that make it a nightmare for grippers:
Ozone - The welding process that is used created very high levels of Ozone. This is a molecule that consists of three Oxygen molecules rather than the stable pair. While Ozone is needed in the upper atmosphere it oxidizes everything it touches and is very dangerous. This gripper application takes place in an negative pressure hood due to the presence of ozone. Ozone therefore attacks the seals of the gripper and had disintegrated our competitor's seals in 30-days. The use of a positive purge though the gripper allowed the Magnum's life to be measured in months rather then days.
Powder - The carbide powder was as fine as face powder. It would suspend in the air if not properly controlled. While amazingly fine the powder is still sharp, hard carbide - a great lapping compound and nothing that you want on have on moving parts. What allowed the Magnum grippers polymer bearing to live in the presence of this powder is the positive purge that tended to clear it from the moving slides.
Give ZAYTRAN a really tough application for our Grippers and we will make it happen for you! In the picture all you can see is the fusion welding head though the darkened glass.
Call us at 440-324-2814 : FAX 440-324-3552
PO Box 1660 : Elyria, Ohio 44036 U.S.A.
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