Technology: Nuclear researchers pump control into industry

日期:2019-02-28 07:20:12 作者:全纵锒 阅读:

By ROGER MILNE BRITISH engineers have begun to develop a unique range of flow control equipment without moving parts for use in process industries. The devices on offer – pumps, valves and controllers – rely on the emerging technology of power fluidics. Early versions of this equipment were developed by the UK Atomic Energy Authority, now called AEA Technology. They were designed for use in difficult and demanding applications in nuclear plants. One major customer is British Nuclear Fuels. It is planning to fit around 250 fluidic pumps to its giant reprocessing plant, known as THORP, which is currentlyunder construction at Sellafield. Now AEATechnology, keen to capture new nonnuclear business, has joined forces withAlpha Technical Services to market fluidicdevices for the chemical, biotechnicaland pharmaceuticals industries. Fluidic pumps (marketed under the name FLUIDTEC) have no seals or glands that can leak. The absence of these components also eliminates contamination: there are no routes left for contaminants to get in. Fluidic devices are particularly useful in systems handling delicate materials such as biological cell cultures,