What happens when the flow rate in your hydraulic system increases beyond its specified function? Well, in such instances a hydraulic breach is the likely culprit and your system could be facing catastrophic failure. After all, when damage occurs to a hydraulic circuit, there is typically a fast flow of fluid towards the breach. The consequence is a rapid loss of fluid pressure leading to system failure and the potential for components such as actuators to collapse. This situation is undeniably dangerous in critical applications such as aerospace landing gear and brakes, high-lift systems, thrust reversers, engine air-bleed mechanisms and down-hole equipment for the oil industry.
Clearly, a safety feature is required to preserve power upstream of the breach and keep critical applications functioning when you need them most. And we have just the solution. Flow Fuses from The Lee Company prevent the sudden loss of fluid pressure in precision micro-hydraulic systems, and each one is individually designed to meet your specific requirements.
So how do they work? In truth, the operating principle is fairly simple. Our Flow Fuses function as normally-open check valves. As the flow rate increases beyond a pre-specified value across the valve, a ball or poppet shuts against the valve seat and stops the flow. Common valve sizing provides the typical system operating flow rate with minimal pressure loss when in the open position.
Crucially, in the event of a system breach, the fuse will sense an increase in flow rate and shut-off, protecting hydraulic power and functions upstream of the fuse. Our Flow Fuses can also function as a vent valve to purge trapped air or vapour from a fuel system during engine start-up, for example.
Offered in a variety of configurations and flow rates, we typically manufacture our Flow Fuses from stainless steel or MP35N nickel-cobalt alloy, but customisation is possible in line with specific requirements for system pressures up to 15,000 psi (1,034 bar). Insert-style Flow Fuses come in various diameters with the fused flow direction possible in forward and reverse. Cartridge-style variants are also available, as is a zero-leak version using an elastomeric seat and safety screen.
Whatever the application, we have a Flow Fuse that can elevate safety levels and prevent a highly undesirable outcome if a breach to your hydraulic system should occur.
To discover more about our Flow Fuses and how they can benefit your project, please get in touch.