A novel approach to low maintenance actuator-less valves.
NASAs John C. Stennis Space Center is soliciting partners interested in the commercial application of a moveable valve for controlling flow of a pressurized working fluid. This valve consists of a hollow, moveable floating piston pressed against a stationary solid seat, and can use the working fluid or an external pressure source to seal the valve. This open/closed valve has a novel balanced piston so it can be designed to always seat with the same amount of force allowing the use of metal-to-metal seats as well as soft seats. Additionally, this valve design, even when used with large, high-pressure applications, does not require large conventional valve actuators, and the valve stem itself is eliminated. Actuation is achieved with the use of small, simple solenoid or hand valves. This design also eliminates the need for many seals used with existing ball valve and globe valve designs, which also commonly cause failure. Coupled with the elimination of the valve stem and conventional valve actuator, this valve design reduces downtime and maintenance costs, while increasing valve reliability and seat life.