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Resistant and safe bellow-sealed needle valves for a national space agency

This blog salutes all the space agencies working for space research & technology. AS-Schneider joins you at the cutting edge because we support the aerospace industry leaders and supply specific bellow-sealed needle valves for their space projects. 

Aerospace industry an inspiring theme

Space stations have been an inspirational subject since my childhood. My school took us to a planetarium center for an industrial visit. Of course, I also find space stations fascinating due to the sci-fi movies I watched when I was growing up.

Space exploration of the universe is at the frontier of science and technology. Space agencies and programs do essential and specific work. They increase our knowledge of the cosmos for the benefit of humanity. Any space program after completion may seem to be an effortless feat. In reality, it takes a lot of effort and years of planning to achieve this. Future readiness is not so easy and requires an edge in technology. 

Bellow-sealed needle valves

As already mentioned above, AS-Schneider is proud to be a part of space missions for one of the national space agencies. The article discusses this particular application with bellow-sealed needle valves. 

Here’s how it started:

A Research & Development scientist at a top space agency was working on a critical system. The project build required isolation valves and bellow-sealed needle valves. The isolation valves had to be at the near-standard specification, but there were also stringent specifications for the cryogenic bellow-sealed needle valves.

That scientist searched for companies that could meet these requirements. He managed to shortlist AS-Schneider along with another company. He gave the companies time to work and submit a technical quote. The expertise and high level of quality awareness for this solution were critical. For this application, only two companies proved capable of this. 

Stringent specifications for bellow-sealed needle valves

AS-Schneider received the proposal’s details, which included the terms of the process parameter, media, application, and other related information. It took us more than two weeks to offer a plan of action.

This application was a customized and special one. But in addition to our broad standard portfolio, our customers can also rely on our team of experts with decades of engineering experience. They develop individual, customized solutions that our customers can rely on – even in space.

At the end, we were able to provide a personalized solution from the design to the final bellow-sealed needle valve. The space program chose AS-Schneider’s winning proposal, and work began. 

Technical requirements in detail

In this case, the specification for the valves was very particular. The design had to have a high permissible leakage rate across the body and seat. There was also a compliance minimum to achieve. It had to produce 2,500 guaranteed cycles of operation for each of the bellow-sealed needle valves. 

Selection of the bellows is important

The actual difficulty was to choose the right bellows to be able to withstand these cycles of operation and also meeting other criteria’s of the requirement but our factory decisively designed the valves ensuring overall compliance. I know, this is difficult but possible as AS-Schneider has been working on such complicated requirements in many areas of application. 

Project recap

The project was challenging but possible. With a feeling of triumph, we filled the order.

I can say: "Mission accomplished!"

The space program received a supply of 100+ needle valves (bellow-sealed needle valves + gland-sealed needle valves). It also got 100+ manifolds (block & bleed type).

This mission was special because of our deep childhood memories. We especially felt it as we were close to the supply of these valves. It gave us all a feeling of reaching to another planet along with this space program.

Image Source: © Andrey Armyagov (Adobe Stock) & AS-Schneider