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Hydraulic Actuator for Valves in Brewery, Dairy and Pharmaceutical Industries (HYDRACT)
Start date: 01 Jun 2008, End date: 31 Jan 2011 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The overall project objective is the development of an innovative hydraulic actuator based on sterile water to operate sanitary valves with a primary application in the brewery, dairy, and pharmaceutical industries. The final product will have clear advantages to current pneumatic process machinery in these industries, both in terms of performance, food safety, and in particular with regard to energy savings. Technical barriers in the project are primarily linked to the use of water hydraulics to fulfill the requirements of hygienic systems as regards ease of cleaning, being crevice free, and not providing a source of biological or chemical contamination for the processed product; the assessment and development of materials and seal designs aimed at maximising hydrodynamic effects and minimising wear; and exploitation of the direct flow/time relation of hydraulics - as opposed to compressed air - for efficient control and surveillance of the actuator/valve system. Accordingly, project development activities are structured around tasks related to fluid engineering and the mechanical design of the actuator; sealing and coating; and sensoring and wireless RFID technology for the actuator control system.
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