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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Magnetically Actuated Seal

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

Magnetically Actuated Seal
FTT proposes development of a magnetically actuated dynamic seal. Dynamic seals are used throughout the turbopump in high-performance, pump-fed, liquid rocket engines for a variety of purposes. The most common applications are in the lift-off seal (LOS), inter-propellant seal (IPS), and balance piston seals high-pressure orifice (HPO), low-pressure orifice (LPO), and inner diameter impeller shroud seal (eye seal). The system solution for conventional seals represents a compromise between the turbopump mechanical design, primarily flowpath, and secondary flowpath design that results in increased leakage, increased seal wear, and reduced balance piston load capacity that reduces performance, throttle-ability, thrust-to-weight, reliability, and operability. The magnetically actuated seal eliminates this compromise and provides significant improvement in performance, throttle-ability, thrust-to-weight, reliability, and operability. Phase 1 resulted in a significant advancement of the technology by demonstrating a magnetically actuated face seal in both ambient and cryogenic conditions, characterizing the seal and actuator performance, and quantifying the performance improvements for the turbopump and engine. Phase 2 will advance the technology from TRL 3 to 5. The technology is applicable to booster engines, in-space engines, and ascent/descent engines. More »

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