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Diverter Valve Simulation- Expertise Needed

Question asked by Brandan Philbrook on Jul 30, 2014
Latest reply on Aug 6, 2014 by Jared Conway

This project of mine has many improvements to be made, but the main one I wan't to focus on this post is the Simulation/Motion study. I wan't to simulate the drive process to predict the life cycle of the diverter with the indexing cyllinders being made of Alloy Steel, which impacts the ASTM A36 Steel Sprocket. I then want to choose a more suitable material for the sprocket to increase the life of the diverter.


If this is not possible, I am currently trying to animate the process, and am finding it difficult to set the indexing cyllinders so they will not penetrate the sprocket and instead rotate it. In the attatched file, I included a working analysis of my diverter. ANY help very much appreciated


Below is more information about the 4-Way Swivel Diverter that I modeled and machined from scratch. This diverter is used in various pneumatic conveying systems. Product flow goes into the single pipe, and out through one of the four pipes at the opposite end. The plate can be rotated (clockwise direction only) by a patent pending drive process 




Here is how it is controlled:




Below is the drive process:



A little more detail of operation:


1. The cylinder action is reversed by an electronic air solenoid (not shown), and the air cylinder pushes the rotary plate out (separating the sealing surfaces on the top and bottom of the valve).

2. When the rotary plate is pushed out, the two air cylinders on either side of the center shaft cylinder push the clutch disc into the rear of the sprocket to hold the entire rotating assembly from moving as a result of any imbalance in the rotating assembly.


3. The first bank of the miniature indexing cylinders (x4 of the x8 total) actuate and impact the sprocket and cause the sprocket to move. However, the moment the miniature indexing cylinders actuate, the clutch disengages the rear of the sprocket leaving it free to rotate by impact from the miniature indexing cylinders.


4. After the first bank of miniature indexing cylinders actuate. The clutch re-engages the back of the sprocket to hold the rotating assembly in position while the bank one indexing cylinders retract. Once the bank one index cylinders retract, bank two indexing cylinders actuate, pushing the sprocket further around. Again, at the same time the bank two cylinders actuate, the clutch disengages to allow rotation.


5. After the bank two cylinders actuate, the clutch re-engages to hold the rotating assembly in position. Bank two cylinders then retract.

6. Steps 2-5 repeat until the valve has moved to the desired port. The geometry and design of the drive sprocket allow the valve to rotate 30 degrees for every one cycle (actuation of bank one and bank two) of actuations.