Date of Award
Seal Team 6 took on the challenge of creating a functional and efficient seal testing bench for its sponsor, MagSeal. The main purpose of this new station was to test 10 seals simultaneously, as opposed to the single seal testing station currently in use by MagSeal. In addition to this goal, the new bench is intended to have simple and ergonomic user controls, easy-to-read pressure differential indicators, clear indicators for seal failure, and a testing time of 60 seconds or less.
The team had a clear direction to follow in conceptualizing a design, basing many aspects on the current system MagSeal has in place. 90 individual design concepts were generated by the team, many of which play a part in the final design of the bench. The team’s goal was to create an updated and advanced version of MagSeal’s testing system.
When deciding on the best mode of testing, the team chose to create a vacuum with MagSeal’s current in-house pressure system. This is achieved with an aspirator, which uses the Venturi effect to create a pressure differential, which in turn creates a vacuum within the system. A design analysis revealed that this method is feasible in creating a strong enough vacuum for testing, which is a function of the pressure output of Magseal’s in-house system. This method has the added benefit of eliminating the need for a vacuum pump, which could have added several hundred dollars to the price. The vacuum will be connected to 10 testing ports, which can then be individually sealed with a valve, to prevent any testing ports from interfering with each other during testing.
MagSeal was gracious in their financial requirements, stating that the functionality and efficiency of the testing station were of greater importance than the cost. Based on this, Seal Team 6 aimed to create an exceptional product first and foremost, while remaining mindful of the cost. Once an effective design was solidified, the next step was to try to minimize price if possible. A financial analysis was performed by the team, and the estimated price of the final design was deemed acceptable.
In future months, the team will be working on perfecting a prototype of the bench, finding and fixing any unforeseen issues, and further reducing the price of the bench without sacrificing performance, if at all possible. Seal team 6 intends to have a completed and fully functional product by the end of the second design semester.
Leatham, Maxwell; Pierce, Ethan; and Garcia, Steven, "Magseal Vacuum Test Bench" (2018). Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design Projects. Paper 49.