Select

Responsive, Compact and Silent Micropump

Technology Overview

A company has developed a high-performance ultrasonic piezoelectric micropump. The multi award-winning micropump platform coupled with excellent development support enables their industrial, environmental and defence partner to develop new products that need tight pressure or vacuum control. The micropump weighs just 5 grams and offers ultra-fast, smooth and silent operation for a wide range of industries and applications. Joint developments would include technical cooperation or commercial cooperation with technical assistance, and licensing.

Technology Features & Specifications

The high-performance ultrasonic piezoelectric micropump makes use of advances in the field of non-linear acoustics. In contrast to conventional air pumping mechanisms (such as diaphragm and piston pumps), a disc pump does not rely on the bulk compression of air within a cavity. Instead the disc pump generates a high amplitude, high frequency acoustic standing wave within a specially designed acoustic cavity. A patented ultra-fast valve technology rectifies this standing wave to deliver pumped flow with a unique set of attributes:

  • Silent operation
  • Small size and light weightL just 5g (1/5 oz)
  • Exceptional pressure and flow
  • Ultra-fast (ms) response to set-point changes
  • Ultra-smooth flow
  • Full control flexibility, infinite turn down ratio

Different configurations offer peak flow of up to 1.35 l/min, vacuum up to -500 mbar and pressure up to >800 mbar. 

Potential Applications

 

Automotive and Aerospace Seating

Seating systems are growing in complexity as manufacturers look to incorporate additional safety features with improved comfort and performance. Conventional systems for lumbar support and massage systems use a single pump conected to a series of bladders via an array of valves. Owing to its ultrasonic operation, the micropump is silent and vibration free. This offers a greatly enhanced user experience and allows the pump to be positioned anywhere in the seat. This opens the option for a 'distributed pump' architecture, offering improved reliability through redundancy and reduced duty cycle. Each pump can be mounted to a corresponding bladder, removing the need for complex interconnecting pipework. The light weight of the pump (5g) is of importance to aircraft seating.

 

Ink Jet Printing

Traditionally a bank of eight or more printheads might be connected to a single air-pump, with a pulse-damper and/or an accumulator used to deliver a stable, consistent meniscus pressure. However, the physical size and complexity of such systems is a disadvantage. This micropump offers pulsation-free flow which means that dampers and accumulators are no longer required. Its small size also means that it can be integrated directly with an individual printhead, enabling fully independent bias pressure control and optimal printing system performance.

 

Other examples of industrial applications include:

  • Vacuum handling
  • 3D printing systems
  • Dispense systems
  • Water purification
  • Automated test equipment 

 

Environmental

The micropump is well placed to enable the development of systems such as gas samplers and detectors, laboratory analysers and particle counters. The ultra-smooth flow helps to improve the signal to noise (SNR) ratio, the sensitivity and the dynamic range. Applications include:

  • Environmental monitoring 
  • VOC monitoring
  • Leak detection
  • Water sampling
  • Portable and wearable monitors
  • Ion mobility spectroscopy
  • Particle counting
  • Monitoring in food processing
  • Laboratory instrumentation
  • Medical gas monitoring

 

Life Sciences / Medical

The micropump is enabling life science leaders to push the boundaries of their microfluidic and liquid handling systems, in pursuit of new and radical medical and diagnostics devices. The ultra-smooth flow coupled with precise and rapid control means that the pump is ideal for pressure driven flow control in many microfluidic applications, like droplet generation and bubble free reagent transfer in microfluidic chips. Medical devices that were once heavy and fixed are now small and portable, and increasingly wearable.

Applications include:

  • Droplet microfluidics
  • Liquid level sensing
  • Haematology - Blood gas analysis
  • Clinical chemistry analysis
  • Blood pressure monitoring
  • Wound care
  • Portable suction
  • Drug delivery 

Customer Benefits

The unique attributes of the micropump technology and the company's expertise in many sectors and applications allows for prospective customers to be highly innovative and push the boundaries of their product design. The company offers to assist new product development, under technical or commercial cooperation.

Make an Enquiry