Design development for a new air tool
ATA Air Tools (ATA) manufactures and distributes pneumatic air tools to over 50 countries in major industries such as Aerospace and Automotive. Pneumatic tools are most commonly power by compressed air through a vane motor. This type of motor requires lubrication which can be problematic for many applications in particular in the aerospace sector.
A.T.A. Ltd sought assistance from PEM's Strategic Research Centre to develop an innovative air-driven motor which removes the need for lubricant and also achieves the required torque in the compact design.
Innovation Voucher Objectives
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
Rapid prototyping of key components
Product Format and Structure
Through the theoretical and CFD analysis, the project delivered a more advanced understanding of the performance of the motor in relation to:
Airflow through the turbine
Optimised turbine design
Options to control the natural rotational speed
The CAD modelling and rapid prototyping provided visual aids for manufacturing research and key components for performance testing. ATA now intend to build on this research in scaling the design to a range of air tool products.
"The work carried out by PEM has proved invaluable in the design of our latest high-speed air-driven turbine motor. The CFD analysis provided allowed us to experiment with various jet configurations these were then 3D printed by PEM enabling us to run the necessary power, torque and speed tests.
The process allowed us to optimise the motor output while learning a great deal about the flow and expansion of the air through the assembly. We look forward to working with PEM on further design projects into the future.
Hugh McManus, R&D Manager, ATA Engineering.