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AKO Pinch Valves Overview



Case Study #4 - Automotive
Automotive Foundry Changing to AKO Pinch Valves to Gain Longer Life

Regular aluminum-body AKO pinch valves are used throughout a well know automotive foundry on their core machines. With foundry sand the valves have continuous exposure to the most physically-aggressive environment possible to imagine. Supplied in standard form with a polyester powder-coated finish, the new AKO valves have so far lasts 12 times longer than the competitors’ valve that AKO replaced. Right away the AKO valves, in addition to giving longer life expectancy, represented huge cost savings to the customer.

In their sand foundry the customer produces various chemically bonded sand molds to cast various parts including, cam shafts, brake drums and brake disks. The core machines are supplied with sand piped through 1 inch diameter AKO pinch valves.

The abrasive friction of the recycled sand will wear out most conventional valves. Pinch valves, however, have been used for many years in all kinds of abrasive applications. Due to the advanced sleeve technology clear bore and simplicity of the pinch valve, the life in certain applications can be up to 6 times longer than a butterfly valve.

The beauty of the AKO pinch valve is in its simplicity. Minimal parts of which only the sleeve is a wear part mean low cost maintenance. The valve has no mechanical parts, does not need an actuator and features a full bore without protruding obstructions.

The AKO pinch valve is operated by an air solenoid valve using compressed air at 30 psi higher than product line pressure. When control pressure is applied the fabric reinforced elastomer sleeve will close, giving a bubble tight shutoff. Pinch valve technology is that simple.

The AKO pinch valves are equipped with abrasion resistant natural rubber sleeves, and for this particular application are replaced approximately every 9 months.

Simple and clear instructions complete with photos allow users of the AKO pinch valve to complete replacement of sleeves in about 10 minutes for the 1 inch valve. Only replacing the sleeve and saving on all this time means a fraction of the maintenance cost compared with other valves on the market.

The secrets of the sleeve surprisingly are also in the elliptical body shape of the AKO Pinch Valve. The body shape ensures the sleeve folds in the same place every time it closes, this results in a better mechanical memory ensuring longer life. This feature is unique to the AKO pinch valve meaning longer life expectancy than competitive valves as well as a very important saving of up to 40% less air consumption when in operation.

This particular customer originally selected pinch valves because of their utter simplicity and reliability. No knives, gates, balls or bearings to plug up with sand. In this hostile environment most valves, regardless of type, will need frequent repair or replacement – and AKO pinch valves offer greatly reduced costs in the single and most important fact, that it keeps working where other valves will need replacing. Sand transfer and mixing can therefore be carried out on a more consistent basis helping maintain the best possible production rates.

For more information on AKO pinch valves and accessories please call +614.873.8995

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