Hydraulic cylinders are widely used for lifting heavy weights in industry. However, these tools can typically move heavy weights for only few meters. In such a hydraulic tool a driver liquid acts to push a piston through a cylinder. The liquid must be fully sealed within a chamber by a dynamic seal so it can be pressurised and creates a mechanical force to displace a piston and consequently lift a heavy mass.
The dynamic seal is the critical element in hydraulic cylinders. The cylinder must be perfectly machined to have a smooth surface so the dynamic seal can move with low friction while it seals the driver liquid. Considering the Hydraulic Storage borehole depth (500m) and diameter (8m) it can be appreciated that accurate machining is not practical.
Sealing performance is the main challenge for constructing a gigantic hydraulic cylinder. The machining requirement of the dynamic seal cannot simply be resolved by replacing the dynamic seal with a flexible pressure seal made of elastomers because of high friction, limits in material strength and integrity concerns.
Impressive engineering has been developing a novel pressure balanced dynamic seal mechanism to overcome the above great challenge. The theory behind this mechanism has been assessed and confirmed by the industry experts and experienced engineers.
A small scale prototype has been built for lab tests to be able to understand the system behaviour. The lab tests were successful and confirm the theory and functioning of the pressure balanced dynamic seals.
The novel technology has been filed by patent attorney expert internationally. UK patent has been granted by UK intellectual property office.