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Experimental Studies of Sealing Mechanism of a Dismountable Microsystem‑to‑Macropart Fluidic Connector for High Pressure and a Wide Range of Temperature
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Microsystems Technology. (Ångström Space Technology Centre (ÅSTC))
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Microsystems Technology. (Ångström Space Technology Centre (ÅSTC))
2010 (English)In: Advances in Mechanical Engineering, ISSN 1687-8132, E-ISSN 1687-8140, Vol. 2010, article id 712587Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

As fluidic microelectromechanical devices are developing and often attached to, or embedded in, large, complex and expensive systems, the issues of modularity, maintenance and subsystem replacement arise. In this work, a robust silicon connector suitable for high-pressure applications – likely with harsh fluids – in the temperature range of +100 to –100°C is demonstrated and tested together with a stainless steel nipple representing a simple and typical macropart. With a micromachined circular membrane equipped with a 5 μm high ridge, this connector is able to maintain a leak rate below 2.0´10-8 scc/s of gaseous helium with a pressure of up to 9.7 bar. Degradation of the sealing performance on reassembly is associated with the indentation of the ridge. However, the ridge makes the sealing interface less sensitive to particles in comparison with a flat reference. Most evaluation is made through so called heat-until-leak tests conducted to determine the maximum working temperature and the sealing mechanism of the connector. A couple of these are followed by cryogenic testing. The effect of thermal mismatch of the components is discussed and utilized as an early warning mechanism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Hindawi , 2010. Vol. 2010, article id 712587
National Category
Other Materials Engineering
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in Materials Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-120366DOI: 10.1155/2010/712587ISI: 000208314200001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-120366DiVA, id: diva2:303216
Available from: 2010-12-23 Created: 2010-03-11 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Microsystem Interfaces for Space
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Microsystem Interfaces for Space
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Microsystem interfaces to the macroscopic surroundings and within the microsystems themselves are formidable challenges that this thesis makes an effort to overcome, specifically for enabling a spacecraft based entirely on microsystems. The NanoSpace-1 nanospacecraft is a full-fledged satellite design with mass below 10 kg. The high performance with respect to mass is enabled by a massive implementation of microsystem technology – the entire spacecraft structure is built from square silicon panels that allow for efficient microsystem integration. The panels comprise bonded silicon wafers, fitted with silicone rubber gaskets into aluminium frames. Each module of the spacecraft is added in a way that strengthens and stiffens the overall spacecraft structure.

The structural integrity of the silicon module as a generic building block has been successfully proven. The basic design (silicon, silicone, aluminium) survived considerable mechanical loads, where the silicon material contributed significantly to the strength of the structural element. Structural modeling of the silicon building blocks enables rapid iterative design of e.g. spacecraft structures by the use of pertinent model simplifications.

Other microsystem interfaces treats fluidic, thermal, and mechanical functions. First, solder sealing of microsystem cavities was demonstrated, using screen-printed solder and localized resistive heating in the microsystem interface. Second, a dismountable fluidic microsystem connector, using a ridged silicon membrane, intended for monopropellant thruster systems, was developed. Third, a thermally regulated microvalve for minute flows, made by a silicon ridge imprint in a stainless steel nipple, was investigated. Finally, particle filters for gas interfaces to microsystems, or between parts of fluidic microsystems, were made from sets of crossed v-grooves in the interface of a bonded silicon wafer stack. Filter manufacture, mass flow and pressure drop characterization, together with numeric modeling for filter design, was performed.

All in all this reduces the weight and volume when microsystems are interfaced in their applications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2006. p. 38
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 198
Keywords
Engineering physics, microelectromechanical system, interface, microfluidics, nanosatellite, space, microsystems, filter, valve, MST, MEMS, Teknisk fysik
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-6954 (URN)91-554-6595-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-06-07, Siegbahnsalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Polacksbacken, Uppsala, 10:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2006-05-16 Created: 2006-05-16 Last updated: 2011-06-15Bibliographically approved
2. Fluidic Microsystems for Micropropulsion Applications in Space
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fluidic Microsystems for Micropropulsion Applications in Space
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Spacecraft on interplanetary missions or advanced satellites orbiting the Earth all require propulsion systems to complete their missions. Introducing microelectromechanical systems technology to the space industry will not only reduce size and weight of the propulsion system, but can also increase the performance of the mission.

Fluid handling systems are used in chemical and electric propulsion. Some components incorporated in a fluidic handling system are presented and evaluated in this work.

Microsystems are very sensitive to contamination. Reliable, robust, and easily integrated filters were modeled, manufactured, and experimentally verified.

A fluid connector, designed to withstand large temperature variations and aggressive propellants was manufactured and characterized. Similar designs was also be used as a thermally activated minute valve.

The feasibility of a cold gas system for precise attitude control has been demonstrated. Steps towards improving the performance (from specific im-pulse 45 s) have been taken, by the integration of suspended heater elements.

For electric propulsion, two thermally regulated flow restrictors have been characterized. These devices can fine-tune the propellant flow to e.g. an ion engine.

A single-use valve using a soldered seal has also been successfully dem-onstrated within a pressure range of 5 to 100 bar.

The microsystem-based propulsion systems of tomorrow’s spacecraft need to be demonstrated in space, in order to gain necessary credibility.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2006. p. 34
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 223
Keywords
Engineering physics, microelectromechanical systems, MEMS, MST, microsystem, microfluidics, silicon, spacecraft, propulsion, space technology, Teknisk fysik
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-7148 (URN)91-554-6655-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-10-06, Polhelmssalen, Ångströmslaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 09:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2006-09-15 Created: 2006-09-15 Last updated: 2013-09-26Bibliographically approved

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