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  • Continuum: we came first... silently

    2013-10-07 - The last November it has been edit in one of the most important American magazine, Fluid Power Journal, an article dedicated to the Settima Continuum® pump as example of a pump for workplace noise reduction. Please find here the article:

    Fluid Power Product Focus:

    Continuum® Pump for Workplace Noise Reduction

    Reduction of noise in the workplace has become a necessity for many companies. By now most companies have recognized noise as one of the costs that weigh on the economics of their business. Noise pollution remains a serious problem to be solved for both stationary and mobile machinery and a true cost, owing to the corrective that are required, as hydraulic dumpers and noise insulation. The idea and the project originated from Mario Antonio Morselli, an Italian engineer, who had the vision of the helical rotors in continuous contact.

    SETTIMA FLOW MECHANISM, an Italian pump manufacturer, has developed the first "continuous contact" pump with helical rotors, capable of reaching almost imperceptible levels of noise, reaching an average of 52 dB (A) together with peak pressure performance over 250 bar.

    The Continuum pump is a unique, patented, helical rotor pump suitable for high pressures and for various applications where the absence of noise is necessary.

    The continuous meshing of the helical gears allows the removal of encapsulation and a very uniform flow resulting in a dramatic reduction of pulsations.

    Gear pump noise has two distinct origins, mechanical noise and hydraulic noise. The mechanical noise is what can be expected from any pair of gears. The hydraulic noise, however, is generated by the perturbations of fluid pressure through the pump. This noise and/or vibration comes from three basic components: 1) cavitation, 2) the peak pressures that arise from trapping of fluid between the top and the bottom of the tooth, and 3) the "ripple" or the flow pulsation during meshing that causes a pressure pulsation.

    Cavitation can cause serious noise in addition to structural damage of the mechanical components. This phenomenon is tied to the average speed of the fluid in the pipes and to local changes of speed due to throttling and/or sharp changes in size of the pipes, and also due internal friction of the fluid (viscosity).

    The pressure peaks that arise from entrapment of the fluid between the top and the bottom of the tooth are a serious problem for 'involute' gear pumps. Actually, there is a rotation phase when the fluid is no longer between the housing and the profile of the teeth but trapped between a pair of teeth moving away from each other. In this situation, during the inlet of the fluid, it causes a noise similar to cavitation. During the delivery phase the fluid, being it not very compressible, it reaches very high pressure spikes causing noise, vibration, and mechanical stress.

    The continuous contact helical Continuum® pump has solved these problems with sophisticated and efficient systems. The transport flow is perpendicular to the axes, similar to classic gear pumps, but the profile, specially developed and internationally patented, do not trap any volume since the profiles are helical and of continuous contact kind. The helical design of the profile plays the role of completing an overlap, making a gentle transmission of fluid movement minimizing the pulsation as far as possible.

    There is just one single point of contact between the profiles during rotation, which eliminates the pockets acting on the axial thrust washer, and eliminates any noise associated with this problem. With the pump gears in continuous contact, the hydraulic noise is much lower in the Continuum® pump compared to standard gear pumps, and also the noise of mechanical origin owing to the sophistication of profile and the accuracy of machining .

    The pump is particularly suitable for machine tools such as grinders, saws, lathes, milling machines, presses, machines for plastic injection, etc., as well as mobile transport equipment such as electric forklifts, and other electric lift trucks. They are also widely used in the marine industry where the low noise level on board of large yachts is required, as it is the absence of vibration. Even in non-industrial settings such as public buildings, the pump is used for various lifting equipment, car parking, and baling and compacting of waste (which often operate at night in towns), and ground-handling equipment.

    The pump is offered in the wider range of dimensions and options, starting from minimum displacement (4cc) up to large displacements (4,400cc), usually not available with standard gear pump programs. It has captured the imagination of the scientific and industrial communities. The Continuum pump has been chosen among the twenty best technical innovations by the Scientific Committee of the prestigious Hermes Award held during the last edition of the international trade fair Hannover.

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