The  component was displayed at the 2010 Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas.

The large capacity hydraulic pump has several components composed of a proprietary PEEK (polyetheretherketone) carbon composite and is designed to operate in deep water applications. The use of advanced composite materials was driven by the desire to minimise the deflections of the inner and outer barrel under service loading conditions to insure the annular piston seal performance was maximised. Other features of the design included optimisation of the composite/metal interface, inclusion of a washout port and the introduction of a metallic liner.

“By using a high-performance carbon fibre and PEEK matrix composite in conjunction with precise fibre placement technologies, we minimise water absorption, marine biofouling and weight while optimising the material construction to meet the demanding functional and form-fit requirements,” explains James Harty, vice president, Sales and Marketing, Automated Dynamics.

“The use of advanced composite materials has allowed us to redesign a machine component to operate at depths that challenge conventional materials designs,” reports Ronald B. Bucinell, Ph.d., P.E., Department of Mechanical Engineering, Union College, who conducted the finite element analysis of the component.

“It also meets all design objectives while maintaining industry accepted factors of safety and compatibility with mating components,” he says.