Pressure Intensifiers and Boosters Information
Pressure intensifiers are used to increase the pressure of hydraulic or pneumatic fluids in pressurized systems. They circulate fluid through chambers to achieve a desired pressure, usually between 50,000 psi and 100,000 psi. Pressure intensifiers consist of cylinders of different diameters with pistons that are connected by a rod. In double piston-cylinder devices, fluid is pumped into the larger cylinder and then expelled from the smaller cylinder at a higher pressure. To maximize efficiency, the larger piston is fitted with an o-ring. The smaller piston is lapped to a close fit. Typically, pressure intensifiers that produce higher pressures are built with heavier cylinders and pistons. Some pressure intensifiers are driven by an electric motor. Others are driven by a pressurized fluid or gas. Though not designed with high volumetric capacities, pressure intensifiers provide a simple and economical way to raise fluid pressures.
Performance specifications for pressure intensifiers include maximum output pressure, pressure intensification factor, maximum inlet flow, and maximum outlet flow. Maximum output pressure is measured in pounds per square inch (psi) and varies widely among devices. The pressure intensification factor is a ratio that describes the maximum pressure increase delivered to a working fluid. For example, pressure intensifiers with a 10:1 pressure intensification factor can increase the pressure of a 15,000 psi fluid stream to 150,000 psi. Because pressure intensifiers are designed for high pressure / low flow applications, maximum inlet flow and maximum outlet flow are relatively low amounts.
Product specifications for pressure intensifiers include piston travel, inlet bore size, outlet bore size, and fluid compatibility. Piston travel, the full range of motion for the intensifier piston, is measured in English units such as inches (in) or metric units such as centimeters (cm). Inlet bore size is the diameter of the bore through which low-pressure flow enters the intensifier. Outlet bore size is the diameter of the bore through which high-pressure flow exits the intensifier. Some pressure intensifiers are designed to raise the pressure of oil-based, water-based, synthetic, or blended hydraulic fluids. Others are designed to pressurize air, gas, methanol, or automotive brake fluid. Air-hydraulic tandem devices also pressurize air, but use hydraulic oil as a buffer to obtain smoothness of operation.