The glass producer Schott AG is a supplier for operators of plants for microalgae cultivation. However, his search for a reliable connection of the glass tubes used in this process is proving difficult, as they have to meet extensive requirements.
In his function as development supplier, Jäger has from the very beginning provided all the capacities available throughout the group in the areas of product and material development as well as toolmaking for this development cooperation. The cooperation between Jäger and Schott AG is characterized by the greatest transparency and openness, which is manifested in an absolutely innovative and yet simple product:
The Jäger pipe connector!
Easily mountable connection system wanted
The cultivation of technical microalgae is becoming increasingly important in industry. Species such as spirulina and chlorella are cultivated under solar radiation by means of photosynthesis in several thousand metre long glass tube structures. The assembly and disassembly of the previously used pipe clamps was time-consuming and therefore costly for the customer.
First and foremost, the Jäger pipe clamps have to connect the glass pipes used in a pressure-tight manner, whereby attention must be paid to the flow properties of the medium. In order to ensure smooth transport of the algae mass, only low flow resistance must be created at the connectors, as any unevenness within the system would cause turbulence.
The aim is to develop a modular and simultaneously scalable pipe connection system that can withstand the various stresses in use, such as reliable sealing, as well as the requirements of maintenance.
Comprehensive knowledge of material leads to innovation
The experts at Jäger Gummi und Kunststoff GmbH are developing a combination of rubber and plastic parts that can be attached and detached using special tools without the need for electrical devices, while at the same time withstanding both the pressure that arises and UV radiation.
Three simple and simultaneously ingenious components make the difference:
The well-founded material development of the Jäger pipe connector enables both UV resistance and food-grade application. These properties are essential to allow the micro algae, which are also used as food and animal feed, to grow under intensive solar radiation.Due to the material knowledge of Jäger Gummi und Kunststoff GmbH, an assembly of different components is created to achieve the set goal.
Quickly sealed instead of quickly broken
A central aspect of more effective maintenance of the photo bioreactors is the simple assembly and disassembly of the individual parts. This is faster than with the metal clamp used up to then, which required an additional and time-consuming screw connection.
A recurring problem of the assembly with metal clamps arose from the necessity of a perfectly tuned torque, which had to act on the screw connection. If the force applied was too low, the connection would not be reliably sealed, and if the contact pressure was too high, the pipes would be at risk of glass breakage. With the Jäger pipe connector, it was possible to reduce the glass breakage during installation without having to forego a permanent seal. The new connection achieves even more, because the now possible working pressure within the pipe system is up to 6 bar. Jäger thus ensures smooth and efficient operation of the systems.
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