Partnering opportunity

A silent and compact micropump that is highly controllable and offers ultra-smooth flow and a rapid response to set point changes, offers innovation in industrial, environmental, medical and transport sectors.

Summary

This UK start-up works with entrepreneurial companies, both large and small, to bring disruptive new products to market. Their multi award-winning micropump platform coupled with excellent development support enables their industrial, environmental and defence partners to develop new products that need tight pressure or vacuum control. Joint developments would include technical cooperation or commercial agreement with technical assistance, and licensing.

Partner sought

Type of partner sought: OEM Manufactures and industry partners. Specific area of partner sought: developers of sampling equipment, inkjet printing systems or automotive and aircraft seating, medical devices, diagnostic systems, any sector that currently uses motor driven micropump technology. Role of partner sought: OEM, looking to integrate the technology into their device, under a license and commercial agreement with technical assistance. Subject to volumes and the individual business case, the technology can be modified further to meet specific customer requirements, under technical co-operation agreements.

Description

The UK company offers a high-performance ultrasonic piezo electric micropump which makes use of advances in the field of non-linear acoustics. In contrast to conventional air pumping mechanisms (such as diaphragm and piston pumps), a disc pump does not rely on the bulk compression of air within a cavity. Instead the disc pump generates a high amplitude, high frequency acoustic standing wave within a specially designed acoustic cavity. A patented ultra-fast valve technology rectifies this standing wave to deliver pumped flow with a unique set of attributes: • Silent operation • Small size and light weight; just 5g (1/5 oz) • Exceptional pressure and flow • Ultra-fast (ms) response to set-point changes • Ultra-smooth flow • Full control flexibility, infinite turn down ratio Different configurations offer peak flow of up to 1.35 l/min, vacuum up to -500 mbar and pressure up to >800 mbar. The unique features of this technology coupled with the performance detailed above is enabling innovation in a wide range of industries and applications. Environmental. The new micro pump is well placed to enable the development of systems such as gas samplers and detectors, laboratory analysers and particle counters. The ultra-smooth flow helps to improve the signal to noise (SNR) ratio, the sensitivity and the dynamic range. Applications include: • Ion mobility spectroscopy • Particle counting • PID sensing • Workplace monitoring • Side stream humidity measurement • Environmental monitoring • VOC analysis • Leak detection • Water sampling • Portable and wearable monitors • Asbestos monitoring and detection • Monitoring in food processing • Laboratory instrumentation • Medical gas monitoring Industrial. Automotive & Aerospace Seating: Seating systems are growing in complexity as manufacturers look to incorporate additional safety features with improved comfort and performance. Lumbar support and massage systems improve passenger comfort and combat driver fatigue. Conventional systems use a single pump connected to a series of bladders via an array of valves. Owing to its ultrasonic operation, the new pump is silent and vibration free. This offers a greatly enhanced user experience and allows the pump to be positioned anywhere in the seat. This opens the option for a 'distributed pump' architecture, offering improved reliability through redundancy and reduced duty cycle. Each pump can be mounted directly to a corresponding bladder, removing the need for complex interconnecting pipework. The light weight of the pump (5 g) is of importance in aircraft seating. Ink Jet Printing. Industrial inkjet systems are becoming increasingly complex, with the demand for higher throughput driving increased printhead counts and ever-higher lay-down rates. Such systems require high levels of reproducibility between printheads in order to avoid visual defects in the printed image. Traditionally a bank of eight or more printheads might be connected to a single air-pump, with a pulse-damper and/or an accumulator used to deliver a stable, consistent meniscus pressure. However, the physical size and complexity of such systems is a disadvantage. The new micropump offers a solution to these problems. Firstly, its pulsation-free flow means that dampers and accumulators are no longer required. Secondly its small size means that it can be integrated directly with an individual printhead, enabling fully independent bias pressure control and optimal printing system performance. Other examples of industrial applications include: • Vacuum handling • Automated test equipment • Bubble tubes and walls • 3D Printing systems • Massage systems • Leak detectors • Health and beauty systems • Coffee Machines • Pilot operated control valves • Water purification • Smoke generators • Dispense systems The UK company offers to assist new product development in the above sectors, under technical or commercial cooperation.

Advantages and innovations

The unique attributes of the micropump technology and the company’s expertise in many industrial sectors and applications allows for a collaborative approach that will enable prospective customers to be highly innovative and push the boundaries of their product design.

Development stage

Available for demonstration

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted


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