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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
SCROLL TYPE APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING SUCH A SCROLL TYPE APPARATUS AND SEAL FOR SUCH A SCROLL TYPE APPARATUS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/161488
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
Method for manufacturing a scroll type apparatus, characterized in that said method comprises the following steps of: - providing an end plate (1) with a spiral element (2) provided thereon; - manufacturing a tip seal (4) and/or a dust seal by means of additive manufacturing; - providing said manufactured tip seal (4) and/or dust seal in a mounting groove (3) on the spiral tip (2' ) and/or the end plate (1), respectively. Seal for use in a scroll type apparatus, characterized in that said the seal (4) is being manufactured by means of additive manufacturing techniques.

Inventors:
GALLANT JORIS DOMINICK C (BE)
VAN MIEGHEM LUC (BE)
STOOP KOEN (BE)
MATHYS WIM JAN L (BE)
SEGERS JOZEF MARIA (BE)
BUYL PETER JAN J (BE)
Application Number:
BE2016/000015
Publication Date:
October 13, 2016
Filing Date:
April 07, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ATLAS COPCO AIRPOWER NV (BE)
International Classes:
F04C18/02; F04C27/00
Foreign References:
US0801182A1905-10-03
BE1010916A31999-03-02
US20140234149A12014-08-21
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
VAN VARENBERG, Patrick et al. (Arenbergstraat 13, 2000 Antwerpen, BE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims .

1. - Method for manufacturing a scroll type apparatus, characterized in that said method comprises the following steps of:

- providing an end plate (1) with a spiral element (2) provided thereon;

- manufacturing a tip seal (4) and/or a dust seal by means of additive manufacturing;

- providing said manufactured tip seal (4) and/or dust seal in a mounting groove (3) on the spiral tip (2') and/or the end plate (1), respectively.

2. - Method according to claim 1, characterized in that said step of manufacturing the tip seal (4) and/or dust seal includes adding two or more different materials (a,b).

3. - Method according to claim 2, characterized in that said step of manufacturing a tip seal (4) and/or a dust seal comprises the steps of:

- providing a first layer (5) of a first material (a); and

- subsequently providing a second layer (5) of a second material (b) .

4. - Method according to claim 3, characterized in that said first material (a) has a greater hardness than said second material (b) .

5. - Method according to claim 4, characterized in that said step of providing said tip seal (4) and/or dust seal in said mounting groove (3) comprises placing the tip seal (4) and/or dust seal such that the second, softer material (b) , is directed upwardly such that it contacts the other, co-operating scroll member in the entirely assembled state of the scroll type apparatus .

6. - Method according to claim 2, characterized in that said two materials (a,b) have a different color.

7. - Seal for use in a scroll type apparatus, characterized in that said the seal (4) is being manufactured by means of additive manufacturing techniques .

8. - Seal according to claim 7, characterized in that said seal (4) comprises two or more different materials (a,b) .

9. - Seal according to claim 8, characterized in that said different materials (a,b) show a different color.

10. - Seal according to claim 7, characterized in that said seal (4) at least partially shows a variable height.

11. - Seal according to claim 10, characterized in that said seal (4) is provided with a height variation pattern.

12. - Seal according to claim 7, characterized in that said seal (4) at least partially shows a variable width.

13. - Seal according to claim 12, characterized in that said seal (4) at least partially shows a width variation pattern.

14. - Seal according to claim 7, characterized in that said seal (4) is hollow on the inside.

15. - Seal according to claim 7, characterized in that said seal (4) shows a variable profile along its length.

16. - Seal according to claim 7, characterized in that said seal (4) comprises bosses (11) and/or cut-outs (12).

17. - Seal according to claim 7, characterized in that said seal (4) comprises an elastic structure, which is configured such that a good sealing can be maintained permanently.

18. - Scroll type apparatus, characterized in that it comprises a seal (4) according to claim 7.

19. - Scroll type apparatus, characterized in that it is made according to the method of claim 1.

Description:
Scroll type apparatus and method for manufacturing such a scroll type apparatus and seal for such a scroll type apparatus .

The invention relates to a scroll type apparatus and more particularly to a scroll type apparatus provided with an axial seal .

Scroll type apparatus are well known, for example as described in U.S. patent No. 801 182, which describes a scroll type apparatus with two scroll members, each having an end plate and a spiroidal or involute spiral element provided thereon. In operation of such a scroll type apparatus, one of the cooperating scroll members (rotor) is moved relative with respect to the other scroll member, which is fixed (stator) in such a way that at least one pair of fluid pockets is sealed off between the respective scroll members. During the relative motion of the scroll members, said fluid pockets will become larger or smaller, depending on the rotational direction of the orbiting motion, thereby acting as a scroll expander or a scroll compressor, respectively.

A known problem in scroll type apparatus is the axial sealing of the scroll members with respect to each other, and more specifically, the axial sealing of the fluid pockets. Indeed, one of the biggest losses in a scroll type apparatus consists of the leakage of gas from one fluid pocket to another, over the spiral tips. In order to minimize these losses, it is known to provide the spiral tips with grooves and to mount so-called tip seals in these grooves. An example of a scroll type apparatus provided with a tip seal is described in Belgian patent No. 1.010.916 in the name of Atlas Copco Airpower N.V., the description of which patent is incorporated in this application in its entirety.

Additionally, an dust seal is usually provided in order to close the gap between the fluid pockets and the atmosphere, which dust seal is placed in a mounting groove between the outer compression chamber and the atmosphere. An example of a dust seal is described in U.S. patent application No. 2014/0234149 Al.

Known manufacturing methods of the tip seals and dust seals do not allow for a great freedom in material or shape choice. The present invention aims at providing improvements to scroll type apparatus, to provide an improved method of manufacturing a scroll type apparatus and to provide an improved seal for a scroll type apparatus.

To this end, the invention relates to a method according to claim 1 for manufacturing a scroll type apparatus.

The invention further relates to an improved seal according to claim 7 for use in a scroll type apparatus.

Additionally, the invention relates to a scroll type apparatus according to claim 18 and/or 19. An important advantage of the invention is that it provides a great freedom in material, combination of materials and/or properties or the shape of the tip seal and/or the dust seal.

Additionally, the invention allows for usage of a much broader spectrum of materials than know manufacturing methods of scroll type apparatus .

Also, the invention results in that ยท higher tolerances can be achieved, which, on its turn, can even help to reduce the manufacturing costs.

Also the invention allows to arrive at different shapes of tip seals and/or dust seals, which cannot be arrived at using know manufacturing methods.

With the intention of better showing the characteristics of the invention, hereafter some preferred embodiments of a scroll compressor according to the invention and of a method for manufacturing a scroll compressor and seal for a scroll compressor are described, reference being made to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

Figure 1 schematically represents a possible step of a method according to the invention, whereby a tip seal according to the invention is provided in a mounting groove provided on a spiral tip;

Figure 2 represents a cross sectional view according to line II-II in figure 1; and Figures 3 to 9 show cross sectional views of possible embodiments of a tip seal or a dust seal according to the invention;

Figure 10 represents a longitudinal section according to line X-X in figure 9.

Figures 1 and 2 show a part of a scroll member with an end plate 1 on which a spiral 2 has been provided, the tip 2' of said spiral 2 being provided with a mounting groove 3 for mounting a tip seal 4. According to a particular aspect of the invention, said tip seal is being manufactured by means of additive manufacturing techniques. Additive manufacturing is a process of joining materials to make objects, preferably from 3D model data, usually, but not limited to, layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing techniques as described in the ASTM F2792-12a) . Additive manufacturing refers to a category of manufacturing methods, for example power bed fusion which is an additive manufacturing process in which thermal energy selectively fuses regions of power bed. Direct energy deposition is an additive manufacturing process in which focused thermal energy is used to fuse materials by melting as they are being deposited. Multiple technologies qualify for the invention .

It is clear that all kinds of materials can be used, e.g., but not limited to polymers. According to one option, a combination of materials can be used to manufacture the tip seal and/or a dust seal of the scroll type apparatus. In particular, a method according to the invention can include the step of building the tip seal and/or dust seal of two or more layers 5 from a different material, e.g. materials a and b in figure 3. Also, different layers 5 can be made in different color, so as to allow to visualize the wear of the tip seal 4 and/or dust seal. In one particular embodiment, a softer material is disposed on top of a harder material and the seal 4 is provided in the mounting groove 3 so that the softer layer is directed to, and in use is in contact with, the opposing, co-operation scroll member. In cross-sectional view, one layer 5 might show a triangular shape 6 and might be mounted such that the base 7 of the triangle 6 forms the lowermost or the uppermost layer 5 of the tip seal 4 and/or dust seal. According to a particular aspect, the alteration of material can also be stretched in the longitudinal direction of the spiral. In other words, it would be possible for instance to provide a soft and/or more flexible material at the outside spirals (or at in inlet side in case of a spiral compressor), whereas at the inside spirals (which are located at the outlet side in case of a compressor) use is made of a more wear resistant and/or more temperature resistant material.

Moreover, according to a particular aspect of the invention, a combination of materials can all the same be implemented in the direction of the height as well as in the longitudinal direction . According to particular variants of a tip seal 4 and/or dust seal according to the invention, said seal can show variable height along its length and/or width.

Additionally or alternatively, the tip seal 4 and/or dust seal can show variable width along its length or height.

In terms of possibilities of variable height of the seal, one possibility include introducing a pattern, e.g. as shown in figures 4 and 5, whereby the upper surface 7 of the tip seal 4 and/or dust seal shows cut-out pockets 9 resembling battlements or cuts in the shape of saw teeth 10, respectively. Such shapes allow the tip seal 4 and/or dust seal to increase in sealing capacity during operation.

Alternatively and/or additionally, a tip seal 4 and/or dust seal according to the invention could show a variably profile as represented by way of non-limiting example in figure 6, whereby such variable profile is preferably manufactured by additive manufacturing techniques.

Additionally, the shape of the seal can be tuned to the changing load parameters, as well to the multiple designs of the spiral type.

Alternatively and/or additionally, the tip seal 4 and/or dust seal can be applied directly in the groove of the spiral type by additive manufacturing techniques.

By optionally providing an open structure, elasticity of the tip seal 4 and/or dust seal can be obtained, through which a continued and good sealing can be realized. A first example of such an elastic open structure is represented in the cross-section of figure 8, which shows that the tip seal 4 and/or dust seal is build up in layers 13 with a central layer 13' which is provided with open meshes or channels 14. The thickness and width of said central layer 13' and of the dimensions of meshes 14 can vary in the longitudinal direction of the seal 4.

A second example of an elastic open structure is shown in figures 9 and 10, wherein de tip seal 4 and/or dust seal is provided with a continuous channel 15 which extends in longitudinal direction of the tip seal 4 and/or dust seal. In the example shown, the shape of the cross-section and the internal diameter of the channel 15 are constant over the length of the tip seal 4 and/or dust seal, although these features can also vary over the length.

Thanks to the additive manufacturing method for manufacturing the tip seal 4 and/or dust seal, the most unexpected and complex designs can be imagined. Also, the tip seal 4 and/or dust seal might be provided with bosses 11 or cut-outs 12 as shown e.g. in figure 7, as this can enable the tip seal 4 and/or dust seal to stay in place in the mounting groove 3.

A tip seal 4 and/or dust seal according to the invention can be used in combination with any embodiment of scroll type apparatus as shown in Belgian patent No. 1.010.916 which is incorporated herein by reference. It is clear that the invention relates to both scroll compressors as to scroll expanders which can be used for compression and/or expansion of any gas or any mixture of gasses . The invention is in no way limited to the forms of embodiments described above or shown in the drawings. On the contrary, a seal for a scroll type apparatus and a scroll type apparatus according to the invention can be made in all kinds of shapes and sizes, without departure from the scope of the invention.

Additionally, the method according to the invention for manufacturing a scroll type apparatus can be realized in different ways without leaving the scope of the invention.