The aim of the current ZIM project is to develop an innovative and economical radial piston pump for the food industry. In addition to target parameters such as efficiency, compactness and cost optimization, the pump shall run silently and shall have good dry running characteristics in subsequent operation.
This is to be achieved by two primary approaches: (1.) The development of a novel pump concept and (2.) by using polymeric composite materials to optimize the tribologically highly stressed sliding contacts inside the pump.
Neither internal seals nor internal valves are needed, because very small leakage gaps are utilized inside the pump, which is registered for patent (DE102016102993A1). Hence, the pump consists of only a few components. The flat design of these components enables high-precision reworking of originally injection-moulded parts in axial direction. A piston-in-piston concept ensures four stroke movements per rotation.
From the material side, this approach requires a high degree of expertise in the field of polymer composites, which IVW contributes with its 30 years of experience. After a market analysis regarding commercially available plastic composites with food certification, suitable material pairings are analyzed and selected on the basis of tribological model tests. At the same time, a PBI coating is being developed which makes it possible to coat metallic components and thus to tribogically optimize even mechanically highly stressed components.