As the new COVID-19 disease is causing emergencies and crisis all over the world, Vega continues to be operative, proving to be a pillar not only for the automotive and mechanical field, but also for the medical world. All of this has been possible thanks to the many innovative features that our Research and Development (R&D) Department has been producing all these years. Concerning these innovative features—and especially about the new V450CP cylinders—we decided to interview the Manager of said Department, Alessandro Draganti, and one of our best Salesmen, Marco Zanon.
Why are cooling systems so vital in hydraulic cylinders?
Alessandro: Hydraulic cylinders are often subject to high temperatures, especially when it comes to die-casting. They are often placed on the fixed part of the mold, pressed between the mold itself and the press. Since that’s where melted aluminum flows in, cylinders are subject to extremely high temperatures, causing damage to seals and switches. Lower temperatures would mean longer-lasting seals, thus avoiding long and expensive maintenance procedures.
Why should maintenance procedures be avoided if possible?
Alessandro: Maintenance procedures are vital if we want our cylinders to last as much as possible and give their best. But these procedures are often expensive and quite time-consuming. The mold needs to be removed from the press and cool down, and the cylinder must be carefully removed. After all that, seals can be substituted. Then the cylinder must be installed on the mold, the mold on the press, temperatures need to get high again, and finally the molding work can start. No wonder that all these thermal shocks can greatly reduce the durability of the mold!
But with our new cooling system, all these problems are now gone!
What is this new cooling-system like? How does it work?
Alessandro: Vega developed two very compact solutions to serve as cooling systems.
The first one is the R Version. Basically, it is a cooled cartridge that is capable of decreasing body temperatures by 50°C.! Being integrated within the cylinder itself, encumbrances are very reduced, and seal and switch durability is increased. Moreover, it’s possible to use the same fluid used for the cylinder—be it hydraulic oil or water and glycol mixtures—abating costs and simplifying cylinder circuits. One word of caution, though: always make sure that pressure within the cooled cartridge is low.
Marco: The second solution is the D Version. This is our standard solution, and can be found in our catalog, even though no other company has implemented it yet. Its benefits are plain to see. Since it’s through the rod that heat is transferred from the mold to the cylinder, by cooling the rod, seals are subject to lower temperatures. This way, seal durability will be greatly increased, reducing the need for maintenance and saving money. Moreover, in order to cool other parts of the mold, tubes filled with cooling water are often implemented. When it’s not possible to implement such tubes, or there isn’t enough room for them, the mold is left to overheating. Of course, this may lead to serious damages. But with our cooling systems, there is no need to worry! Not only tubes and mechanical treatments are not necessary, but the rod is also designed to extend the cooling effect to other parts of the cylinder and of the mold.
Can water be used to cool the cylinder? What temperatures can be reached?
Marco: usually, Vega suggests using water and glycol mixtures. Granted, it’s more corrosive than other fluids; but since the cylinder body is made of aluminum, water and glycol mixtures prevent weeds and rust from being formed. Concerning temperatures, they depend on the seals and fluids being used. For example, if water and glycol mixtures are used, then it’s possible to reach a temperature of 140° C. If hydraulic oil and Viton seals are used, then it’s possibile to reach higher temperatures, up to 160° C.
What was your customers’ response to the V450CP cylinders?
Marco: It was awesome! The need for maintenance has been greatly reduced. For example, one of our customers had cylinders installed on the fixed part of the mold. But since seals would easily deteriorate because of the high temperatures, they had to perform careful maintenance procedures almost every 10 days. With our new R-version cylinders, however, the first maintenance work had to be performed after more than 8 months! This is a great advantage for our customers, saving both time and money! Moreover, these cylinders proved to be perfectly suited for plastic injection and for working with micro and inductive switches. Among all the cylinders on the market, these are the ones reaching the highest temperatures of all!
D-version cylinders have also been very well received. Cooled double-rod cylinders allow to reach higher temperatures than the ones indicated on the catalog, and this is proving to be very popular among our customers!
Finally, summing up all the pros of these cylinders, what can you say to our customers?
Marco: In the end, the many pros of these new V450CP cylinders can be summed up in 5 points:
- less worries about maintenance and seals wearing out
- possibility to cool down many parts of the cylinder and of the mold, even those who could not be easily cooled by other means
- slightly more expansive at first, but prevents maintenance to occur often: this means huge savings of both money and time
- great compactness
- unparalleled durability over time to high temperatures
In a competitive world such as die-casting, durability over time and less need for maintenance are extremely huge advantages! But it would be a huge misconception to think that V450CP cylinders are only suited for die-casting. Their versatility and compactness can truly make a difference, making them huge key factors for many different applications. Once you start using these cylinders, you won’t be able to do without them—seeing is believing!