James Walker Townson has been contracted by the MOD to supply a modified type of fabric bellows and a specially designed test rig for trials to determine the bellow's suitability for use on submarines to prevent the ingress of silt and foreign matter that could score the rams.
Test rig operations simulate the bellow movement when protecting the activation rams of a submarine's forward hydroplane. Made from heavy-duty elastomer-proofed fabric, with totally vulcanised construction, this design of robust yet flexible bellows has been used successfully on similar applications.
The modifications included a reduction in diameter to reduce the internal volume, thereby reducing displaced water during operation of the hydroplane, together with an upgraded joining system and modified flange dimensions to suit. The bellows extend and compress between 110mm and 590mm in length.
According to James Walker Townson, the test rig in-house was designed and constructed as part of its assigned contract. The tests, witnessed by the clients, showed that the bellows withstood the ram movement and pressure without stress or leakage.
James Walker Townson's flexible bellows are well proven to protect many types of heavy duty plant such as screw-down gear on rolling mills and hydraulic rams on large presses.