Fluid Power Journal

Animatronics – Shut-off Valve Ensures Safety of People and Equipment


When a hydraulic lift fails, the results can be devastating—especially when it’s a platform with people on or under it. The hydraulic lift can easily come crashing to the ground and injure both people and machines. The staff at an amusement park came to ChemTec in Deerfield Beach, Fla., wanting a solution for this danger so that if a hydraulic lift failed on a stage, there would be minimal damage to people and equipment.

Engineering for the Worst-Case Scenario

The staff at ChemTec saw that a similar problem had been fixed when dealing with emergency shutoffs in natural gas, so they decided to use an HPEFV series shut-off valve for the park’s hydraulic lift. They adapted the valve for hydraulic fluid and made it so that when even a drop started to leak, the shutoff valve would engage and capture all the pressure from the stage. It would then slowly let the stage down rather than letting it crash down violently. These valves are typically used to sustain about 3,000 psi, but the stages needed a stronger response, so ChemTec adapted the valves to take closer to 6,000 psi.

Safe and Sound

The increased load capacity to 6,000 psi ensures that even in the worst-case scenario, everything comes slowly and safely to the ground.

For more information, visit www.chemtec.com.

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