Hygienic design of moving elements in the food and beverage industry: The development of a double-acting muscle actuator:

by P. Bos

Institution: Delft University of Technology
Year: 2015
Keywords: hygienic design; pneumatic; actuator; food industry
Record ID: 1258176
Full text PDF: http://resolver.tudelft.nl/uuid:deab9320-633d-441f-9f53-b4fa981e6f30


The food and beverage industry often uses pneumatic cylinders to enable machinery in food processing plants to move. The requirements around hygiene are strict. This is to prevent consumer food from getting contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms. The food itself and the intensive chemical cleaning products used, form a harsh environment for the machinery. This project focussed on the design of a hygienic movement that can replace Festo’s pneumatic cylinders and will function in the environment of the food and beverage industry. A double-acting artificial muscle with high initial forces is developed. Festo’s current artificial muscle, the Fluidic muscle, generates a high initial force while contracting. This muscle makes a hygienic movement, because there are no sliding parts, but it can only deliver a pulling force. During this project, an origami inspired bellow is developed that delivers a pushing force inside the Fluidic muscle. The origami structure provides extra force because it is a mechanical force amplifier. During the project, the Nature Inspired Design (NID) method is used. NID aims to design products with a positive impact. It takes inspiration from nature to develop economically and ecologically profitable designs. The method ensures the context around the product is taken into account. A proof of principle of the origami bellow is given with the help of a prototype. Recommendations are given regarding materials, production techniques and further prototyping possibilities to come to a design that pushes the food and beverage industry a bit further on its way in using more hygienic, environment friendlier and recyclable products.