Screw Jacks

ISIS located in Harwell, Oxfordshire is the world’s most successful pulsed spallation neutron source. It is used by scientists to probe the microscopic structure and dynamics of matter by providing controlled beams of neutrons and muons. These experiments encompass a wide variety of sciences including Physics, Materials Science, Engineering, Chemistry, Biology and Earth Science.

Within the facility Power Jacks screw jacks have been providing a reliable linear actuation mechanism for the target station that permits the neutrons to reach the experimental instruments.

High energy protons from the ISIS accelerator are sent to the target station where neutrons are generated by the “spallation process” and their characteristics are modified to make them usable for the neutron scattering experiments. The neutrons are produced when a 160kW proton beam hits a metal target made from thick tungsten plates. The resulting neutrons are directed into beam channels that surround the target and are the neutrons route to the scattering instruments. In total there are 18 beam channels and each has a shutter mechanism, which is opened if neutrons are required by an experiment. The shutters are made from steel and weight 30Te each and are required to actuate in a vertical plane on an individual basis.

Providing the linear actuation on each shutter is Power Jacks 300kN E-Series Metric Machine Screw Jack type E1829 driven by a 7.5kW geared motor. The screw jack has an inverted translating screw configuration with 500mm of stroke and 16mm lead driven by a 32:1 worm gear set. The standard design was customised to meet the exact customer installation and operation requirements. The special features ranged from large components such as a special lead screw to nuclear grade grease for screw and gear set lubrication. The screw jack is connected to the geared motor via a pin type lubricant free flexible coupling. The combination of the screw jacks gear type, screw type, gear ratio, screw lead and the additional gear set in the geared motor mean that screw jack is self-locking to prevent the possibility of back-driving.

The screw jacks have successfully operated over the last twenty years helping scientists to complete their experiments. Over this time the Power Jacks Group has provided a continuous after sales support service, which extends to maintaining spares availability should they be required.

About Power Jacks

Power Jacks is a leading manufacturer for precision linear actuation, power transmission and mechanical jacking. The company is based in Scotland where its history for supplying high quality engineered product dates from 1903. The product ranges are detailed on the website and include screw jacks, electric linear actuators, mechanical jacks, bevel gearboxes, planetary roller screws, reduction gearboxes, winches and rotary unions. They can be supplied worldwide singularly or as complete systems, whether in standard or specially engineered

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