Gas Pressure Booster Systems
How does a booster operate?
The booster is a pressure intensifier. A large diameter drive air piston is connected to a smaller diameter gas boost piston. The air pressure acting on the drive piston generates force through the rod to the boost piston which increases the pressure of the gas in the boost cylinder. Built-in controls cause both pistons to cycle automatically producing a stream of high pressure gas from the boost cylinder while consuming shop air.
Is it possible for the drive air and the process gas to mix?
No. The booster has a distance piece between the drive air cylinder and the gas boost cylinder. There are rod seals at each end of the distance piece. The gas end rod seal contains pressure in the gas cylinder and the drive end rod seal contains pressure in the drive cylinder. The seals are made from filled Teflon® and there is a very small amount of gas and air leakage through the seals. A vent port in the middle of the distance piece allows this leakage to vent to the atmosphere. The length of the distance piece exceeds the stroke length of the pistons, consequently, the segment of the rod which enters the drive cylinder does not enter the boost cylinder and vice versa.
How do I control discharge pressure?
The discharge pressure can be controlled by regulating the drive air pressure. The drive air pressure and area ratio between the pistons determine the maximum discharge pressure. We offer an optional air controls package (ACG) that includes a 5μ inlet filter, drive air pressure regulator, and drive air pressure gauge.
What is the difference between operational discharge pressure and the maximum discharge pressure?
The operational discharge pressure is the discharge pressure the booster produces while providing the desired flowrate. This pressure can be much lower than the maximum discharge pressure. As the booster approaches its maximum discharge pressure, it begins to slow down and the flowrate decreases. At the maximum discharge pressure it stops cycling because all of the forces in the booster are balanced. When a booster fills a tank, it stops automatically when it reaches the maximum discharge pressure. It restarts automatically when the pressure in the tank drops.
What is the operating life of a gas booster system?
Gas boosters are designed for 15 million cycles of service life before a rebuild is required. They can operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week at cycle rates as high as 100 cpm. The cycle rate depends on the booster flowrate. A booster operating continuously at 50 cycles per minute would have an operating life of 5000 hours.
What drive air quality is required?
Most boosters in an indoor factory environment operate problem-free on shop air with a +40• F pressure dewpoint and particulate filtration of 5μ or better. For outdoor cold weather environments, or exceptionally high cycle rate operation, air quality of -40• C pressure dewpoint and particulates filtered to at least 5μ will assure problem-free operation. This is ISO 8573.1 Class 2.2.2. commonly referred to as instrument quality air.
What gases are suitable for the MPS gas booster product?
MPS gas boosters are suitable for pressurization of most inert gases.
What specifications are required for selecting the right system?
- Shop air supply pressure and available flow volume
- Gas supply pressure
- Gas discharge pressure
- Gas flowrate
- Description of the nature of the application and operating environment
Consult our engineering team for help in selecting the right system.
How do I determine when maintenance is required?
Maintenance is required when:
- The booster is leaking or not building pressure
- The booster is not cycling
- There is substantial leakage from the vent port in the distance piece
Why do boosters fail?
The most common causes of booster failure are:
- Particulate contamination causing a jammed control valve
- Dynamic seals are worn out
MPS offers rebuild kits and rebuild services. Please call us to get a return authorization number and then we will analyze and quote the repair upon receipt. Quotes for all repairs are at no charge
Is there a way to reduce downtime when a booster system needs maintenance?
Many systems are sold with a spare booster. The piping system has valves which permit activation of the spare and safe removal of the worn booster.
What are the common applications for gas pressure booster systems?
Here are some of the more common uses:
- Leak detection
- Pressure testing
- Increase force for pigging paint and syrup lines
- Unloading railroad cars using pressure
- Shield gas for plasma and laser cutters
- Increase pressure for products LCMS systems
- Increase pressure for gas mixing systems
- Increasing pressure for injection molding applications
- Increasing pressure for mechanical seals