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Saturday, July 26, 2003
Armadillo Aerospace News: Big vehicle plumbing, more mixed monoprop tests
We assembled and tested the major fill and drain plumbing for the big vehicle this week. To be able to load and drain 800+ gallons of propellant in a short amount of time, the plumbing is quite large. We are using 2” cam and groove hose couplings for connections, and we are welding 2” pipe connections wherever possible, instead of using NPT connections. We machined custom aluminum flanges to replace the NPT flanges on our KZCO servo valve for the master cutoff, which allows us to do away with rotating connections there. We still have NPT connections between the stainless steel check valve and aluminum hardware on the loading side.
Fitting a 1/8” thick O-ring to an 18” diameter groove is a pain, because the groove isn’t really deep enough to keep it from wanting to pop out as you move around the circumference. A thicker O-ring would have made life easier, but then we would have needed to use a thicker flange plate, which would have added weight and required longer flange bolts. We used Teflon thread sealant to stick down the O-ring as we moved it into position, which worked out well enough. Read More
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