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Air Bleed Orifice improves efficiencies in hydraulic systems

11 August 2020

The Lee Company’s new range of Air Bleed Orifices improves efficiencies and reduces system pressure losses.

In today’s environment, technology is constantly pushing for improved system efficiencies. Industrial hydraulic systems are a good example of this: reduced weight and size of components and increased system pressures are often among the key requirements. With these objectives in mind, a new range of Air Bleed Orifices from The Lee Company will be of interest to Hydraulic Engineers who are looking to improve efficiencies and reduce system pressure losses.

Lee’s Industrial Micro Hydraulics Group (IMH) has developed a new 5.5mm Air Bleed Orifice which is an ideal solution to the problem of removing trapped air in hydraulic systems. Trapped air can cause issues with system performance as air is compressible, whereas hydraulic fluid is not. It causes slower system reaction times or a ‘spongy feel’. 

The traditional way of removing trapped air is often to drill a small hole approximately ø 0.5mm in the manifold, allowing this air to escape back to the sump and so eliminating its negative effect on system performance. However, this drilled hole also allows hydraulic fluid to flow out of the system – resulting in significant hydraulic loss, inefficient system performance and wasted energy. 

A novel solution is the Lee Air Bleed Orifice which removes this trapped air whilst keeping hydraulic pressure losses to an absolute minimum. It utilises a small precision flow orifice, with an integral 25µm safety screen for contaminant protection which allows trapped air to escape but is small enough to restrict most hydraulic fluid from passing. Crucially, this minimises system losses and enables designers to optimise system component sizing which significantly contributes to improved efficiencies, reduction in overall system weight and ultimately lower costs.

The Air Bleed Orifice is 100% flow tested for consistent performance helping to reduce system losses by up to 99% (see graph), while the integral safety screen ensures reliability. 

Its compact size and self-retained design for easy installation make it ideal for high volume applications in automotive, off-road and other industrial hydraulic systems. 


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