A Study Into Life Modelling for Elastomeric Tubes

Ashburn, Nancy (2013). A Study Into Life Modelling for Elastomeric Tubes. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000f02d


The performance of a tube within a peristaltic pump is as a result of complex interactions between material, the process used to produce the tube, the pump it is in and the environment to which it is subjected. This research examines a possible methodology for the development of life modeling for elastomeric tubes used in peristaltic pumps. It is shown that predicting life within a peristaltic pump is a complex process but that the ability to predict the life cycle of the tube can be enhanced through material and process understanding and innovation. A systematic approach is detailed for the analysis of a tube life cycle from raw material through to failure. This tube life cycle could be used as the basis of a life modeling algorithm, a conceptual design for this is suggested.

Using two materials highlighted as important to the peristaltic pump industry, detailed tube life analysis is carried out to show how the methodology can be implemented. The approach suggests key indicators that can be used to identify material characteristics which influence the life of a tube. This is shown for the two materials studied and how they differ from material to material.

Extrusion methods for each of the materials is analysed in some detail and changes to, or controls for, the extrusion process to produce tubing are put forward. It is suggested that this will produce tubing which will perform more consistently within a peristaltic pump. This consistency of performance is put forward as a key facilitator for life modeling.

Environmental factors which influence life are identified; with system pressure and temperature being the most influential on life. The way all the factors identified interact is discussed. From the identification of these factors appropriate sensor inputs are put forward which will enable them to be monitored and used within an algorithm.

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