Fly me to the Moon?

Special design of valves and valve blocks for use in space

  • August 24, 2021
  • Fly me to the Moon?
    Fly me to the Moon?

Special solutions for extreme operating environments are nothing unusual for the valve manufacturer AS-Schneider from Baden-Württemberg, but this order is very special: A leading national space agency required bellow-sealed shut-off valves and needle valves for one of its space missions. The latter in particular had to have very special properties for the journey into space, because they’re exposed to very low temperatures, among other things. In addition to a precisely specified leakage rate, the valves had to withstand at least 2500 operating cycles under these conditions.

Those responsible for the project approached various manufacturers with their request and eventually decided on AS-Schneider. The company, based in Nordheim near Heilbronn, can draw on decades of experience in the development of custom-made valves and has also found a solution in this case that enables a reliable operation even in outer space. Especially the selection of the suitable bellows was a real challenge, but the team of AS-Schneider was able to pick the right ones eventually thanks to their expertise. Both the technical implementation and the high product quality convinced the customer of his decision. AS-Schneider supplied more than 100 valves for the space mission, including bellow-sealed needle valves and gland-sealed needle valves, as well as more than 100 block and bleed manifolds. This means that the valve manufacturer is now not only successful worldwide, but also beyond this world.