Flexure Springs Applied to Low-Cost Linear Drive Cryocoolers
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Flexure spring suspensions have demonstrated the ability to provide long operating lifetimes for cryocoolers intended for space-based applications. Insertion of this technology into coolers intended for tactical or commercial application has been slow due to cost considerations. This paper describes the development and testing of a flexure spring system for small tactical cryocoolers that provides a doubling of operating life while costing approximately the same as the traditional helical coil spring suspension system.
The flexure spring system described in this paper successfully achieves the high radial stiffness characteristic of the flexure spring design in a low-cost package. In addition, the concept has been implemented in cryocoolers weighing less than a pound and smaller than a soft drink can. This design has been qualified for use in U.S. Army applications. Qualification and life test data is presented to demonstrate the robustness of the design in tactical environments. The producibility of the design is evidenced by the on-going production of these coolers for various applications.
KeywordsLife Cycle Cost Life Test Defense Advance Research Project Agency Defense Advance Research Project Agency Radial Stiffness
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