Foil Diaphragms & Applications

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Specializing in the manufacture of deep drawn metal enclosures, cases, and stampings, Hudson works with many different materials, including various types of foil.

Available in stainless steel and other materials, metal foil exhibits many unique properties that make it an excellent solution for instrumentation and pressure sensing.

Foil is constructed in thicknesses between .0005 inch and .005 inch; material thinner than .0005 inch is widely known as converter foil, which is used in food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic applications.

Usually thinned through hammering or rolling processes, foil is typically made with malleable metals, such as aluminum, copper, tin, and gold. Foil usually bends under its own weight and can be easily torn.

The more malleable a metal, the thinner the foil that can be made with it. Foil is available in most 300 series of stainless steel, titanium, Hastelloy, and others upon request.

Metal Diaphragms and Foil Gauges

Here at Hudson, our team specializes in metal diaphragms; designed as flexible membranes, metal diaphragms are used to create seals in various systems — such as fluid control systems — in order to isolate different enclosures.

Diaphragms are typically are used in high-sensitivity, low-pressure applications, with pressure sensor isolation being one of the most common.

Versatile and extremely flexible, metal diaphragms allow for the transfer of pressure effects from the process system to a closed pressure sensor system while simultaneously providing protection from the process fluid as well as preventing contamination of the process fluid itself.

The team at Hudson creates deep drawn foil gauges for a range of applications; the highly engineered metal diaphragms made from these very thin foil materials play a critical role in detecting slight pressure variations in liquids, gases, and temperature measurement.

The variation measurements are often transmitted in the form of an electronic or electrical signature, which communicates with equipment that can make minute adjustments to flow, temperature, or displacement, allowing all equipment to effectively operate within specified design parameters.

The metal diaphragm made from foil has an engineered spring rate manipulated through the use of concentric formed rings or convolutions; these rings develop the sensitivity needed for the diaphragm to perform to specifications.

Development is often accomplished with the help of Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software, which utilizes performance data requirements from the customer, metallurgical inputs for the proposed material, and metal forming skill to arrive at a virtual solution that will be converted into a finished thin foil diaphragm that meets specifications.

Hudson has manufactured many thin foil diaphragms for these and other applications; we continuously expand our capabilities and manufacturing techniques to capture a growing market share.

Common Foil Applications

Foil diaphragms are often used in the food and pharmaceutical industry to protect process fluids from contamination by pressure sensors; in pneumatic systems with air bearings to eliminate minor pressure changes; and as pressure regulators to convert movement into computer-readable communications.

Diaphragms may also serve as gas-liquid barriers and predictable failure points for overpressure protection, and can be used in applications involving automotive emissions, fuel pressure, and transmission hydraulic pressure.

Foil diaphragms are ideal for precise metering in flow control devices used in semiconductor equipment, ultra-sensitive instrumentation, and pressure transducer applications.

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Hudson Technologies has been an industry-leading metal diaphragm designer and manufacturer since our founding in 1940, and we continue to expand our capabilities and manufacturing techniques to meet our clients’ diverse needs.

Founded on a commitment to stringent quality control, Hudson is proud to hold a range of certifications, including ISO 9001:2008 and AS9100D.

To learn more about our deep drawing capabilities and options, take a look at our comprehensive product overview.

Corrugated Metal Diaphragms

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The team at Hudson Technologies is proud to specialize in custom metal diaphragms, which we create using advanced tool designs and sophisticated power press technology.

Put simply, metal diaphragms are thin, circular plates that elastically deform when subjected to axial loading or pressure. These mechanical seals are typically manufactured by forming a thin metal sheet into a ripple shape. Depending on their intended use, metal diaphragms can be corrugated, domed, or flat; corrugated types are the most versatile and widely used. Flat diaphragms can usually be mass produced, but corrugated diaphragms require a proprietary tool for the manufacturing process. They have greater deformability and a linear characteristic curve.

Metal diaphragms are available in a variety of materials and sizes, and can be used in many different applications. Hudson offers metal diaphragms made of Inconel®, Haynes® 242®, Hastelloy®, titanium, Monel®, and 17-7 PH stainless steel. The ideal profile shape will depend on specific pressure, cycle life, and deflection requirements.

Hudson offers a wide selection of standard-catalog corrugated diaphragms, ranging in size from 1” to 3” in diameter.

The Benefits of Using Corrugated Metal Diaphragms

There are a number of advantages to using corrugated metal diaphragms. First, they achieve a larger linear range with improved mechanical sensitivity. Next, the corrugations can greatly improve pressure regulation and deflection. And finally, corrugated diaphragms provide accurate spring rates and long cycle life.

Corrugated diaphragms allow for higher deflection than flat diaphragms, at the same working pressure. Studies have also shown that the sensitivity of corrugated diaphragms can be easily controlled by changing parameters such as the thickness of sheet, the depth of corrugation, and the pitch of corrugation.

Common Applications for Corrugated Metal Diaphragms

Corrugated metal diaphragms are ideal for high-pressure applications and high-temperature applications, such as mechanical seals, edge-welded bellows, pressure transducers, pneumatic modular instruments, electronic control instruments, and medical devices.

These diaphragms can be used to achieve various goals, including:

  • Regulating pressure systems
  • Converting movement into measurable communication with machinery
  • Creating a physical barrier between opposing forces in liquids and gases
  • Acting as a membrane for the pumping of fluids
  • Serving as a highly reliable failure point, protecting equipment from hazardous overpressure conditions
  • Ensuring reliable performance for every job, allowing for cycling of up to millions of strokes
  • Working in extreme environments (e.g., those involving high temperatures and corrosion)

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Hudson Technologies has been an industry-leading metal diaphragm designer and manufacturer since our founding in 1940. With a reputation for high precision and unparalleled quality, we provide ultimate peace of mind to our customers through our stringent quality control protocol, AS9100D certification, and 13485:2003 and 14001:2004 compliance.

From one-piece orders to high-volume production, our team is with you every step of the way. To learn more about Hudson Technologies’ manufacturing practices and custom metal diaphragm capabilities, reach out to our experts today. We’re on hand to answer any questions you may have, and will guide you through every step of the process to ensure you receive a solution that meets your exact needs.

Choosing the Right Metal Stamping & Drawing Supplier

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At Hudson Technologies, we are an industry-leading manufacturer of custom deep drawn metal parts and products. Equipped with decades of manufacturing experience and a broad range of standard and custom production capabilities, our team creates stampings for applications requiring precise, complex, and/or high-performance components. We accommodate customer projects involving a variety of metals (e.g., aluminum, brass, copper, nickel, cold rolled steel, etc.) and prototype to high-volume production quantities.

Metal stamping is a metalworking process that employs a tool and die set within a stamping press to form metal into the desired shape. Deep drawing is a metal stamping technique that “draws” (i.e., pulls) the workpiece material into the die cavity during operations, resulting in a part whose depth equals or exceeds its width. Compared to other forming processes, it allows for the creation of seamless and lightweight parts without sacrificing strength or structural stability. However, successfully producing these parts necessitates having the proper manufacturing experience, production capabilities and capacities, and certifications.

The following article outlines the qualities to look for when choosing a metal stamping and drawing supplier and how Hudson Technologies is the ideal partner.

Commitment to Quality

While cost is an important consideration when vetting potential deep drawn stamping suppliers, there are many other factors to keep in mind to ensure you receive the greatest value from your chosen manufacturing partner. One of the primary ones is the company’s commitment to quality—i.e., what measures they take to ensure the parts and products they produce meet high quality standards. This can encompass a variety of aspects of a company, such as:

  • Material quality. The ideal deep drawn stamping supplier should invest in the highest quality materials for the production of the desired parts and products, regardless of whether you require aluminum, brass, copper, HY-MU 80, nickel, stainless steel, steel, titanium, or another specialty material.
  • Product quality. Your partner should maintain a comprehensive quality control program to ensure every product fully meets your specifications and standards before it is packaged and shipped to your facility.
  • Employee quality. The manufacturing partner you choose should have the knowledge skills to accommodate your exact part/product requirements, which necessitates employing designers, engineers, and machine operators who have the proper experience and workmanship.

Choosing a partner that emphasizes quality in everything they do—such as Hudson Technologies—ensures the quality of your products and business.

Production Capabilities & Capacity

As indicated above, the manufacturing partner you select should be able to accommodate your part and production requirements, meaning they should have the stamping capabilities and capacities to produce the designs you require to the specifications and standards you require in the volumes you require. Some of the qualities indicative of such a company include:

  • Comprehensive standard product catalog. A sizable standard product catalog saves you time and money, as you are less likely to require investment in custom tooling.
  • Extensive industry experience. An experienced team is more effective and efficient at tackling any challenges that may arise during the project.
  • Vast material sourcing network. A big sourcing network makes it easier to source any materials required for the project.
  • Broad flexibility. A flexible stamping partner is better able to accommodate changes in the part design, customer demand, and more. In addition to their standard product capabilities, they may offer custom solutions for highly specific or unique requirements.
  • Fast response time. A responsive partner ensures the initial consultation and all other communications occur swiftly and smoothly.

Industry Certifications

In addition to their experience, another indicator of a quality stamping partner is their certifications. Certifications indicate a company complies with the requirements and restrictions set forth by the industry and industry organizations. For stamping operations, the relevant certifications include:

  • ISO AS9100D. This certification targets companies that create products or provide services for the aerospace industry. It indicates, among other things, a company implements sufficient measures to prevent the production of flawed or faked parts, maintain flexibility in the face of fluctuating demands, and address safety concerns.

Contact Hudson Technologies For Your Next Deep Draw & Metal Stamping Project Today

At Hudson Technologies, we are the ideal partner for any deep draw metal stamping project. By choosing us, you benefit from our complete commitment to quality, comprehensive production capabilities and capacities, and numerous industry certifications. To learn more about our metal stamping solutions or partner with us, contact us or request a quote today.