Waltham, MA, Jul 9, 1999. Bird Precision has just included a .0004″ jewel precision orifice in their standard line of orifice sizes. To the best of our knowledge, this is the smallest standard size currently on the market. The hole is so small it is not visible to the naked eye, and must be machined using a super fine laser beam. Bird has been machining orifices smaller than .0008″ for several years now on a custom basis; greater precision needs in instrumentation, aerospace, and medical applications led Bird to recently include sizes to .0004″ in their standard line.
Bird’s decision was immediately rewarded with business from the Mars In Situ Propulsion Production (ISPP) team of engineers at the Space Technologies Lab at the University of Arizona. The team is creating an ISRU, called OGS for Oxygen Generator System, to generate oxygen on the Martian surface from the planet’s atmospheric carbon dioxide. The team was required to use only standard OEM parts for the unit, and found that two of Bird’s .0004″ orifices met their needs perfectly. The unit will be travelling to Mars on the scheduled 2001 landing; the ultimate goal of the OGS unit is to generate enough oxygen to sustain life ofr scientists exploring the red planet’s surface.
The ISPP team chose the ruby orifice not only for it’s size, but also for its composition. Synthetic ruby is almost completely wear resistant and heat resistant, and the Bird manufacturing procedure ensures a burr-free hole for extremely regulated and consistent flow. Bird’s orifices are available in sizes ranging from .0004″ to .081″ I.D., and offer zero porosity, high temperature tolerance and wear resistance. These highly accurate, burr-free orifices are available with filter and in a variety of custom or stock fittings and connector housings.
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