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Hallite finding success with unitized piston

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Hallite's unitized accumulator piston.

WIXOM, Mich.—Hallite Seals Americas Inc.'s unitized accumulator piston works and functions as one unit, replacing traditional multi-part accumulator pistons.

Hallite's unitized piston has no through hole and is designed to be used inside a piston accumulator. The piston is fully assembled and can be installed without having to procure different pieces from different vendors, saving the customer logistical costs.

Ryan Webster, technical director for the Americas, said the piston also provides a performance boost. Some designs can perform without bypass at speeds of 20 strokes per second, as opposed to the market average of 12.

The company has found success with the new design. Hallite said there's been a reduction in premature failures and related warranty claims, extended cylinder performance life and ease of service.

Hallite also passed a piston accumulator testing program, earning a specification with a new customer. Once customers became open to adopting a different process, the sell became easier. Webster said to his knowledge Hallite is the only company producing a single-unit unitized piston.

"It's a little different," Webster said. "Selling them on the idea and showing them what it's capable of is not always easy. There is some initial skepticism with the parts and the design, but once all the parameters are understood it's usually an easy close."

The piston is constructed using composite over-molded steel with seals to suit the application. The sealing elements include a non-metallic bearing, rubber lodging ring, filled PTFE seal ring and polyurethane seal rings.

Webster said the initial designs took about six months to develop in 2009. The company produced four to five different sizes for a customer looking for a boost in performance. Now Hallite has about 20 different sizes.

Webster said the market wasn't a traditional one for Hallite. Once the firm found out who the players were in the accumulator piston market, business has climbed steadily. He estimates the company has been averaging two to three of these sorts of builders a year.

Hallite produces the piston in Wixom, and it can be used in industries ranging from off-highway, agriculture and industrial businesses to deep sea, oil and gas, and forestry among others that use piston accumulators.