Valves

Mach Diamond has developed a versatile bipropellant valve for the rocket engine industry.

Mach Diamond’s contracts were awarded primarily for the cost-saving injector design. The most expensive component in the thruster, however, is the bipropellant valve. The Mach Diamond valve is integrated to the injector, which reduces size, improves response, and lowers the part count.

The bipropellant valve provides on-off control of propellant flow. Because the oxidizer and the fuel shall not communicate until mixing in the combustion chamber, the bipropellant valve keeps the two propellants separated with two independent but identical sets of valve components. It is a “normally-closed” valve, meaning that the valve poppets are held closed by spring force when un-actuated, preventing propellant flow to the injector. Each poppet moves axially in its respective cavity in the valve body. The poppet moves in the same manner as a piston moves in a cylinder.

The internal porting of the propellants from the valve seat to the injector results in a space efficiency that cannot be achieved without this level of integration with the valve and injector bodies.

Pressurized helium is used to actuate the valve, which is introduced or vented with a high-speed solenoid pilot valve.