Design Engineering

Dal researchers secure funding deal for pneumatic motor design

By Design Engineering Staff   

Fluid Power Dalhousie pneumatic

Licencing agreement to help university engineers commercialize invention for oil and gas industry.

Dalhousie University announced that the inventors of an innovative pneumatic engine, developed at the university, have partnered with York Bridge Enterprises, Inc. to develop the technology.

Dr. Darrel Doman and Braden Murphy from Dalhousie’s Mechanical Engineering department developed the engine and say that it is lighter, more energy efficient, and requires less maintenance than existing technologies.

Rather than linear pistons whose actuation is transferred to rotary motion, the pair’s unique design features a toroid chamber, with pistons that rotate continuously around the drive shaft. The result is a design that overcomes many of the short comings of traditional pneumatic motors in that it is more compact, supplies higher torque at low speeds and doesn’t suffer from leaking and other maintenance issues.

“We are very excited to be entering a partnership with York Bridge Enterprises to further develop and commercialize our pneumatic engine technology,” said Dr. Doman, co-inventor, Faculty of Engineering. “As with any technology developed at research-intensive universities such as Dalhousie, it’s critical to have the high level of industry collaboration that we have with York Bridge. By partnering our engineering technology expertise with their business acumen, we see a bright future for the engine.”


To commercialize the engine, a Nova Scotia-based start-up, Scotia Motor Works, will work to develop the technology for the oil and gas industry as well as potentially for lawn and garden tools.


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