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Approximately 90 million people in Africa lack access to safe drinking water, despite having water infrastructure installed in their community. The India Mark II and the Afridev handpumps are among the most widely used handpumps in the world. Sadly, studies show that approximately 30% of these handpumps are non-operational due to failures of the bearings, seals, head flange, and other common components. The Better Pumps team of the Collaboratory provides engineering support for partners who are working to improve handpump sustainability. We have partnered with Tony Beers and AlignedWorks to validate a bearing test methodology for the India Mark II handpump. By modifying the loading conditions in our handpump test machine, we were able to replicate failures observed by AlignedWorks in a field trial of their bearing design. However, these modifications caused our test machine tabletop to noticeably deflect, so we made modifications to stiffen the tabletop. We partnered with Matt Schwiebert and Living Water International to test new seal designs for the India Mark II and Afridev handpumps. Seal performance data collected by the team was used to validate a new design in advance of field trials by Living Water International. We developed and performed clear cylinder testing on the seals to visualize the leak paths. A new Afridev testing apparatus is being designed to test the longevity of the Afridev bearings and seals. Test methodologies and results are reported.
Funding for this work provided by The Collaboratory for Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research.
: Messiah University, Messiah College, Engineer, community, service
Hunsberger, Andrea; Brandt, Benjamin J.; Card, Josh; Johnston, Reese N.; Maxson, Joshua L.; Wyrick, Jonathan G.; Beers, Tony; Schwiebert, Matthew; and Vader, David T., "Better Pumps: Promoting Reliable Water Infrastructure for Everyone" (2022). 2022 Collaboratory/Engineering Symposium. 22.