Monday, December 25, 2006

Gone for a few days...

I spent the days before Christmas working on a 3" version of my Tank. I machined two spherical end caps and they looked good up to the point I CNCed the lacing posts . I ruined one of the caps and need to make another.

I did to some ln2 tests with the end cap. With the PET tube filled with Ln2 it does not leak or break, and the PETG still seems flexible.

You won't here from me much for the rest of the week as this is my 20th wedding anniversary and we are going away for a few days.


Anonymous said...

If the PET tank stays flexible, I had an idea a couple years ago about how to build a pump that would reduce weight. Surround the tank with electroconductive polymer (, aka "artifical muscle") strips. When a current is applied, the strips contract, pushing on the walls of the tank. The pressure forces the propellant out. Eamex Corp. in Osaka has a pump that will generate 70 kPascal pressure but at very low flow rate because the device is designed for medical applications. I don't know if this would be sufficient for the lunar lander challenge, it is about 2 orders of magnitude too low for an orbital vehicle. Their pump requires about 1-2 V DC, I'm not sure how much current would be required for something like a rocket pump. The big issue is whether the power supply, which would probably be laptop lithium polymer batteries would be heavier than a steel pressure vessel holding high pressure helium for pressure fed, or whether vapax like Armadillo is planning to use would be lighter and more reliable and get sufficient pressure. Also, there's the issue about how much the ECP costs. But I think it is pretty cheap, also, you can make it yourself, there's directions on the Web site. Anyway, I thought about trying to build it myself but I'm really no good with tools, and I thought about patenting it, but what good would that do, sitting in some goverment file somewhere? In the end, there's probably some really excellent reason why it won't work, but if you think it might, feel free to give it a try.


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