Author Topic: Engine air supply -> point me in the right direction?  (Read 4888 times)

Offline sparky961

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Engine air supply -> point me in the right direction?
« on: December 06, 2011, 03:38:51 PM »
I did a few searches to try and find information on supplying regulated compressed air to small model engines, but apparently I'm not using the right search terms.

I'd be appreciative of some pointers in the right direction here.... regulators, manifolds, connection types, organizing things so you don't have hoses all over the place - that sort of thing.

Thanks!

-Sparky

Offline Scuba1

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Re: Engine air supply -> point me in the right direction?
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2011, 04:25:48 PM »
How about a pressure regulator, some 4mm plastic tubing and a few push on connectors for said tubing. If you want I can get the stuff cheap for you as i get a good price on all sorts of pffftnumatic things at work.

ATB

Michael
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Offline daz

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Re: Engine air supply -> point me in the right direction?
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2011, 04:58:59 PM »
What specifically are you looking to do? I have been working with compressed air for as long as I can remember but I need a bit more info to be able to help. I might also be able to help witha few bits and pieces once I figure out what you need
Cheers
Daz
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Offline sparky961

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Re: Engine air supply -> point me in the right direction?
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2011, 09:21:24 PM »
I was going to keep it hush, hush until I had some time to put together some pictures, but I finally made myself an engine and it's a runner!  Elmer's #19 Standby to be exact.  I will try to get a half-decent short video and some pics and post them in another thread when I get the chance.

For now though, I'm looking at the tiny engine with it's base clamped in the bench vice and trying to visualize a better setup for playing with this little engine.  I have an air compressor set to 100 psi or so, and the instructions recommend running this engine on 5-10 psi.  Right now I have a piece of rubber tubing running to the engine and I'm using a blow gun in the other end to run the engine.  I have to use 3 hands to hold everything together and spin over the engine to get it going.  I was thinking some people must have like a heavy base or something they can hook up to shop air, then have a smaller line or two that can have the pressure finely set to run the engine.

Is it just a matter of coming up with something unique each time, or are there some developed ways that you guys who make 100's of engines handle this?

-Sparky

Offline arnoldb

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Re: Engine air supply -> point me in the right direction?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2011, 03:52:25 AM »
Hi Sparky

I haven't made 100s of engines yet  :lol:

I use 5mm aquarium tubing and by default make my engine air connectors to fit that.  I have quick-change couplings on my compressor hose (haven't gotten around to install fixed shop air all over the place).  I just made an adapter for one QC coupling to connect the aquarium pipe to, and use the compressor's regulator to lower the pressure.  100 psi is a bit much for most of Elmers engines ;)

What I have been meaning to do is to make a little self-contained unit with it's own regulator, valve and a 50psi pressure gauge that I can just plug in to the main air line and basically keep close to the engines while running to better photograph/video the engine's running pressures, and to keep the pipe between the regulator and engine a bit shorter.  I've found that a long pipe like I've been using can take a while to let the pressure drop while running an engine - making for fastidious control, especially at low pressures.

While Elmer specifies 5-10 psi for most of his engines, it depends on how well you build them - most of them will run on breath power if well built, and might need a bit more than 10psi if they are a bit on the tight side (or if you want to rev the nuts off them  :lol:)

 :beer:, Arnold

Offline Lew_Merrick_PE

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Re: Engine air supply -> point me in the right direction?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2011, 12:21:50 PM »
For now though, I'm looking at the tiny engine with it's base clamped in the bench vice and trying to visualize a better setup for playing with this little engine.  I have an air compressor set to 100 psi or so, and the instructions recommend running this engine on 5-10 psi.  Right now I have a piece of rubber tubing running to the engine and I'm using a blow gun in the other end to run the engine.  I have to use 3 hands to hold everything together and spin over the engine to get it going.  I was thinking some people must have like a heavy base or something they can hook up to shop air, then have a smaller line or two that can have the pressure finely set to run the engine.
I don't know how the guys who build engines handle it, but around my shop where I have air outputs set for everything from driving high-volume pneumatics to dusting off parts, I use manifolds.  I have several varieties.

The most common (and not what you really need) is a piece of 2.00 inch aluminum round bar turned such that I can have one 1/2 NPT input and four 1/4 NPT outputs.  I basically have one of these at each machine so I can have flow/pressure for a mister, pneumatic clamps, and still have a blow-off tool.

More to your application, I took a piece of 1.00 inch thick X 6 inch wide HRS bar and drilled/cross-drilled it twice from each edge making a tick-tack-toe (naughts-and-crosses for you on the other side of the pond) pattern.  I plugged five of the holes and tapped the last 3/8 NPT for the air inlet.  I drilled "down" into the remaining passages (usually five places) and tapped to accept a small pressure regulator.  The manifold is heavy enough to (usually) stay where I put it and I have have several different pressure output right there at hand.

When I need particularly stable output flow at some regulated pressure, I use a (about 6 inches long) piece of 4 IPS Schedule 160 pipe that has (L 8X8X.75) angle iron welded to each end.  I have an "inlet regulator" (usually set to 150% of my desired outlet pressure) and then an (a 2%) "outlet regulator" feeding my work.  The volume of the pipe acts as an accumulator to minimize pressure fluctuations as I draw air.

Does this help?

Offline JD

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Re: Engine air supply -> point me in the right direction?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2011, 05:32:04 PM »
Sparky, why don't you try looking at the air brush equipment.
JD
 
If you cant fix it hit it with a bigger hammer

Offline sparky961

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Re: Engine air supply -> point me in the right direction?
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2011, 09:46:47 AM »
Excellent suggestions, gentlemen.  Just enough to jump start my brain plus a bit.

I especially like the ideas of using a heavy bar as a manifold with weight to keep it in place on the bench, as well as having a pressure gauge right there at the output.  I don't know if I've caught the bug and I'll be making more engines, but I certainly didn't hate it.  It definitely challenged and improved my abilities!

[/quote]....I drilled "down" into the remaining passages (usually five places) and tapped to accept a small pressure regulator..... [/quote]

Can you give me more detail on the small pressure regulators you mention?

I'll have a look at some air brush stuff too.

Thanks again!

-Sparky

Offline Scuba1

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Re: Engine air supply -> point me in the right direction?
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2011, 09:41:43 AM »
I was thinking of something along these lines
http://www.google.co.uk/products/catalog?client=safari&rls=en&q=air+pressure+regulator&oe=UTF-8&redir_esc=&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=6440698827027683365&sa=X&ei=zr_kTrbGAc2n8gPNlbWhBg&ved=0CJABEPMCMAY#ps-sellers

A few feet of 4mm plastic hose with push in connectors and a in line flow regulator and you are sorted.
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