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UV De-chlorination for a fish tank? Answered

I did some research and saw other instructables that showed how to possibly create a UV sterilization. I read that UV light in the 230 and 360 range can break down Chlorine and Chloramines. I was curious if someone could share how to create a UV de-chlorinating chamber (2-5 gallons) with the use of UV LEDs. For safety purposes I was thinking of a plastic 5 gal bin, where placing the top on the bin completes the circuit to expose the water to the UV light in a safe manner. how many would be needed? how long would water need to be exposed?

Question by jc.021286    |  last reply

To whom it may concern. Regarding: Building a Pneumatic Launcher

Question: How can I use a CO2 cartridge for propellsion, attached to a valve & trigger that is linked directly to the barrel without the use of a air chamber tank? Any ideas of how to engineer this is much apppreciated. Thank you, Gerald J. Wygladalski President & CEO SafeBrella Co.

Question    |  last reply

is it possible to use a chamber capable of firing multiple shots before having to re-fill?

Is it possible to use a chamber capable of firing multiple shots before having to re-fill? cause the way i picture it you could use an attachment to the chamber connecting a independent pressure valve which in turn would be connected to the air tank. the fact that its self regulating would spare you having to fill up the chamber with the turn of a valve after each shot...but even so I'd need a independent pressure valve/regulator (small enough) that would shut the airflow at 100psi. and i prefer the pvc not blow up on me. i'd really like to try it but how and where could i find that type of valve that works similar to scuba equipment??

Question by DIYtheKid    |  last reply

Tennis Ball Cannon

Alright, so ive been into making all sorts of cannons whether they are pneumatic or hairspray, and recently I've been wanting to build a pneumatic tennisball cannon. i came across halve a dozen empty fire extinguishers, i am still deciding if i should use one as the chamber. i am using an electronic sprinkler valve and a 2 1/2" barrel i am also getting a 12 volt (dc) car air compressor (125 psi) and i am going to incorporate this somewhere in the cannon, the air compressor is really small so i could make it built in. i really want to make this cannon portable but i am concerned about the weight of it with the fire extinguisher tank, Any Ideas?

Topic by struckbyanarrow    |  last reply

Can someone help me with my fatal flaw in my spudgun design?

So i have built spudguns in the past and with every new gun i make it gets bigger and better. So i just found pressure rated 3" pvc and im going to use it for a new air chamber. Its a simple end around gun with a piloted sprinkler valve so yea the design is good. Except for one thing. I am enthusiastic enough of a spudgunner to use an air compressor to power it when im at home. but when im at a park or some open feild i bring along a bike pump to pump it up. But with each size up for the air chamber it takes longer and longer and longer to pump. Im not enthusiastic enough to buy a compressed air tank for $60. so what should i do to power it up. i dont have enough room at my house for a distance or height shot and it will take forever to use a bike pump so what should i do. PLESE HELP ME  i will try to post pics of it soon  HELP ME

Question by ostomesto    |  last reply

Designing a better "non-electric" espresso-maker

For people who want a reasonably portable non-electric espresso-making solution that's also affordable, there are a few alternatives. A few examples: Pneumatic: Brute force: Results are--of course--variable with all of these solutions. From what I've gathered, apart from issues with bad coffee, with grind setting/quality or with tamping, the major issues have to do with temperature and pressure. Then there're the issues of convenience/comfort. How would you like to address such issues? Re. temperature, there's the time-honoured method of preheating all the parts by rinsing with just-boiled water. I like the idea in principle but I'd like a way to ensure that the water used for extraction stays in the right temperature range for as long as possible. Possible solutions: 1. Phase change metals such as the ones used in Joulies: (different temperature target of course; not DIY-friendly) 2. A large reservoir of hot water. Make the machine hollow so that it can hold a lot more hot water and ensure that this large volume can stay in contact with the extraction chamber. May make the machine more pleasant to hold and use :) a possibility may be to have a water container encircling the existing water chamber in the Presso. Or just pour a lot of near-boiling water in a tank from which only enough water for one or two shots is released into the extraction chamber. Eg. make the Presso's water-reservoir much larger but design it so that only enough for one or two shots is released when the handles are raised to the appropriate position. 3. Insulation. Design as a thermos in such a way that metal parts won't rapidly transfer heat away from the water. What're your ideas?

Topic by Aimless  

Distribution of Solar Heated Water and Any Other Heated or Cooled Water

I started this project about a week ago after seeing the Instructable – made mine out of cardboard and then coated the cardboard – front and back – with fiberglass resin for stiffness. I covered the inside with tinfoil to test it out and find the focal point. It worked great with the focal point at the center of the dish even with the lip of the curve. I then removed the tinfoil and replaced the tinfoil with mirrored Plexiglas. Now it works awesome. I have a 30� parabolic mirror that can ignite wood almost instantaneously at the focal point of the light.Next I constructed the heating coil to run water through. This is made from a large 1 Kg coffee can, 16’ of ¼� copper tubing with end fittings, and the glass lid of a small sauce pan (handle removed). The outside of the coffee can is painted flat black as is the copper pipe. The copper pipe is coiled to a coil 4� in diameter and 6� in length and inserted inside the can with the ends extending from the side of the can through two drilled holes. The inside of the can is not painted, but left shiny. The glass lid is then taped over the hole with aluminum metal tape covering a minimum amount of the glass – about 1/4� around the edge.The coffee can is then suspended over the mouth of the parabolic mirror by a three point 6� chimney pipe stand-off. The can’s mouth is centered at the focal point of the mirror so all of the light being reflected by the mirror must enter the coffee can. Hoses are hooked up to the copper pipe fittings and these lines go to the feed/storage tank.The problem with the conventional set up from here is that the speed the water moves at (slow) to be heated to a great degree causes such great loses through convection, this system is not really feasible. I propose a new idea – or a new twist on an old idea.I noticed that the solar heat generating station use a black water pipe inside a glass vacuum tube to generate heat from the sun for heating water. I said to myself that this is a great idea and plan on building the next heating coil in a vacuum chamber. But, I also came up with the idea that the if the water is heated in this manner, why can’t it be transferred to the storage tank in a similar manner.If the feed lines were suspended inside a larger outer line and the outer line sealed tight and vacuumed the heat transfer due to convection would be almost nil. I estimated that with a total convective area at 100% the use of plastic stand-offs (8 @1/8� thick over 12’) the convective area would be reduced to 0.6%. Unbelievable! Even if this rose to 5% it is far beyond anything in use today by the home owner. Stretches of pipe going 100s of meters would no longer be un-heard of. You could place the dish in a close by field away from the trees and house and pump the heat back without losing it to the ground.This would also work for outdoor wood furnaces if use today. An outer pipe could be added over the existing pipe work, sealed, and vacuumed – almost all heat lose would be gone. And much larger stretches of pipe could be used here also. They would no longer need one furnace for the barn and another for the house. With this system, the pipes could even be run above ground, if desired, in some cases.This could also be used to replace insulation on cooling lines also.The key to the system is minimal contact between the inside and outside lines, and the vacuum between the two lines. Remember, there is no transfer of heat through convention within a vacuum, because there is no air for the heat to transfer through.As with all the new ideas this could get costly depending on the scale of piping you are dealing with – but the savings from reduced heat lose will far out way these cost in the near future.I may get an Instructable out for the Energy efficiency contest, but will be hard pressed.

Topic by strmrnnr    |  last reply

Advice needed on nearly complete instructable

Sorry this is a bit long, but there is an actual question at the end, honest! Every morning at work I walk past a table at the end of our mailboxes that people put give away items on. Its usually a catalog of some form but for a long time now there's been a stack of empty CD spindles and a sign beside them that reads "free to good home." I could have taken them and sorted the mountain of CDs in my office or used them for small parts bins, but to make it areally Good use of empty CD spindles I had to ask myself "IS there an instructable in this?" There are some good ideas for using CDs and a few for the spindles, but at the moment what interests me is hydroponics. So using CD spindles or more exactly the plastic covers they come with I built the basic part of this excellent instructable:    and I learned a lot of stuff about water pressure and such and once I had built the 2liter bottle method described above I decided to try sealing one of the CD cases and use it for the water container at the bottom of the stack. That took about 4 sticks of hot glue and a couple of burnt knuckles to get a good seal. Turns out there's holes in the center spindle too but I didn't notice them till I had hot glued the container closed. Also ignore the bit of blue air hose inside the container, I was up way too late and flipped the CD spindle 'right side up' which caused me to attach the air hose to the wrong outlet and basically made it useless. I thought I'd need a lot more water in the system than I do so I chose to use a 100ct CD spindle instead of the 50 ct spindles you see on top. (Thanks to all for the ideas on how I could have done it easier!) So far this part of the project was just overlaying the ideas in the excellent instructable above onto the materials at hand. So what I ended up with is an air pump from a fish tank pumping air into the bottom chamber. (the clear hose in center of picture.) This builds up enough pressure to push water thru the blue hose and up to the top CD spindle. I've cut holes the diameter of the air hose into the base of the spindle and this lets water slowly trickle into the Perlite growth medium. When the water reaches the bottom it goes out similar holes in the clear plastic CD cover and starts to pool up a bit to start the process all over again. There is just enough lip on the lid and the bottom of the next spindle to keep it from spilling down the side before this happens. It helps to use the same brand CD spindle all the way up. The clever part of this instructable is that each CD spindle easily stacks in place and you can remove it or change the order without having to dig up or harm the other plants. The base is very stable with several ounces of water in it and I'd imagine you could put 4 of these in a stack and happily swap plants in and out all summer long. The height of the stack depends on how strong your air pump is. I tested two different ones and both were capable of lifting water over 4 feet  up the air hose. Caveat: I haven't actually grown any plants in this yet, so your mileage may vary. Using the stack of CDs for use as apartment planters or sprouting medium would have satisfied the original curiosity for what to do with all those left over CD cases, but in absence of glowing blue LEDs or CO2 lasers I thought Hydroponics would be a great way to sex up the overall idea. I imagine you could use spanish moss or bedding in place of the Perlite, or even soil if you used a coffee filter to cover the holes till you were ready to stick a seedling thru it. This Instructable isn't quite finished as presented. There's a small problem. As you can see in the photo there's a half height (25ct) CD spindle between the water container and the stack of planting modules. Remember that hole I mentioned in the end of the CD spindle? I closed that with a bit of plastic and hot glue, but it made me wonder, COULD I put some sort of check valve here to allow unused water to trickle back into the holding tank YET not lose the hard fought air pressure that's pushing the water to the top of the column in the first place? Since I'm re-using all this old aquarium tech I thought I'd try one of those tiny check valves that keep water from backwashing into the air pump when its off. I'm not sure if it will work in this application or even how much air pressure it will tolerate. This will require some disassembly of the CD hydroponics tower and I thought I'd ask here for suggestions before heating up the glue gun again. So what do you guys think? This has been a lot of fun to think about and I can't wait to bring the media guy  around into my office to see how I've re-purposed the spindles. Just this one last step away…. cheers, flashj  

Topic by flashj  

Idea for a non-ideal Carnot cycle based engine.

Initial Stirling engine conceptFor some time I was contemplating an idea for a Stirling engine that would work quite differently than the other designs that I came across. Whole internal volume of an engine may be viewed as a closed-loop pipe, trombone-like slide mechanism allows this pipe to change its length. Electrical fan replaces displacer and pumps working fluid throughout the engine constantly and in one direction. Some portion of the pipe is replaced with branching structure that consist of two heat exchangers (hot and cold) and regenerator. On both ends of this structure special valves are located that connect one of the structure’s parts to the main pipe, so that whole engine forms one closed-loop. While this happens, both of the unused parts are completely bypassed.This design should have many advantages. Working gas is in constant motion and little energy is wasted on accelerating it. Gas may pass many times through heat exchangers, allowing for much better approximation of isothermal processes. Disconnecting unused heat exchangers from the rest of the engine should minimize volume of dead spaces.There are some drawbacks to. Slide mechanism allows only very small changes of total volume (compression ratio is low), and that limits engine’s ability to operate with higher temperature differences. Piston, which is part of the slide mechanism, and especially valves, are heavy and this makes them unsuited for high speed operation, making the whole engine bulky. I also except that an area of all surfaces that are sliding against each other and produce friction would be higher than in traditional Stirlings.Problems with Stirling cycleIdeal Stirling cycle (Fig. 4) consist of two isothermal processes (constant temperature) during which work is performed, and two isochoric processes (constant volume, no work performed). Isochoric processes function is only to change temperature of the working gas, and this takes a lot of energy to do so (especially if gas with high heat capacity is used). Regular Stirling engines try to minimize this inefficiency with regenerator. But when I tried to analyze this process mathematically, I noticed that even regenerator with very high heat capacity cannot store more than half the energy needed to perform next isochoric process (see lower left part of the spreadsheets for more details).Fig. 5 represents heat pump (or refrigerator) working in a modified Stirling cycle. Isochoric processes represent transfers of heat to and from the regenerator. Rest of the temperature change is performed by polytropic processes, during which heat flows to or from the heat exchangers and also work is performed. I chose to represent heat pump, instead of a engine because engine working with this modified cycle wold require isochoric processes to be performed midstroke (or transfers of heat to regenerator would have to be performed during polytropic processes, when working gas changes its temperature also due to work being performed).Note that I am using word polytropic to indicate processes where gas changes its energy both due to heat transfers and work performed. When special cases of polytropic process are mentioned (isothermal, adiabatic, isochoric) I use their specific names.Solving those problems with Carnot cycleLegendary Carnot cycle consist of two isothermal processes (just like Stirling cycle), but changes of temperature are accomplished by the adiabatic processes (no heat transfers with the surroundings), instead of isochoric ones. This has huge advantage, because when energy is added to the working gas during adiabatic compression, all of it can be later recovered during adiabatic expansion.Design I previously mentioned can easily be adapted to work as a Carnot engine. Only change that is necessary, is replacement of regenerator with the empty pipe (ADIABATIC PIPE in Fig. 2). When valves connect this empty pipe to the rest of the engine, there is no heat transfer between working fluid and thermal reservoirs. Any changes of engine volume modify temperature and pressure in a approximately adiabatic fashion. To model what happens with the engine I used slightly modified Carnot cycle (Fig.3). Just before adiabatic process end, short polytropic process begins. It is done so that loses associated with valves connecting both adiabatic pipe and heat exchanger to the main part of the engine for a short period of time can be better simulated. Heat pump working in this cycle is shown in Fig. 6.Design detailsEngine uses special valves, which external shape resemble truncated cone. Smaller base of this cone faces main part of the engine, larger one heat exchangers. Inside there is a pipe, with one opening right in the center of smaller base. The other opening is located off-center on the larger base, so it can connect to the one of the heat exchangers or adiabatic pipe (which are situated just like chambers of a revolver’s cylinder in respect to each other). As this engine engine will most likely operate under low RPMs, flywheel will have to be connected through a transmission with very high gear ratio. The flywheel will have to be quite bulky as well. This poses another challenge, as the pressure inside engine’s tubing will be higher than atmospheric, and at least space around the other side of the “piston” will have to be pressurized as well. If only the immediate surroundings will be pressurized, and gears, flywheel, electric motor/generator will be outside of the container, then very inefficient seal will have to be employed. If everything will be located inside the pressurized container, then fast moving parts will be working against dense gas. Pressure in this area ideally should have such a value, so that on every piston stroke energy is both added to the flywheel and extracted from it as to make energy storage requirements more manageable. This requirements may also be further reduced by employing some other energy storage form. And of course exchange of heat between main part of the engine and this pressurized section must be taken into consideration.Then, there is problem of heat exchangers. They can be either large diameter pipes with fins, or smaller diameter ones that are densely packed (this seems to be must popular configuration in Stirling engines). As heat transfer with the outside of the engine takes around half of the piston stroke, it might be a good idea to employ two pumps of heat transfer fluid per each of the two heat exhangers. One would work constantly to transfer heat from some large heat reservoir, the other would transfer heat to the working fluid only when it is necessary. Some another heat exchanger would have to be placed between those two circuits.And there is also a question of the piston. Basic trombone-like version could be replaced by the something similar to the design drawn in Fig. 7, where two parallel tubes, connected by U-shaped piston, are replaced by the coaxial pipes with volute on the outer section that allows connection another parallel pipe. Piston itself has then small tubular part attached which allows working fluid to pass from outer section to the inner section. This design has only one high pressure seal, is possibly lighter, but fan that pumps working fluid will probably need to be more powerful. Problem of sideways motion of the piston must also be analyzed, and it can be either resolved with piston skirts or the crosshead. Interesting aspect of this problem is that while most frictional forces in the engine are mostly independent of the engine speed, forces associated with this sideways motion of the piston increase with engine rotational speed.Another possible improvement would be making adiabatic pipe shorter than the heat exchangers, which would reduce volume of dead spaces.Engine parametersIn case of a engine that uses helium as a working fluid, has minimum volume of 46.7 liters, maximum volume of 70 liters, operates at temperatures of -5°C and 37°C with the speed of 15 RPM you can expect that it will produce 1138W of power at 8.13% efficiency.In the case of heat pump that operates at the same parameters you can expect that it will require 2300W of power and achieve COP 4.95You can find calculations, diagrams and the detailed descriptions inside (it is unfortunate that Instructables do not support uploading .zip files and other file formats any more, and I have to use another website just to upload few spreadsheets).Possible applicationsI started thinking about this concept when considering applications of thermal energy storage. In more northern latitudes largest factor in domestic energy consumption is heating. So, at least in my opinion, any movement toward replacing fossil fuels with renewables should focus on this largest contributing factor. And this actually is quite fine because storing 1 kWh in a tank filled with water, rocks/concrete or simply in the ground is much cheaper than storing it inside lithium-ion batteries. And general idea behind this low temperature engine, was that some part of this large amount of energy stored to be later used to heat buildings, could be converted into electricity.It should also be able to work in reverse as a heat pump or refrigerator.

Topic by rarinn  

Ancient technologies revisted - flying machines

With ancient "toys" and "decoration" showing someone who is NOT an archeologist things like planes, helicopters, jets and even "flying saucers" we can't help but wonder...If we see a little kid making a crude cryon drawing of a plane we have no objections at all that it IS a plane.If a little kid watched a nice pirate movie the resulting cryon ship still is a ship for us.And well, if the kid watched Star Trek a lot and draws a space ship we again agree it is just that.So why, if the same kids say they see a plane in an ancient trinket are we told it is anything BUT a plane?Take the famous planes the Maya culture presented us with so many times and that even build at a larger scale to show it is actually capable of proper flight.Archeologist and those involved with the official exploration of the past state it is an insect, some bird or just a fantasy creation.This and much more happens over and over again.What one side clearly sees as evidence that advanced technology existed long before we even had steel, the other side clearly sees it as something impossible.Artefacts showing os animals, plants and such however are always just that and everyone can agree - funny isn't?You have to wonder why a culture that can create delicate "toys" looking like the real thing would go and create something born out of fantasy.They did not do this, it a new trade of humanity called deception.What they drew, what they created what their myths talk about is all based on things they saw and experienced.It just makes no sense that they "invented" a helicopter for fun - they did not have the fantasy or brains to come with the idea of a helicopter...Then why are there no remains, no wrecks, not even spare parts to be found anywhere in the world?It is a defence argument often used by "real" experts of the field...So let's take a look at this statement and conundrum behind it.What we found in metal tools, toys, artefacts and such from ancient times is in almost all cases so badly corroded that it becomes impossible to make sense of it.A few cm of something that might have been a few meters square won't tell you what it was when it was made.On the other hand we found lots of copper and bronze tools - metals that can form a natural layer of protection that lasts for a very long time.Still even those, unless found in sealed places, are often so corroded that you need a bit of fantasy to imagine the original shape.At least the experts here won't tell us that something that looks like a hammer was actually a fork....If we try to imagine the materials that would have been used to build flying machines modern scientists all agree that modern metals must have been used as neither copper, nor brinze would work due to their weight and softness.Natural materials are out of the question as well because we never found evidence of something as simple a the Wright brothers or Hudini's plane...Like these old folks skipped balloon, gliders and all to go directly to modern jets and such...Today we use quite a few fancy materials in our flying machines.Composites made from plastic and aluminium, blow expanded titanium turbine blades, high quality steel for bearings and drive shafts...And one thing we only know too well: all these materials suffer badly from fatigue and wear and tear.We constantly need to replace worn parts to keep the thin airworthy...To back up our real archeologists and their claims or to show how all these alien nuts are wrong some tests were performed on modern alloys and plastics.It is the same process that checks how materials age in an accelearted way that helps engeneers to create better things.The best example of this technique you might have heard of is "biodegradeable" - found on many packing materials these days.Everything from sun light over moisture to bacteria and possible by products is added and "accelerated"- if the bag is gone after the set time it is deemed biodegradable.The results for our metal and composite tests however were not that conclusive and accurate.It is a different thing if instead of a few years you are supposed to simulated a few thausand years of exposure to the elements, having a jungle growing over it and all.At least they could agree that unless preserved in some sealed chamber or the perfect "soil" that turned into oxygen deprived and non acidic mud it would not take long for things to disappear fully.3000 to 5000 years only and there would be nothing of a fancy flying machine - if materials we are familiar today would have been used.Many of these cultures though are older, much older, so there wouldn't a realistic chance to find any "advanced" technology anywhere.But in hind sight of recent finding on the sea bed another round of this time just theortical agin tests were performed.If left undisturbed a flying machine, like a sunken cargo ship would start to form a reef in shallow waters and be overgrown by coral, sediments and more.On the hand, if left in deep enough water only corrosion by chemical means would be an issue and the deeper you go the better everything is preserved.For such a case it was estimated that identifiable remains could still be found up to 10.000 years later.Our biggest problem is to go down into the deep oceans to explore all those regions that were dry land before our sea levels started to rise.Why is this part of archeology so controversial and gets basically no funding at all?Considering the billions we waste on military and space programs it actually makes no sense.Same for the refusal to fully admit that ruins uner the sea that are over 40.000 years old can only mean we had a thriving human civilisation long before we are supposed to have been cave dwelling primitives.It is almost entirely up to a few private investors to cough up a few bucks to allow the exploration of the deep sea.And if you exclude minerals, vulcanic stuff and finding new bacteria and animals living down there you get next to nothing.Openly admitting that we were flying around like we drive our cars today at times when we did not even know steel is just too outragous.Would be like this dude a few hundred years ago trying to convince the world that earth rotates around the sun and not the other way around...We all know how that ended.Just imgine this for a moment:You invent and create something that you know is totally new, totally awesome and you wasted years of your life to finally finnish it and make it work.You would be proud as.And rightfully so!But then comes some weird dude and tells you "Nice, quite crude and badly designed but a good start."You would be furious whether you like to admit it or not - you just got insulted for your life's work...And to top it all up he comes along a few days to show you how he did it properly long before you even made your first technical drawings...Would be massive blow to your confidence and you would start to question a lot of things...Now imagine it would not just be you and what you invented and acomplished but in fact literally everything humankid ever invented and thought to be the best of everything....In a sick sense it is actually logical to prevent this moment of enlightenment to ever hit humanity.We can look at ancient artefacts, drawings and even entiry stories hammered in stone (or vibrated into it to be precise).We can see the reality but chose to turn a blind eye on it.What is even funny if you think about it is what sort of delays this refusal caused when it came to translation ancient writing.Not really that easy to create a totally different context just to avoid including the word "plane" or "space suit" for example.Entire sections of ancient texts still have "exclusion zones" for this very reason.Unoffical prove is out there that we in fact not only found ancient crafts but that we also managed to re-create at least what we could understand.But then again the same would be true if we trust our alien theorists.Almost every single day people report some sort of UFO in the skies, some even claim to have seen them coming out of lakes and the ocean.99% of these sightings are anything but alien craft.But it seems easier to post a video stating UFO's flying over.... Why bother to check if some rocket test, launch or similar was done around the time in this area?Why bother to check if a satellite was turned off for a controlled destruction in the atmosphere?And none of these reports are taken down or corrected with the right info when the truth comes out - you have to search the comments for it...In recent years though it seem the entire approach to keeping certain secrets secret has changed.Even NASA made old videos and images available to the general public showing "controversial" optical "artefacts".Some former astronauts went as far are providing images and videos they took with their own cameras and added what they thought about it at the time and till today.The US even finally openly admitted to have been doing "UFO research" for decades.Research in this context however means exploring or trying to, what these weird things might be that seem to follow and watch us everywhere.A bit shy of admitting they examined some of these flying objects but a complete reversal of the statements and approach we we told for so long.And then there is all this "new" technology we implement now, stealth technology, trust vector control, A.I. supported flight controls, three dimensional and real time computer simulations of the battlefield - the "soldier" could be on a different continent when his tank got hit by an RPG...Some claim the advances of these technologies were just logical and a result of theoretical research come to life once we had the tech and materials for it.These official claims however can also be read like this:Theoretical research includes reverse engineering and developing the required technology and materials is a logical step to re-create the reverse engineered object....Isn't it funny in this context that basically ALL these fance "inventions" have a trace that ends in a secret labs and projects?Only once NASA or the Militara was done with it and happy outside companies and people got access to parts of it.And this pratice is still happening every single day.Another, for some, strong hint is the rejuventation of the space race.But for this conundrum I will do another episode ;)

Topic by Downunder35m  

Ancient technologies revisited - drilling and machining

In the ruins of our ancient world we often see exceptional accuracy for surfaces but also clear indications of machining work that should have been impossible back then,For quite a few of these impossibilities modern scientists, inventors and people that just like to experiment came up with plausible conclusions.So let's start with a few of them...Core drilling...It is a process were a rather large hole is not actually drilled but cut out.Imagine a piece of pipe you press into some clay - that's what you end up with.A circular, deep hole with a standing core inside, break the core off and you are good to go.Doing this with copper or brass tools as the only available metal tools seems feasable.If it is something soft like sand stone but for things like granite???Ancient texts provided some clues, like that slow spinning tubes were used or that drilling a 2m deep hole did only take a few hours.Appearently it was done in less than half a day - a day being daylight.Modern diamond drilling tools would still struggle to create such a deep hole in that time unless you pay a fortune for a custom made drill bit.One clue that was nagging these people for a long times was how it was possible to reach these high penetration speeds.The marks on core samplesand holes clearly show and almost spiral pattern, indicating the "drill" went deeper by a few mm with just a few rotations of the drill.The calculated pressure required to do this is about equal to having a tank parked on top of your drill....Impossible I know...Hammer drill differences give us another clue here.Take you homedepot drill that can drill in metal and stone - it runs fast and although it does the job the tradesmen tool does it better.Not because it is way more expensive but because it is purpose made by running slower but with a much more powerfull impact for the drill bit.How do you create a massive impact with copper or brass?Those who tried a copper drill will tell you they are no good for anything.Those who tried a copper core drill will tell you the same.Too soft, deforms too quickly, no "teeth" that last for more than a few seconds.But is that really true???These soft metals seem to have a feature that makes them special: They can be "work hardened".Like the top end of your cold chisel "peeling"...Of course the harness levels you can achieve are still very short of being even like soft steel.Every material has a resonant frequency, even hard rock like granite.A technique called sonic drilling utilises this as an advantage.The drill is subjected to an audio signal that is very close or matching a harmonic frequency of the rock in question.There is even nice Youtube videos showing how two stones are flattened against each other just with loudspeakers and some wire to hold them together.The same guy posted videos showing that core drilling is possible this way too.The science behind it is still not a 100% understood though.Several universities did their own experiments here and here are some of the more modern explanations why it works despite being impossible:The vibrations cause surface fractures on contact, a bit like when your dentist cleans your teeth with this screaming thing...The contact surface of the drill actually does not do any impact damage, it simply acts as a transducer horn for the vibrations.In their tests it was even confirmed that steel tools are no good here as the material would mean you need very long tools due to the resonant nodes forming differently in denser material.Most interesting was that these aido drills can be literally of any shape you like.Not hard to create a fancy symbol shape from copper pipe - and then to vibrate it into the surface to create writing....Several ancient cultures show clear tooling marks in their carved symbol creations while others seemed to have "melted" the symbol into the rock - audio only ;)Extreme accuracy for planar faces....Be it the walls of an ancient "coffin", box or chamber, we can find a lot of them with an accuracy that even today we would fail to achieve.A solid granit like block with a perfectly square box cut out of it.Several examples exist where the accuracy couldn't be done with modern tools at all.Less than 0.5% divergence from true parallel walls and corners with a rounded inner edge with a radius of less than 2mm....Audio machining is not feasable for this one.And with literally no surface marks scientists were baffled for decades.Due to the size it would mean that for a tiny error you would have to re-do the entire surface of the affected wall.And with a surface so highly polished that even after a few tausand years it still reflects light....Samples taken showed another conundrum - glacing...Almost as if the stone was melted, pressed flat and then repeated until the entire surface was done.The temperautres required for this however are said to be impossible in ancient times, same for any tools capable of tolerating such heat without melting.So this theory was discarded for a very long time and deemed to be interpretation error - after all they had no chance to do this thausands of years ago.Later it was discovered that you actually can use two identically hard stone surfaces to grind them perfectly flat against each other.And well, using the right, mild abbresives it is even possible to give the surface a nice shine.Yes, the theory is sound but can't explain how one would machine the corners like this....The inside of a square or rectangular box can't be produced like this.Plus the problem of actually removing all the unwanted material first.In recent years the old samples taken were subject to new studies, this time in regards to the possibility that the surface was polished using heat.Surprisingly a mix of high temps and cold water allows for quite accurated destruction of the surface.Relatively easy to remove some bumps by just heating the bump and spraying a mist of cold water over it.Still not possible to create perfect corners but a start.It failed to reproduce the shine and polished surface too.Then, as a last resort you might say, lasers were used on rocks of similar or identical composition.The classic CO2 laser is a brute force tool and although accuracy would be possible you wouldn't get a good surface as it does not melt, it just cracks like glass.Femto second lasers were great here but could not provide any glacing effect either.Problem was always that the stone could not soak up any of the laser energy.It would not heat up evenly, only very locally where the laser was hitting the surface and no depth either.Then they finally got the idea to use tiny samples in a wide laser beam.A wavelength more suited to heat rather than vaporise and energy levels per mm² much, much lower than in a focussed beam.No problem to actually fully melt the sample without create any cracks or to adjust the parameters so the core still remains solid for a true glazing effect.Funny side effect of fully molten samples were their extreme surface hardness - very similar to what we find in ancient leftovers we can't explain.On bigger samples two effects were observed.Firstly that of a flat surface with the sample being rather thick, a too fast cooling down would result in the entire surface that was heated to split off.Secondly that the resulting surface was still extremely flat and even.Sadly we can not find any real evidence that ancient cultures knew about how to use high energy lasers with adjustable focus....And so far no one was able to come up with any theory that explains ALL the features of a perfect stone box with polished surfaced, especially if the surfaced is glaced.The ancient lathe....We can see the evidence of large boulders machined on some gigantic lathe through the ancient world, especially in greece and the middle east.And so far the best archeologists could come up with was that some guy sat there for days hammering the surface until a template provided a perfect fit.What they failed to explain was how this guy did this in a true rotary fashion.But the beauty of archeology is that these guys can claim what they like without being required to provide backing of their claims - not their territory OLIn several places we found leftovers of contraptions deemed to be the remains of some grinding mechanism to make flour or maby fine powder from rocks for mortar.But every mill needs a mlling stone - they were never found anywhere.And if the "mount" that remains clearly indicates it was able to be moved in the X and Y direction it would have been a very strange flour mill indeed.In the real world you would only have to move the grinding stone up and even that is mostly optional.The real clue however is how complicated it would have been to collect the flour.No one wants to use a broom to get it off the floor in a desert environment....With the wearmarks on the bottom stone it would have been impossible to produce flour, so why would it have been used for decades more if the flour was no good anyway?Again, outsiders provided vital clues by creating small models of these ancient "flour mills".The ground around them shows wear marks identical to someone running in a circle since the dawn of time.At quite a distance to the center I might add.If horses or cows were used to go in said circle with a harness you could spin quite some weight - like a round piller stone.And the bottom "pan" could be filled with fine sand or similar to act as a rudimentary bearing.The rounded bottom and indentation on the top of ancient piller stones seems suddenly more plausible to be the result of these "flour mills" - they self centered the block for machining.Push your tool(s) against the surface and make sure they keep the tension, then sit back and watch the animals do the hard work for you.Nothing fancy about it, just a vertical lathe driven by animals instead of a big motor and gear box...Won't explain though how some cultures were able to create perfectly round pillars of 20 or more meters in length in one piece....In many places we can observe impossible fitments, like a lid on a stone box that won't even require a sealant to be perfectly air tight.Or in India and other parts of the east intricate stone figurines that are hollowed out - with carved details on the inside.So not just some holes and simple cavities, more like 3D printed.Several experts of their fields, from artists over stone masons to jewlery makers tried to re-create some of these features using modern tools - they all failed badly.You simply can't use a rotating tool if you need to get around several corners to reach the surface to be machined.So how were the ancient builders and artists able to do the impossible?Some say that ancient texts and images tell us that the stone was melted away, like bee's wax.The glacing effect on these surfaces seems to confirm this but we all know you can't melt rock, especially not in a controlled way to create artwork.Rock is not ice - or is it?High frequency ultrasonic machining allows us to work with very hard rock, like cutting through butter with a hot knife.No sharp tools required either.The only problem is that you need very hard tools with a high tensile strenght and "good acoustics" - like titanium as the prefered option in the industry for ultrasonic horns and amplifiers.They did not have titanium in the ancient world and they certainly did not have power outlet to drive some ultrasonic tools.But they did know their acoustics as the "musical temple" in India shows.Hit a pillar, some plate or even statue and they all produce a very accurate frequency, despite the entire temple being carved out of one solid mountain piece...You can not create this today even if you had a clue how to carve it out of the mountain!!No way to create delicated designs that all have individual but extreme accurate musical notes when hit...Means the ancient builder must have known about the way sound travels through solid materials and how it is reflected inside them - otherwise hitting a statue would also make other things in the temple swing....Imagine that it was known how to produce the required frequencies to basically weaken the crystal structure of a rock exactly where you want it to weaken.You would have a rock-shaver of sorts.You could not use it though as it would be a huge thing.Theory is the ancient builder worked the opposite way instead.Making the entire rock or even mountain swing at a perfectly matched resonant frequency that produces a peak right where you need to work.A bit like going a dentist that no longer uses a rotating and screaming drill on your bad tooth, instead you sit in a fast rotating chair ;)Lab experiments clearly showed it is possible on a small scale with our modern technology.Tungsten-Carbide already in the ancient world?Electron microscopy claims to have found evidence of substances embedded in the machined surface that have similar properties to our modern carbides.Of course every alien theorists jumped right on it and claimed that had help from extra terrestrials.But is it really as simple as someone coming down from the stars to give some ancient builder a more than modern tool?He wouldn't have a clue how to use it, how to power it, he would need a teacher and power source.What some of these alien nut crackers missed is the simple fact that a lot of really hard materials can be created by the most basic means.Thermite is still widely used and produces quite good steel, all you need is iron oxide and aluminium powder.With sand you can even make your own silicium metal is you like on the beach....Where the knowelde for such things and more originated might remain a mystery but we have evidence the ancient guys knew quite a bit about ores and oxides, so why is it so hard to think they accidentially or intentionally tried to melt them into tools or art pieces?And then suddenly something goes up up in flames and some shiny and really metal appears when cooled down....We also know the ancient people knew about several acids and how to make them from scratch, even how to concentrate them.Not soo hard anymore to create some waste products that are of no other use to you than to be used as grinding materials and abbresives....As said, it is unclear where the knowledge or idea come from, all we know they had the know how.Where did the ancient tools go?We can still find tools in the pyramids in tiny and no longer accessible areas - at least no human fits in there anymore.We also found clear indications of iron oxides embedded in stone surfaces, predominantly in holes and such.So they might have had iron or even steel around the same time we though they only had copper and brass, big deal...Well, it kinda is...Especially Japan showed us how metallurgy is carried on as a vital tradion into todays times.From selecting the raw material for the melting, over the entire melting process, down to discarding most of the results by just looking at them - an understanding we modern people no longer have.And the swordsmith again only takes those sample where he can see already how they work together when he heats them up and hammers them.Especially the secret knowledge how to iclude impurities, remove them and what natural and most basic additions need to be added is something even modern science fails at.A bit of leafs from this plant, some dirt from that region, some burnt wood and suddenly the resulting steel won't rust anymore, is more ductile and hard at the same time...But you would need this kind of attention when you create tools.For steel you want a certain hardness, flexibility or ability to flex without breaking quickly to avoid fatigue.In most cases these steels are anything except resistant to corrosion.Most tool steels of the older days needed to be kept well oiled or they would rust away quickly.Chrome and other hard to come by elements gave our modern steel the stainless effect.From the ancinet world we know of iron statues and pillars that produce a protective rust layer of just a few microns but no further rust damage.You wouldn't be able to create this without generations of experts refining the process and observing how well or badly it works out.Would you take your expensive tools that might taken weeks to manufacture at a job site with thausands of slaves? Certainly not, you taken them home with them and slep with them under your pillow....No surprise then that we could never find any "good" tools around ancient ruins.Once a town is build today you won't find the tools of the tradies still sitting around either...Is this evidence?Nope, the failure to find high quality tools from builders does not mean they existed.Finding evidence of modern alloys or steels just in abbrasesion or tool marks is no good either.It could be from someone at a later time simply following these marks with a more modern metal tools, like a steel needle.For every evidence here there is also evidence of where the evidence can't come from.Again science clashes with archeology and history without being able to agree or compromise to provide a conclusion that is acceptable by both sides.Only materials designed and created to last throughout history will survive thausands of years of exposure to the elements.We might find real and undeniable evidence one day in lost cities on the ocean's floors, till then though....

Topic by Downunder35m