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Can an engine be a High Pressure Compressor? Answered

I have tried this question before but, people pay little attention it seems like.  I know you can modify engines and all that stuff so that they will compress air and all that good stuff, but CAN THEY HANDLE 4500 psi type pressures.  The heads of 4500 psi compressors don't look like the cylinders are much bigger than those on a lawnmower.


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Best Answer 9 years ago

It's generally not the head you have to worry about, but rather the piston arm and crank shaft assembly that has to deal with those forces. If your piston is the size of a lawnmower engine cylinder, its 2-3 inches wide.

a 3 inch cylinder has about 7 square inches of area, and at 4500psi about 31200 pounds of force on the surface of the piston (and cylinder head).

Fact. 31000 pounds will bend and break lots of things, particularly in a dynamic system where it's constantly straining and moving.

So, no. you can't achieve pressures of 4500psi with most standard engine parts.

4500 psi is enough to fracture rock (used in the oil/gas industry to open new wells)...


9 years ago

The simple answer is no.