Make a Modular Tesla Valve Out of Foam Clay - a Good Way to Demonstrate Engineering and Physics of Fluids to Kids




Introduction: Make a Modular Tesla Valve Out of Foam Clay - a Good Way to Demonstrate Engineering and Physics of Fluids to Kids

About: Hi, I am looking for serious sponsors to enable me to make this thing as my profession. Or anybody wanted an innovative mind working with him. By the way... Sir Dyson, I applied twice on y...

Hi everybody,

I was looking around for concepts related to turbines and rotors. I came first to the Tesla turbine when viewing video from a well known video platform... What a piece of art! After the videos, the internet viewing platform proposed me a second video on the Tesla valve.

I thought what is that... This is so weird... A crafted piece of material in which a flow of gas or liquid is either constrained in one direction or not constrained in the other direction.

I wanted to test that myself. So first I realised a first regular tesla valve very similar to the ones that can be found after a simple internet research.

AND This greatly worked, I was so amazed! Coooool Stuff!

But I wanted to understand more, So I imagined a Modular Tesla Valve (I think as I am the inventor of this one, I believe.... Innovation is always a step ahead right! Also if it is greatly inspired by such pioneer as Mister Tesla... There it does not have any other purpose as educative and this is cool so... right!)

This Modular Tesla Valve have been designed as combination of the Tesla Valve and a music instrument: the recorder. And you know what... It works!!!

The more holes are closed by the player on this modular tesla valve (similarly to a recorder to play lower tones), the more constraint segments are counteracting the flow.

It is interesting to experience this!!!

EDIT: "This is quite easy to do, I believe that for kids above 12 y.o. this is do-able. However, I guess working with his parents or with an adult to help and guide may be quite advantageous ;) below for kids below 10 y.o. it may be tricky"

Each constraint segment is composed of an inlet a flow backdraft loop and an opening leading to the outside.

Just a mention on the contents of this instructable-->attribution non commercial sharealike.

You can re-use my texts and my pictures, modify or whatever, if you do so please cite the author, my work or even better put a link to this instructable. I would appreciate your cooperation :) In addition if you have any comment or improvement that you would like to share with me please do it. I would like to make a gallery of tesla valve at the end of this instructable, If you craft one, send me a picture :)

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Step 1: Explanation


The flow is hindered by backdraft loops in the flow path in one direction, whereas in the other it flows limitless (OK, right except friction and tubing size... like woodwind music instrument. very narrow tubing are appropriate for low pressure and high musical notes but a flow that must travel into a one meter long tube of 1 mm diameter would be also quite hindered... I also experienced that by trying to make some woodwind instrument myself)

The upper three pictures depict the situation in our design (two segments only). one flow direction (picture 1) is hindered whereas the other not (picture 2)

The second row depict more complex situation. Number 3 is close to the initial Tesla valve design (alternating direction of the backdraft loop). Number 4 is a more modern version that you can see when searching for Tesla Valve on the internet (two loops at the same time at the same position).

Step 2: Inventory and First Project Part


-Foam clay

-paper towel

-modelling tools for clay

-CD case/hard support and transparent film

First part:

Take foam clay and realise a straight and uniform sheet of foam clay : L 10-15 cm, l 3-4 cm , thickness at least 2 mm (0,2 cm) with help of CD case and transparent film

Then sculpt the Modular Tesla Valve design as shown on the picture 3. Make the design broad enough (about 2 mm broad must be enough).

Do not forget the Openings on the sides (see picture 2 for this formal Tesla Valve design!

Then let it Dry under weight to keep it flat.

Step 3: Complete the Modular Tesla Valve

Make a second sheet with dimension slightly bigger than the original but thinner. (1 mm)

Then wet the surface of both sides and press a little the new sheet of foam clay onto the modelled one with the CD case. Press again but more firmly by rolling a LR battery on it to obtain a uniform adhesion of the new sheet onto the modelled one.

Do not overpress, otherwise you will risk closing completely the design by letting clay into the "hollow tubing part". And then it will not work... But you need also to get good adhesion between two sheets...

You need to find the right way to do it. Good Luck Dude!

When you achieve this step, sculpt the tesla valve. Do not close the openings on the side! Close the other parts, so that flow cannot escape at the interface between both sheets.

Also this must not happens., it is just to insure it will work.

Last Step: Let it dry under weight as usual to get it flat otherwise it will be wavy... and this can be a problem.

Step 4: Playing With Your Modular Tesla Valve

As depicted on the pictures, you must obtain a kind of recorder... that will show more and more constraints upon blowing by closing more and more opening (see easy, hard and harder skizzes)

You can also Make it bigger, and you can try in the other direction as well.

That's all folks!

Dr Froggy

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    3 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Does the efficiency of the valve also increase with inlet pressure? That is, the harder you blow, the less air is passed through?

    Dr Froggy
    Dr Froggy

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Good question... Do you have another one?


    Actually I cannot answer your question. But you are right to think about so little pressure applied would lead to nearly no backdraft effect. I can only imagine that if pressure applied is slightly over the ambient pressure, ít will have nearly no effect. you do not compress the gas. So it also mean for a liquid, if you close a Tesla valve in water (for instance), and then you took it in air, can you tell if water is dropping off like unrestrained from the Tesla Valve. I cannot because I have not a water resistant version of this valve. Sadly.

    A lot to consider - pressure of water, gravity...temperature...

    So I did not answer your question... Yes. I will make a guess then.

    The more you blow on a set up the more you get backdraft... But It is not like telling that the less it flows. If I stay on my hypothesis of water dropping only due to gravity, I can consider that at the lowest overpressure ranges this hypothesis can be true.

    At some point you may reach a plateau, or you may lose some efficiencies.

    From my experience there, I can only tell, the more segments you have the more restriction is experienced by the system. Independently from the pressure.

    One further big deal: The friction of air in the system. I guess a set up with tubing above 2 cm inner diameter will enable you to build a 100 segments Tesla Valve. This is the reason why, at some points adding more segments for such a small tubing inner diameter will not improve the efficiency : there a major friction effect must be expected instead... So you will not be able to differentiate the effect of air friction against the wall and the backdraft flow.

    I hope you follow my point. ;)

    If you Do this one and do some experience, Give me some feedbacks ;) I am interested to learn more :D