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Air Tank Help Answered

Some friends and I are looking to make some projects, mainly air powered. We have been looking for an air tank to hold the pressure before we discharge it but have been having problems finding the exact part. I have found lots of the air tanks to fill tires and stuff like that but I need something to hold a good amount of pressure and let it out in one big shot and can be charge with a normal car tire air compressor. -I need to know the exact name this items goes by. (Just "air tank" gives me the tanks for tire inflation) -I need to know a webite or store to purchase them at. (Home Depot or Grainger by any chance?)



11 years ago

add "compressor" to your "air tank" search, and you'll find the storage tanks used with air compressors for tools, spraying, sand-blasting, etc. Like here: compressorWorld.com; tanks from 12 to over 2000 gallons.

You quickly get into prices higher than scuba tanks, but a scuba tank is a high pressure cylinder and won't hold much air at the low pressures you're dealing with. (scuba tank pressure = ~3000psi. Normal car-tire compressor = ~120psi)

None of these will release the pressure in "one big shot"; they're carefully designed NOT to. Even a smallish low-pressure tank will hold enough energy to scatter your body parts over a wide area. High pressure "dump valves" are an exotic science all to themselves. For cannon-like devices, you might search for "burst diaphragm" instead. I've seen some neat "airworks" launchers that used paper labels as burst disks...

What are you doing?

If you need a source of high pressure dry air..... SCBA or SCUBA tanks ;)

80cu.ft. tanks isn't too terrible in cost nowadays (if you don't need to hydrostat them). And there's some decent bargain regulators out there - you probably just need a first stage with a mid pressure line. Although, flow could be an issue - but you never said what you were doing :P

Check out eBay for pressure vessels (I just searched for "Pressure vessel" and got some decent results).

look up 'potato cannon.' one of your problems is going to be the size of conection between the tank and the device. the most comon way around this is to use large (4+ inch dia.) sewer pipe. there is a difference in abs and pvc/cpvc pipes, but i don't remember which explodes into sharp fragments when overpressured : ) sprinkler solinoid valves are commonly modified for air valves in potato cannons.

PVC - fails violently (shrapnel), but at higher pressures. ABS - not so deadly, but will fail at lower pressures.


11 years ago

So you just want a pressure vessel? They're very easy to make yourself, with just a few parts from the plumbing section of a hardware store. I've always thought of them as big Lego's, because they just snap together, (you'll want to glue them, if you are dealing with pressure). The best way to let the air out all at once is with a sprinkler valve, which you can also find at a store like Home Depot. If you know what you're looking for, the whole project should only run you $20-$30, depending on how big you want to make it.

Some good examples:
An end-around cannon by mat_the_w
Pnewton's Petard by Hermes
This one uses a soda bottle as the pressure vessel, which might appeal to you if you are looking for an even cheaper way. (By Trebuchet03)

It might also help if you could tell us what you're planning to do.


11 years ago

I was looking at walmart a while back and I noticed a refillable paint ball cannister, I think it was like One liter.As for letting it out fast what are you trying to power? If it is a air powered gun like what the mythbusters built for the chicken cannon you want some type of newmatic aquater. I know i spelled them wrong but that could get expensive. If you're on a budget just a air valve would be fine but you would not get nearly as much power.