MadSci Network: Engineering

Subject: Can a falling cylinder pass through a gate into a compressed air chamber?

Date: Sat Sep 8 23:44:24 2007
Posted by Rowland
Grade level: grad (non-science) School: California State University, Sacramento
City: Sacramento State/Province: California Country: United States of America
Area of science: Engineering
ID: 1189320264.Eg

Could a free falling cylindrical tank pass down and through a gate mechanism 
into a compressed air chamber? 
Description of problem:  A specially designed cylinder is allowed to free fall 
in a guided manner straight down into a tube which is part of a gate mechanism 
at the top of a compressed air chamber. The tube is lined with compression 
rings so as to maintain a tight seal with the cylinder as it passes down 
through the tube. Half way down this tube sits a gate. The gate is triggered 
to open just before  the falling cylinder reaches it. The cylinder continues 
to fall  passing through the now open gate and on down the tube. The cylinder 
continues down the tube and drops out of the bottom of the tube into a large 
compressed air chamber. The gate mechanism in the tube is triggered to close 
just as the cylinder exists the tube and enters the compressed air chamber.    

Tank Cylinder:  2 ft  X 15 ft long Weight 2,645 lbs 

Cross sectional area of cylinder 3.14 sq ft. (452 sq inches)
Tube cross sectional area just slightly larger than cylinder's to accomodate 
compression rings.

Free fall distance for cylinder:  576 ft. 

Pressure of air in compressed air chamber 500 psi

Length of Tube through which the cylinder must pass to enter the air chamber = 
30 ft. (15 ft above the gate and 15 ft below the gate.)

Compressed air chamber size 30 ft X 60 ft(deep) X 30 ft 

Re: Can a falling cylinder pass through a gate into a compressed air chamber?

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