The pneumatic system is widely applied to industry and competitive robot; however, pneumatic elements are rarely applied to DIY field. A very important reason is that the air source problem is hard to solve.
The pneumatic system provides power to moving parts by using the compression gas; there are three kinds of common air source:
This paper will introduce a simple and cheap air source solution which is applicable to DIY pneumatic system and the competitive robot. The main materials to be used include: carbonated beverage bottle, inflator, air pipe, switch valve, and customized bottle cover. The below will introduce them one by one.
Carbonated beverage bottle:
It is used as the compression air storage bottle, and ordinary Coke, Sprite, Seven Up and the other beverage bottle can be used. The mineral spring water bottle cannot be used; for the big pressure of the inner part of the carbonated beverage bottle has been considered in design, the other beverage may not be considered. The mineral spring water bottle may cause rupture and explosion of the bottle body in inflation or use. Before use, please clean and dry since moisture and other components in the beverage may influence on the performance and service life of some pneumatic elements.
The inflator can be bicycle inflator and used for inflating the air storage bottle. The model of the output air pipe with diameter of 8 mm shall be selected, and the outlet head is sheared off, or the diameter of the air outlet is changed to 8 mm through an adaptor. In figure, the outside diameter of the black hose is 8 mm.
8mm-to-6mm switch valve can manually control the on-off of the air path.Bottle cover:
There are two customized bottle covers, and the calibers are matched up with the common beverage bottle. The one is provided with an air outlet, a pressure gauge with range of 6 kg/cm2, and an adjustable pressure release valve. The second one is an adaptor by which a plurality of air storage bottles can be cascaded to provide greater air storage amount. The air outlet of the bottle cover can hold the air pipe with the diameter of 6 mm.
① Shear a section of air pipe, and insert to the air outlet of the bottle cover; soak the air pipe head by hot water for several seconds; after softening, the air pipe is easier to install.
② Screw up the fittings of the bottle covers.
③ Mount the switch valve.
④ Screw the bottle cover on the air storage bottle.
⑤ Open the valve, inflate by the inflator with 5-6 barometric pressures generally, and do not make the appointer exceed the range.
⑥ Close the valve and pull out the air pipe of the inflator.
At last, the pneumatic system can be used after connecting the switch valve to pneumatic system. In use and inflation, please pay attention to the safety of the air bottle and do not contact sharp articles; otherwise, explosion may be happened. For the pneumatic elements are quick in movement speed and big in force, please also pay attention to safety in debugging.
This paper has displayed the connection method of single air storage bottle. If a plurality of air storage bottles needs to use, a plurality of air storage bottles shall be connected together through the bottle covers with double air outlets.