Summer Project #12: Airlines!

Joined: September 27th, 2015, 4:22 pm

June 18th, 2018, 2:02 am #11

Have you ever considered using PEX?  I've been toying with the idea of setting my garage shop up that way, but that is in no small part due to having a bunch of random PEX stuff left over from redoing the heating in my house.  Some brands are compatible with both push to connect fittings and barb/crimps, so avoiding mixing metals at the drops is relatively simple.  
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Joined: January 24th, 2017, 4:37 pm

June 18th, 2018, 3:03 am #12

In my (former) lab, I ran 1/2" pipe almost all the way around the perimeter, with stratigically located quick disconnects. It was split into two lines where the supply came in from the plant through a filter-regulator assembly, with a second regulator and more quick disconnects and shutoffs to act as a patch panel. Another small regulator with its own shutoff valve could plug into any of the wall disconnects. The line ran around the room at just over the height of the work bench. This way I could run whatever combination of pressures I might need. 

I also ran 2"x2" plastic wire duct most of the way along the wall over the bench and around the corner to the desk that also held the 3D printer and computer workstation. For ventilation, I had a duct fan system with three gated drops, two at the work bench, and the third at the 3D printer. Makeup air came through a powered louvre, controlled by the fan switch. And of course, enough 120vac and 480vac outlets for all the equipment and then some. I'd designed enough electronics, robotics, and training labs over the years, I knew what I wanted for convenience, efficiency, and comfort. 
AD ASTRA, AUT VIAM INVENIUM AUT FACIUM
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Joined: June 2nd, 2015, 3:34 am

June 18th, 2018, 4:16 am #13

Hey if you agree to make me a regular character in your strip, Doc... I'll 3D print you all the airline fittings you can carry!  I'll even print the pipe!   I have several kinds of plastic to choose from... all carefully engineered by folks who know what they are doing.

Let see... I have a spool of yellow... and a spool of green.
It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

June 18th, 2018, 10:02 am #14

You want to be a regular character? So you're saying you want me to bring back this guy? 😁



😋

And how can I refuse the offer of 3D-printed air lines? Better yet, knock the infill down to about 40% or so so the parts are even lighter- that way my shop with handle better and improve the gas mileage.

That's right up there with my brilliant idea of using a Slinky as the hose on my Shop-Vac! 😆

Doc.
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Joined: June 2nd, 2015, 3:34 am

June 18th, 2018, 1:11 pm #15

DocsMachine wrote:

 Better yet, knock the infill down to about 40% or so so the parts are even lighter-

Doc.
Listen.

We checked your credit, and there is no way you can afford that much infill.
It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

June 18th, 2018, 6:49 pm #16

Lord [Redacted] wrote:
June 18th, 2018, 1:11 pm
We checked your credit, and there is no way you can afford that much infill.
-Okay, fallback plan... just what IS the pressure rating of soda straws and scotch tape?

Doc.
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Joined: September 12th, 2014, 3:32 am

June 18th, 2018, 9:46 pm #17

... I take it schedule 40 PVC is right out? (i used to work at a place that plumbed their air lines with it; it did OK for the large part, although they blew up the compressor while I was working there- that was a more stinky mess than the time a pair of workstations came in with burnt power supplies due to some sparky putting 220 on the ground line...)
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Joined: October 11th, 2014, 3:36 am

June 18th, 2018, 10:31 pm #18

I know that I will sound off about this, but I do NOT trust any type of polymer for a compressed air system.  The one advantage polymers do have that is very desirable, is corrosion resistance/proof.  But other then that, I have worked with a fair variety of materials, and I would trust a metal plumbed system.  One of the disadvantages to the polymers is resistance to abrasion.  They just don't do well getting rubbed much.  Heat is yet another nasty weakness.  And I am a bit suspicious for many polymers to long term handling vibration and shock load. 

I fully acknowledge the cost factor in involved in using a copper or the most preferable black pipe for a pneumatic supply system. but the long term 'cost' should make the final choice.
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Joined: November 30th, 2014, 1:36 am

June 18th, 2018, 11:19 pm #19

The RapidAir MaxLine is a pex-al-pex system, pex outside and inside with an aluminum tube between.  It's pretty bullet proof and is good to 200psi at room temp 140psi when it's way too hot to work.

I had a gunsmith friend who plumbed in using PVC.  Worked for a long time until one day he clipped a tee with a barrel and a couple of feet of the PVC blew out.  It's got about the same density as human tissue so I understand they had to probe all the wounds for the pieces.  PVC would be OK for a buried line between buildings but is just too sensitive to UV and ozone for use in a shop.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

June 18th, 2018, 11:23 pm #20

jecook wrote:... I take it schedule 40 PVC is right out?
-Yes, it is in fact "right out". 😁

PVC has a poor "fatigue strength", and after a certain number of cycles near its pressure rating, will at some point crack and fail.

It's not really an "if", it's a "when". It will eventually fail.

And when it does, it throws out shrapnel- it doesn't "peel open" like a beer can, it shatters like glass, throwing sharp fragments.

If it were as easy as using PVC, I'd have had a nice air line up over a decade ago. 😁 But I want something that I can put up and have a high degree of trust in for years to come. The RapidAir/MaxLine stuff is relatively new enough it doesn't have a particularly long track record, but the technology behind it (the way the fittings work and such) is pretty mature. I should be able to be pretty confident that this MaxLine stuff will last me at least the next ten years, maybe twenty.

Doc.
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