The Pressure in an Air Cannon

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

The Pressure in an Air Cannon

A compressed air cannon may sound a little weird, but it’s surprising what a sudden pulse of air can do. For simply having fun, the AirZooka can blow a harmless ball of air up to 20 feet. Also for play is the Zero Blaster that launches 2-to-6-inch diameter non-toxic fog rings, which travel up to 14 feet. The fog allows the user and observers to see the toroid shape of the pressure pulse.

AirZooka Air Gun

Image Source: AirZooka on Amazon

The sudden release of a diaphragm allows pressure to build inside a chamber. With a restriction on the opposite end the pressure is increased according to Boyle’s law (P1 x V1 = P2 x V2).

One do-it yourself website for an air-powered cannon recommends attaching a bicycle pump or air compressor to build up pressure to 50-80 psi on a design that uses water pipe in a sealed chamber with a release valve. Depending on the design, air cannons are also used to launch potatoes, tennis balls and other stuff.

The world’s largest air cannon, built in the Czech Republic in collaboration with the TV show “Wonders of Nature,” can shoot air more than 300 feet. Its effectiveness was demonstrated by knocking down a wall of cardboard boxes. Smoke added to the pulse shows the toroid shape of the moving air.

Popular Mechanics Air Cannon DemoImage source: Popular Mechanics

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The Pressure for Water Conservation

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

The Pressure for Water Conservation

A compressed air-assisted flush water tank can consume 20% to 38% less water on average than a 1.6 gallon per flush (gpf) gravity toilet. Pressure-assisted or power flush toilets use a tank-in-tank design to propel additional water (i.e., 70 gallon per minute peak flow) into the bowl with each flush. The pressure-assisted flush system uses the existing pressure energy of the water supply to significantly improve toilet performance and minimize double flushes to clear waste.

In this design, when supply line water fills the compressed air-assisted flush water tank, the air is trapped and compressed. The air pressure builds until it is approximately equal to the water supply line pressure. At this point, the water flow stops and the compressed air-assisted flush water tank is ready for the next flush. Since it uses the same basic water supply pressure (20–25 psi or higher) as a conventional gravity-fed toilet, the developed air pressure is 20–25 psi or higher (minus the height of the water in the gravity-fed tank). The increased pressure pushes waste up to 33% further down the drain than the recommendations set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Uncompressed vs compressed air mechanism. Image courtesy of Flushmate.

Uncompressed vs compressed air mechanism. Image courtesy of Flushmate.

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Pressure for Oxygen Therapy

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Pressure for Oxygen Therapy

Patients short of breath may need an oxygen concentrator to provide sufficient oxygen to make their breathing easier. Underlying health issues that could require the extra oxygen or oxygen therapy include asthma, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the flu and, most recently, COVID-19. Without requiring oxygen stored in tanks or containers, oxygen concentrators provide a continuous supply of oxygen that comes from the surrounding air.

Modern oxygen concentrators delivering about five to 10 liters of the gas per minute, typically at about 93% purity, are designed for either stationary (home) or portable usage. While a home oxygen concentrator may weigh less than 20 pounds, many portable oxygen concentrator models weigh less than 5 pounds.

Oxygen Concentrator

The oxygen concentrator uses a pump to compress the oxygen, filters or sieves to separate out nitrogen and other impurities, and pressure reducers to provide low pressure oxygen for patients to breath. With varying pressures and flow rates, different pressure sensors can be used at various points in the system. Any of the sensors for portable units need to be both small and light weight making microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) sensors ideal for these applications.

The low differential pressure measurements for flow are typically only a few kPA. Essentially, any of All Sensors DLHR, DLVR, ELVR, ELV and MLV series products that have respiratory pressure ranges will work for O2 concentrators in these ultra-low pressure applications.

All Sensors E1NJ Package

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Changes in the Forecast for Pressure Sensors?

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Changes in the Forecast for Pressure Sensors?

Similar to many other products, instead of growing in 2020, due to the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic, the pressure sensor market experienced a slight drop according to a recent market report. But recovery is in the forecast.  The global MEMS pressure sensor market is expected to grow at US$2.2 billion in 2026 having a 4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2019-2026 with the medical portion growing at the same CAGR.

In addition to their extensive use in automobiles, smartphones and industrial applications, the report acknowledges that the miniaturization of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) pressure sensors has allowed their use in invasive medical applications like blood pressure monitoring. Also, “Other niche medical markets like catheters, inflating device monitoring for cardiovascular applications that are invasive and require high accuracy, low-cost sensors, are fully using the advantages of MEMS technologies and could foster broader use in the medical market.”

The report states that as a mature technology, MEMS pressure sensors currently dominate the low-pressure market segment – under 10 bars (145 psi) – with piezoresistive technology continuing to be the main MEMS technology for the next five years. All Sensors piezoresistive MEMS pressure sensors are poised to take advantage of broader use in medical applications, especially in the ultra-low pressure from 0.1-inch H2O (0.0036 psi) full scale up to the 25-inch H2O (0.9 psi) area.

All Sensors Corporation's ELV Series Pressure Sensors

ELV Series digital and analog pressure sensor products.

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