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Thread: Air Whips: where did I go wrong?

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  1. Default Air Whips: where did I go wrong? 
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Ayer, MA 01432
    A few weeks ago I asked where to get the tubing for the air whips, so I went out and got both latex and silicone tubing. My setup is using 1/4 tubing and 7 t-joints for the whips. I have a basic 1/4 orifice 2-way solenoid and 100psi of pressure. Oh yeah I don't have an air tank but the whips sit about 5 feet away from the compressor so I wasn't worried. It's just the fact that the whips aren't quite, well, whippy enough. They don't move that fast and some barely move. Where did I go wrong?

    Is it the lack of air tank?
    Is it my whip tubing walls are too thick? (1/4 OD, 1/8 I'D)
    Do I just need bigger supply hoses or solenoids?

  2. Default  
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Charlotte North Carolina, United States
    Yes on all of your follow up questions my whip has a 10 gallon tank and use 3/8 supply and 1/8 whips this does use lots of air. The solenoid should be fine though.

  3. Default  
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    the solonoid to me sounds too small for this application

  4. Default  
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Around Cape Girardeau
    Just a thought but have tried the tubing used for fish tanks. If I remember right it has a 1/16 inch wall and is very flexable.

    a.k.a. The Butcher
    a.k.a. Hauntlord

  5. Default  
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Mesquite, TX
    To be clear and to eliminate a possibility, how many whips are you running? I have seen both atex and silicone tubing work.

  6. Default Cross Sectional Area 
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    To get full force out of a single whip its all about the cross sectional area of your feeder vs the summed cross sectional area of your outputs. So the area of a circle is pi*r^2 So for a 1/8in inner diameter tube that is approximately .049in^2. Say you have 7 outputs and that would give you a total output area of .3434in^2. Now if your feeder is 1/4in inner diameter would give you .196in^2. So your inlet to outlet ratio is .57 This means you can expect only about half the observed pressure coming out of an outlet as opposed to what you are putting into the system. Now this isn't going to be so nice and even across all the outlets depending on how you have them arranged you can expect to see a small drop in the ones closest to the inlet and a drastic drop in the ones further away.

    So basically you need a bigger inlet than an outlet. How big, we you can run those numbers up there if you like, if that's not your fancy then trial and error works well too. At some point obviously you are just going to have too many outlets and no matter how hard you drive the input it won't really make a difference anymore. If that's happening make the feeder bigger.

    Another thing to remember about compressors is many models have a regulator built into the outlet. On smaller models these are not high flow regulators, not at all. What you'll typically see is the orifice inside the regulator can be as small as a 1/16in. This is of course going to choke your flow at the source. In this particular case you'll need a reserve tank to give you a good flow volume when you need it, and then let the compressor catch up while the effect is at rest.

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