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Sugar as a Fuel?

Post questions and info about combustion (flammable vapor) powered cannons here. This includes discussion about fuels, ratios, ignition systems, safety, and anything else relevant.
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Do you think it could work?

Yes, and it could equal or beat propane for power.
6
21%
Yes, but not as powerful as propane.
3
11%
Yes, but it sounds too difficult.
7
25%
No, what kind of idiot are you?
6
21%
ROFL!!!!!!!
6
21%
 
Total votes : 28
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Unread postAuthor: wipsomass » Thu Oct 12, 2006 6:29 am

i used to do that expirememnt at school, and then i made one for myself at home - caus i was a bit of a pyro (nothings really changed)

We used custard powder as it was fine and seamed to work better than caster suger.

We had a candle lit in a large coffee tin and a pipe leading into the tin that was filled with custard powder. We stood back and blew on the pipe and it would go into the can and combust and a 1-2m flame would come out the top - blowing the metal lid of the coffee can off :D

Good times.....

Anyways - suppose you cant really implement that into your design as the air would go back through the tube and you would get a mouthful of custard powder...... but if you do try it, make sure someone is filming :D (lol)

hope it all goes ok,

Will
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Unread postAuthor: joannaardway » Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:36 am

I did think about using a side chamber of pre-pressurized air, and using that to blast the powder into the chamber, but that would have blown the ignition out in all probability.

I decided that dispersing the powder, and then igniting it would work better.

The other problem with a candle or similar is that it uses up air, and a propane blowtorch would do the same. The ignition needs to have it's own oxygen supplied to it, and it needs to be ignited, then injected.

If anyone has any questions or ideas, please bring them up - I may not have thought of it, and I'd like to be certain of my idea.
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Unread postAuthor: benstern » Thu Oct 12, 2006 5:26 pm

Just use a stungun spark strip.
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Unread postAuthor: pyromanic13 » Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:56 pm

I know thev done this with cars, so I don't see why a cannon wouldn't work.

GREAT IDEA!
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Unread postAuthor: Extrusion » Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:07 pm

theyve used sugar with cars wtf you got a link for it id love to read up on that lol i wonder if you could just shake it up to make the sugar get into the air in the chamber then ignite it that would be more easy then having some contraption that blows it into there...just and idea.
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Unread postAuthor: rna_duelers » Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:54 am

I'd opt for the shake n shoot gun,has a kinda catchy name.Why not get a lantern sparker?Never seen one before or held one but i supose the would have a similar type spark for an oxy-acetylene torch and would be plenty to ignite the mixture.
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Unread postAuthor: joannaardway » Fri Oct 13, 2006 7:51 am

Sparks probably won't ignite the mix, unless they are seriously whacked out. Stunguns are also illegal over here the UK , and my electronics skills aren't up to making one.

I'll have to stick with flames for now.

My twin had a new idea for the design last night:

He was talking about a looped chamber made of a Tee (leading to the barrel) and 3 elbows, that has constantly cycling air currents (from 2 or so fans) keeping the powder in suspension.

Shaking the launcher doesn't appeal to me, because I don't think it will work hugely well - at the very best, it's power will be more limited than a full blown version.

I have heard something about sugar in cars, but for some reason it didn't link up for me...

Everything I hear makes me more convinced this might just work.
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Unread postAuthor: Flying_Salt » Sat Oct 14, 2006 10:21 am

Eh, It may not be a good idea, because it may burn to slowly, leaving you with a barrel full of molten sludge. You may want to test it in an extra piece of pvc before you risk wrecking your gun.
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Unread postAuthor: frankrede » Sat Oct 14, 2006 10:51 am

Discussion of solid propellants, explosive devices or incendiary projectiles fired specifically from a spud cannon is prohibited, and may result in a permanent banning of your account.
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Unread postAuthor: joannaardway » Sat Oct 14, 2006 12:14 pm

Again, read the rules - flour (and therefore sugar) is all OK under them.

Gunpowder isn't - sugar is.

I'd be building a whole new cannon for the purpose, because it simply wouldn't work with any of my current ones.

If sugar "gunk" is the problem, I'll use something else without the "gunk" - flour, custard powder, whatever.
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Unread postAuthor: benstern » Sun Oct 15, 2006 5:35 pm

good call.
I believe that sorbitol, a sugar substitute used in high power rocketty, does not caramelize but contains more potential combustion power than sugar.

It is a bit more expensive than sugar. (skylighter sells it at $8.67 per pound)
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Unread postAuthor: SquishY » Sun Oct 15, 2006 9:41 pm

Try a threaded reducer Tee to hold the rocket fuel with the jet going to the inside of coarse, a threaded cleanout on one end and barrel on the other. Load it like a normal combustion, pour in fuel, cap, shake, and ignite. This would suspend the fuel and give an easy way to change ingitions.
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Unread postAuthor: KVINCEO » Sun Oct 15, 2006 10:09 pm

how about a hybrid? a coaxial, get a ball valve and put it midway in the chamber, dump some sugar, or coffe creamer in it. have a stun gun with an on/off switch rather than a trigger, with a spark strip at the base of the barrel, and let er' rip
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Unread postAuthor: drac » Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:12 am

Well, solid fuels (if I'm not mistaken) contain their own oxidizer, which sugar does. But I doubt that sugar has the same explosive force as gunpowder. This topic is fine.

frankrede- a polite reminder to leave interpretation of the rules to the mods. 8)
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Unread postAuthor: joannaardway » Mon Oct 16, 2006 6:03 pm

Sugar doesn't contain it's own oxidiser - it won't burn in the presence of oxygen (Gunpowder or similar substances will however - even underwater, say for a waterproof fuse). It does however contain oxygen in it's ring structure, which isn't quite the same thing.

Solid fuels do however contain their own oxidiser, yes.

I've been thinking hybrids too. Then I'd be really "famous".

And I'd be really really "famous" if it exploded...

Woooo, DDT with sugar!!!!
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