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max range: Combustion vs. Pneumatic

A place to ask general spud cannon related questions.
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max range: Combustion vs. Pneumatic

Unread postAuthor: Aiden Fontana » Fri Jul 05, 2013 5:54 pm

Hi Guys, I was just wondering what system would be ideal in order to achieve maximum range for a cannon. Thanks.

Aiden
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Unread postAuthor: Gun Freak » Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:52 pm

That would be like asking somebody if they prefer pizza or ice cream. Range is entirely dependent on the projectile used, its aerodynamics, its fit in the barrel, pressure/fuel/mix used, barrel length, etc. (of course mix can be ignored because we need not speak of hybrids)

If you have access to higher pressures and parts to handle it, a pneumatic can overpower a combustion in MOST cases because combustions generally peak at ~120 psi or so; that is, unless it's a hybrid. Again, since you asked about just pneumatic vs. combustion, probably pneumatic.

Now, if you included hybrids, there's no denying a hybrid can easily overpower a pneumatic in most cases. But the question is just too broad...
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Unread postAuthor: Technician1002 » Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:26 pm

Air cannons vary in power due to the choice of valve, pressure, chamber size, etc just like combustions. In general the top of the line metered combustions and top of the line high flow air cannons perform very well. Reducing to spray and pray and sprinkler valve, smaller size valves, or ball valve cannons puts them in the lower power classification.

I have had two chances to compare cannons side by side. The first was with a Spray and Pray cannon vs an early generation of the QDV. The two cannons were closely matched when the air cannon ran on reduced pressure of about 45 PSI. At 70 PSI the air cannon clearly won.

The other match up was air cannon vs air cannon. Both had the about the same chamber volume and barrel size, but one was flow restricted by using a 1.5 inch sprinkler valve. Both tested at the same pressure. There was a huge difference between a 1.5 sprinkler valve and a 2 inch piston design. The piston easily beat the sprinkler valve.

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T shirt launchers. Both with 3 inch barrel and about 700 cubic inches air tank. One launches over 400 FPS. The other under 300 FPS.

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Unread postAuthor: mako » Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:20 am

Technically speaking, there isn't a strict answer to this question. Both systems have their pro's and con's. Some-one will always be able to build a bigger, better cannon than the one before, regardless of the propulsion medium.
It would be theoretically possible to build an air cannon that used every available molecule of air on earth, and would out shoot any combustion cannon ever built. The opposite is also true.
The efficacy of the cannon, medium being air OR combustion, is down to the builder.
In my opinion, the most easily built in terms of power is an air cannon.
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Unread postAuthor: Blitz » Sat Jul 06, 2013 3:10 pm

I would simply add, since it's been pretty well said already, that making a more powerful pneumatic cannon would be easier to achieve.
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Unread postAuthor: Zeus » Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:37 am

Mako, it'd also be possible to create a hybrid which uses every molecule of gas on the planet, and source Hydrogen from space to create a more powerful cannon again.

A hybrid is far more efficient than using a pneumatic at higher pressure, but for your usual advanced combustion versus a pneumatic at 100psi, toss a coin. Combustions have a slight advantage with the SOS, as the gasses are pretty damned hot.
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