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Electret Bladder Engine

The four stroke engine made amusing
  [vote for,

As anyone who has paid any attention to my amazing work here on the half-bakery (and why would anyone) will know, I am not an engineer.

But can we make a bladder out of strong enough elastic material (a very thick-skinned balloon, if you like), stripe it with electret strips (such as described by Vernon for his tent), and use these for our engine?

Our bladders will be the pistons. The bladder material is strong enough to return to rest both while compressing the air and fuel as well as driving the crankshaft (via a shaft connected to the base of the bladder). Needs to be very heat resistant, too, I suppose.

For suck, the electrets would be charged, causing the bladder to expand. Releasing the charge causes the bladder to return to rest for squeeze. Spark plug bangs, expanding the bladder, then the bladder again goes to rest for blow. There you have it.

The charge required to expand such a bladder would have to be immense, of course, but we are not doing this for efficiency. We are doing it so we can expose the bladder(s) above the hood of the engine so it will look very funny while doing its work. Clowns, for instance, would love it for their cars. Also, just because we can (if indeed we can...).

globaltourniquet, Aug 31 2007

Vernon's tent Electret_20Tent
Thanks, [Treon]. [globaltourniquet, Aug 31 2007]


       Could you elaborate on the mechanics of how the expanding and contracting of the balloon is converted into rotating motion of the crankshaft?
BJS, Aug 31 2007

       Same way as with a piston. The connecting rod is attached to the base of the balloon. It could be a two-piece rod with a hinge in the middle - the part attached to the balloon held vertically in place by a plate - no _two_ plates - and the part attched to the crank hinged onto it.
globaltourniquet, Aug 31 2007

       I think that the power would be delivered by both the expansion of the bladder, and the contraction of the bladder, which would theoretically make it run relatively smooth.
BJS, Aug 31 2007

       Wouldn't the power only be "delivered" by stroke 3? Unless I misunderstand the term "delivered", that is.   

       Let's see...   

       Stroke 1 is a loss, I'm sure, because the charge to expand is mighty. Does a traditional 4-stroke get the 1-stroke basically for free from the already turning crankshaft (I'm sure the question alone shows you how little I know about this stuff...)?   

       OK, stroke 2 can deliver power on the contract.   

       Stroke 3 is fuel combustion, so yeah, it is the power stroke.   

       And stroke 4 can deliver power too, maybe.   

       Do I understand correctly?
globaltourniquet, Aug 31 2007

       All I'm saying is that the bladder is like an elastic band, when you stretch it, it stores energy, and then releases it when in contracts.   

       The combustion stroke would output some power from the engine, and some of the power would be stored, and then released during the exhaust stroke. The intake stroke would use both mechanical and electrical energy to expand the bladder, and I think the compression stroke if it even works would use some energy.
BJS, Sep 01 2007

       I just don't think this idea would really work (at least not very well with current known materials). I know that when any kind of elastic material is stretched, it's pores get much larger. and I don't know about any elastic material that can resist a lot of heat, and last for a long time.   

       I think this idea could possibly be adapted to use some type of cloth-like material that is very heat resistant, pressure resistant, and strong. The material would some how flatten or fold to expel its contents, and uh.. yeah, you can try to figure out the rest. Although I realize the point of this idea is to let the gases expand in all directions.
BJS, Sep 01 2007


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