Engineering Projects/Hydraulic ram/Howard Community College/Fall2012/p3501ATandT

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Problem Statement[edit | edit source]

To create a pump that will successfully elevate water against gravity above the height of its source without using electricity, then refine its design. Pump 10 percent of the water from a height of 10 feet to height of 15 feet.

Team Members[edit | edit source]

Shane Larkin

Timothy Fries

Tolulope Ajayi

Halima Khatun

Summary[edit | edit source]

For our project cycle, our major goal was fix the previously existing hydraulic ram and to create a prototype. We successfully created the prototype for the ram and replaced the malfunctioning part of the bigger ram. We performed a number of testing on each ram, but none of them came out successful. In the case of the bigger ram, the swing check valve did not properly as it was suppose to, even though we were able to create a large amount of pressure flow by making out water source about 9 ft and its delivery about 8 ft, but for the smaller ram the swing check valve did flap, but no water went pass the other swing check valve that acted as the non return valve. This may be because the swing check can't perform the actual functions of a non-return valve.

Poster[edit | edit source]

Presentation 2.png

Story[edit | edit source]

  • In the first week of the project cycle, the team mainly focused on creating a plan on how we were going to proceed with the hydraulic ram. We came up with some ideas and possible solutions for fixing the existing ram. We also decided to make a 1/2" ram, as a demonstration of scaling down a project. The team sourced a one inch ball return valve which would be used in the existing hydraulic ram.
  • In the second week, while the team was waiting for the one inch ball valve to be delivered, we decided to start working on the half inch hydraulic ram. We met Wednesday of that week and created a design for the half inch ram, as well as a supply list for materials that would be needed for the ram. At first, we were going to use a half inch swing and non-return ball valve for the ram, but it was noticed that the price of a 1/2 inch non- return valve cost about $44 which was above our budget for the project. We then decided to use two swing check valve instead, in theory the combination of these valves should work, but with the research that was done we have actually never seen two swing check valves work. After this we went to home depot to buy the materials for the half inch hydraulic ram, the total cost of the materials was about $28. Since we didn't a hex saw to cut our dimensions for the ram, one of team member Halima took it home and cut out the necessary dimension and set-up the hydraulic ram.
  • At the beginning of the third week, we still had not received the one non- return ball valve for the bigger ram, so we started construction on the half inch ram. We started by making the pressure tank, then we glued some of the PVC pipe, used sand paper to level the edges. After this we used some plumber's putty to attach the swing check valve the ram . By Wednesday, the non-return valve had arrived and since the plumber's putty on the half inch ram had not dried, we started the modifications to the bigger ram. The first step was to saw off the old non- return valve. With this done the ram had little PVC to attach the new non- return valve, so we had to attach a 1"-1" coupling to ram which served as an extension for us to attach the new non-return valve. After this we tested the ram in the room, but surprisingly the ram didn't work. The swing check valve did not flap by its self. With no idea on what to do next, we decided to do some research on why the ram was not working because ours was built exactly like the ones we had seen the videos online.
  • In the fourth week, with research performed it basically stated that were not getting enough pressure flow to make the swing check flap. Taking this into account, we tested the hydraulic ram outside,a water source elevated to about 9 ft, with the output about 8 ft. With this new adjustment made, we were getting much more pressure, but the out come was not any different from our previous testing. From here we went back to constructing the half inch hydraulic ram. We observed that the plumber putty was ineffective in holding the swing check valve in place because one of the valve had broken off. We then use hot glue and plumber's putty to hold the valves in place. Surprisingly the combination actually held the valves together, so then we tested it; and to our surprise the swing check valve that acted as the waste valve did flap, but no water came out the out put pipe. This may be due to the fact we didn't create a snifter valve , stop valve to the ram or may be it was because a swing check valve can't actually perform the same function of non- return valve.

YouTube Videos of Ram Testing Process:

Decision List[edit | edit source]

Hydraulic Ram Project Cycle 3 Decision Matrix.png

Material List[edit | edit source]

  1. 1/2", 1", and 2" PVC pipe from Home Depot
  1. PVC cement
  1. 1/2" and 1" ball stop valve from Home Depot ($2.52 and $5.15, respectively)
  1. 1" brass swing check valve from Schumacher & Seiler ($20.62)
  1. PVC swing check valve from Schumacher & Seiler ($17.58)
  1. Bike tire inter-tube (free from classmate)
  1. 1" PVC 90° bend from Schumacher & Seiler ($2.21)
  1. 2x 1"-1/2" and 1x 2"-1" PVC bushings from Schumacher & Seiler
  1. 2 1" PVC Tees
  1. 1 thin nail
  1. Silicon sealant from Home Depot

Materials for half inch ram - These materials were all purchased at Home Depot

1. 1"inch PVC cap - $0.96
2. two 2" inch pipes - $3.81
3. 1/2" inch pipe - $ 1.86
4. 1"-1" couplings- $0.77
5. 1"- 1/2" bushing - $1. 26
6. 1/2"- 1/2" coupling - $0.77
7. Brass swing check valve- $9.27
8. 1 x 1/2" 90 degrees elbow PVC_ $1.46
9. 1/2" inch barded hose attachment- $ 3.52
10. attachment nozzle for delivery tube
  1. 2"-2" and 1"-1" couplings

Software List[edit | edit source]

No software required for this project

Tutorials[edit | edit source]


Next Steps[edit | edit source]

The next steps for the hydraulic ram would probably center around testing the existing 1" ram to find out why it doesn't operate automatically. The team tried several different modifications to the testing apparatus and to the ram itself with very little noticeable effect. The system is very capable of delivering water to an elevated point, but it is still not able to do this without manual operation. This may be due to a design flaw in the ram itself, or it may be caused by some lack of needed functionality in one of its components. The 1/2" ram was constructed toward the end of the project cycle, so much more extensive testing would need to be done to determine why it is not yet working. The team suspects that both of these rams are failing to work due to the non-return valves not closing and opening with sufficient force to drive the system. Switching these valves out for either fabricated valves or different manufactured valves would be a good next step. Testing the 1" ram with an even higher level of drive pressure would be another option. This could be achieved by using a 55 gallon drum as the water source. Also another next step could be to find a ball check valve that uses a spring to keep pressure down on the ball so that the pumping action caused by the waste valve pushes the ball up so that water can flow out and not have the water holding up the ball.