Moving a Floating object in a circulating system

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by CJennings, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. CJennings

    CJennings New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Hello all,

    I am a college student and need some help with a project i am working on. ANY input would be appreciated so don't hesitate!

    I am trying to enter and move a floating object into a constantly circulating water system, where the floating object comes out the other side. for a better idea, something like what is shown in the following link.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJlgc79XrQk&feature=related

    I've racked my brain and have come up with the idea that i may need a small centrifugal pump. some PVC pipe and a circulating system. My only problem is how to get the ball to enter the water system because it floats. and also how to get the ball to come out of a totally different extraction point without water coming out of that point as well. I've thought of two overflow tanks both with pumps, or basing it mostly off gravity. but its all becoming a blur. Anyway if anyone has any ideas or comments please feel free to post.

    Thank you in advance
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,264
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    ball

    You have to have an open tank with the fluid moving from the inlet past the outlet. Then you need an "injection" system, such as opposing belts to pull the ball down into the fluid. Next, there has to be a guide device to direct the ball to the outlet, and finally a second set of belts, wheels, waterwheel, or whatever, to grab the ball and propel it upward. Anything that works with gravity, will also drain the water.
  3. Cass

    Cass Plumber

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    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Does the system require water or can air be substituted...
  4. CJennings

    CJennings New Member

    Messages:
    4
    The system does require water, in order to clean and wash the ball.
  5. nhmaster

    nhmaster Master Plumber

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    3,189
    Location:
    S. Maine
    Use a ping pong ball and drill a hole it it so it doesn't float.
  6. gardner

    gardner DIY Senior Member

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    Location:
    Ontario
    Perhaps an archimedes screw type arrangement. The screw can be angled downward to pick up the ball and carry it under the surface of the water and carry it along though your mechanism.

    My bet is that the mechanism under the table in that film uses a caterpillar track type arrangement to grab the ball and push it along. The track can follow a complex path and have prongs that stick out to engage the ball.

    At the other end, have air bubbling up through the water in a tube just big enough for the ball. The air will lift the ball clear of the water level and push it up the tube.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
  7. CJennings

    CJennings New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Any idea where i can buy or fabricate this type of "archimedes screw"? this would completely solve the project!
  8. frenchie

    frenchie Jack of all trades

    I love this place.:)
  9. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    7,453
    Location:
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    You could probably skip injecting the air at the lower level and just have it come in at the surface of the water. Make the tube very slightly larger than the ball so that water will not push up above the ball. The air coming in at the surface will be at the lower part of the ball as a ping pong ball will float high. Set the flow rate high enough to raise the ball even with the slight leakage from the slightly oversize tube.

    Nice Idea Gardner!
  10. gardner

    gardner DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    217
    Location:
    Ontario
    Fabricate it out of brass rod and solder it together. Bend the rod around a mandrel for the screw, cut and solder the centre shaft and spokes. It should not be too hard to do. Use off-the-shelf plumbing solder, flux and a propane torch. You would probably get by with three spokes at each end and nothing in the middle to support the screw.

    And why I'm helping some otherwise intelligent student to waste his life playing drinking games, I am not at all sure.
  11. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
  12. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Attached Files:

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  13. CJennings

    CJennings New Member

    Messages:
    4
    I appreciate it Gardner, i'll give it a try over the next week or so when i have the time. Thank you again everyone
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