Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Its been quite a while since my last post, and things haven been progressing quite as fast as I had hoped, but I thought I would post an update of where we are at and what we are working on.

We have spent most of the last two weeks moving into the new workshop. As all of the shelving and cupboards I had in my old workshop belonged to my parents, we didn't really have anywhere to put things and everything was on the floor for a while which made it very difficult to find things. ABSOE kindly donated some shelving which was a big help and things are now allot neater, although there is still a way to go before we have a completely functional workshop.

We moved the mill in but there was an incident moving the lathe. I hired a chap to move it and short story, he dropped it. He hadn't moved machinery before, which become evident quickly and he was trying to drag it along my wooden garage floor with his crane and a rope tied to the bed. Any person with half a brain could have seen that if you try to pull something that is top heavy from its top it will fall over! Unfortunately I wasn't paying close enough attention to him to stop him. I should have said something when he tried to sling around the lead screws but he got annoyed when I suggested a better way so I tried to stay out of his way, figuring he probably knew what he was doing. There is a lesson there. the damage isn't too bad, a bent lead screw and few broken hand wheels, which I should be able to get spares for. I am slightly worried that there might be more extensive damage to the bed, like a crack but it seems to slide the same and it is not misaligned. After he dropped it he had the nerve to say that it was my fault because I should have been there supporting it as it fell over. I told him if I had I would be underneath it. He diffident have in insurance and I doubt that even if I took him to the small claims tribunal and won, he would have any money to give me. I have definitely learnt a valuable lesson. The thing that is most annoying is that I will be without  a lathe for months. One of the good thing about being in an industrial area is that everything you need is close by. We borrowed the neighbours forklift to move the mill in.

I am close to getting my peroxide concentrator up and running. I have built and tested a prototype sparging setup and have all the parts for a second version. I decided to peruse two methods for concentrating, sparging, and vacuum evaporation. I haven't started work on the vacuum setup but will start after the sparger is up and running. I decided to try a vacuum method to see if I could avoid some of the losses ascoaited with heating the peroxide for sparging. I have a really nice oil free vacuum pump/compressor which should be good for both setups. because the concentrated peroxide doesn't have a good shelf life I plan on storing it frozen or in a fridge. I have so far only been sparging water as I don't currently have a space clean enough that I would feel comfortably handling peroxide in.

We moved the test stand to the workshop on the weekend, and we are currently getting it ready for another test. All that really needs doing from a mechanical perspective is replacing the actuated valves with solenoids, and calibrating the flow rate with needle valves installed before the valves. The software needs a bit more work. I am a bit torn between getting  the engine I spent a long time working on running and getting peroxide production going. I guess I should probably finish what I start, before moving on to new things.

1 comment:

  1. Basically everyone who has gotten into purifying peroxide in small batches for rockets have eventually blown up their setup, and sometimes themselves. Keep that in mind, and design it for *when* it blows up, not *if* it blows up.