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I want to play around with fluid engines.

I'm aware that LEGO is sometimes used in labs for prototyping kinematic components, are there successful examples of operating with fluids?

Have pistons, pipes or other conduits, valves and maybe turbines been built with LEGO?

With what components?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 10 down vote accepted

There are a number of Lego Pneumatic sets with airtight tubes, valves and switches which could be put into use with fluids. One is 9641, Pneumatics Add-On Set. enter image description here

Bear in mind that the pneumatics sets can command a much higer price than those sets with a similar number of parts, and buying individual pieces can also get expensive. Have a look at BrickLink to see what parts are avalible.

There is also a Simple & Powered machines set which comes with sails that could be used as a wind turbine, or a basic pump, but if you wanted to use steam or liquids with Lego you would have to be very careful.

A company called LPE Power has made some very detailed and very powerful pnuematic engines however I doubt they would work with water.

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The Lego pneumatic valves are not great for (liquid) fluid experiments as the valves dissipate the return path to atmosphere, so they p*ss water out. And the pneumatic hand pump spring and metal core of the regular pistons rusts in a few days. It's about 15 years since I learn't this :-)

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