1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Transition from pressurised envoronment to vaccum environment

  1. Mar 7, 2012 #1
    Hi,
    I wanted to know who has an idea about a mechanism to transit from pressurised environment to vaccum environemtn without losing air.I know airlock does this work but it has some air loss.does anybody have idea?
    I thought about some kind of bulb to be produced at the transition place,is it possible?is there any kind of material to do this?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 7, 2012 #2
    material like soap bulb but stiffer that cannot transit matter

    hi,
    is there some kind of material that is not able to transit air molecules but is able to transit humans through it?something like soap bulb but stiffer that can recover itself if a perturbation occurs in it?
     
  4. Mar 7, 2012 #3

    Mech_Engineer

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re: material like soap bulb but stiffer that cannot transit matter

    There is no such thing available, what you're proposing would be something akin to a force field. You're going to have to use an airlock, there's basically no way around it.
     
  5. Mar 7, 2012 #4

    Mech_Engineer

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    There's no way to do this wihout an airlock. You can pump down an airlock, I'm not sure its a given that you lose air through it...
     
  6. Mar 7, 2012 #5
    But I think we can replace airlock,airlock loses some air each time it opens,though it is about 2 or 3 percent but it is considerable in a spacecraft...
     
  7. Mar 7, 2012 #6

    Mech_Engineer

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    What you're proposing is impossible given current technology- you would need an air-tight seal around whatever passes through the "membrane" (an impossible feat with something like a space suit which is covered on the exterior with fabric) and it would also have to capable of maintaining a non-leaking vacuum seal (also no small task).
     
  8. Mar 7, 2012 #7
    Impossible is impossible!
    The material can be like ambrio around baby when it is born!
     
  9. Mar 7, 2012 #8

    Mech_Engineer

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    :zzz:

    Got any material suggestions that act as a porous membrane to a man in a space suit but not air molecules?
     
  10. Mar 7, 2012 #9

    berkeman

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: material like soap bulb but stiffer that cannot transit matter

    Two threads merged.

    arimin11 -- in the future, do not multiple post your question across multiple PF forums.
     
  11. Mar 7, 2012 #10

    cmb

    User Avatar

  12. Mar 7, 2012 #11
    Thanks cmb, interesting topic!
     
  13. Mar 9, 2012 #12

    Mech_Engineer

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    So you're suggesting the astronaut should pass through a plasma arc?
     
  14. Mar 9, 2012 #13
    Not exactly pass through plasma arc,but there can be a basic research based on the facts about plasma window,I think it is better than nothing! You see a problem here or have another opinion?
     
  15. Mar 13, 2012 #14

    Mech_Engineer

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    My opinion is the same- you need an air lock...
     
  16. Mar 16, 2012 #15
    I'm not sure about the effects of plasma on the astronaut's health and his systems.
    How about using force fields or force shields?Any opinions?
     
  17. Mar 16, 2012 #16
    Where are you getting this notion that that sort of technology exists or even is anywhere near usable?
     
  18. Mar 16, 2012 #17
    I don't say it is usable now,but someday it'll be usable and the technology will be developed.So any idea now what the technology will be?
     
  19. Mar 17, 2012 #18

    Ryan_m_b

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Let's not bicker people.

    Force fields are pure science fiction. The membrane idea is interesting but essentially it's just a fancy airlock, albiet one that uses endocytosis. How about rather than focussing on highly/overly speculative ideas (some of which have no basis in reality) you focus on the engineering problems of airlocks to make them more efficient?
     
  20. Mar 17, 2012 #19
    You mean like recapturing some of the lost air?I've thought about it.My idea is that we transfer high voltage electricity to the air exiting airlock to make it ionized then with the help of a magnetic filed inside the airlock we can collect these air molecules that have gone out of airlock.But there are some flaws to this concept,like high voltage in a room full of oxygen is disaster or these ionized air molecules could harm astronaut's charged systems. Any idea to do this air recapturing ?
     
  21. Mar 24, 2012 #20
    I like this questions. Innovative idea. However, passing through a substance might be possible. But not in a standard suit. As the astronaut is halfway through he will experience air pressure on one side and vacuum on the other. Given that his cross-section will be about 1m^2 that's 10 tonnes. It would put him under a bit of pressure. Suits are designed to take the pressure from the inside not the outside.

    To prevent this problem he would have to have a special suit to go through or the substance would have to be very thick. Eitherway we are getting back to an airlock. If you really wanted to prevent air leakage it would be easier to design the airlock to collapse to prevent leakage. So the airlock is made of soft material that surrounds the astronaut when he enters and pushes all the air out. Then the air lock opens and no air is lost.
     
  22. Mar 24, 2012 #21
    Thanks MikeBH, nice point about the material.I was googling some ideas and I found a technology called suitport. It is in a way that spacesuits are outside the spacecraft and when astronaut wants to don them he goes directly from a room into his suit and drifts away from spacecraft. This concept has some flaws,as the pressure between suit and room are different and what could possibly be the technology for returning to spacecraft. returning must be something like airplane landing,it should be precise and controlled.What you guys think of this idea and how can be the returning system? can he use some sort of electromagnetic things that when astronaut is close enough these systems are activated and park the astronaut autonomously in his place?
     
  23. Apr 7, 2012 #22
    Thought this thread might be interested in this - what happens to a body in a vacuum?
    That empty feeling, when everything sucks! http://wp.me/p2lfqY-11
     
  24. Apr 12, 2012 #23
    How can we design a suit that can be donned and doffed symmetrically?I think if the suit is like coffin this criteria will be met!
     
  25. Apr 18, 2012 #24
    Use a vacuum pump on the space craft to evacuate the air in the airlock back into the craft before opening the doors. Simple engineering solution.
     
  26. Apr 18, 2012 #25
    They do that on airlocks,they pump the remaining air of airlock and vacuum it,but there is still some air loss.How could that little amount be zeroed,that is the problem.
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook