Vacuum adhesion vs hovercraft

  • Thread starter Jared596
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I am doing a senior design project for a mechanical engineering degree. The project I am doing hinges on my teams ability to create a stable platform capable of adhering to a vertical, semi-permeable surface. Presently our greatest challenge is sorting out the mathematical proof of concept for our design. I have gotten some help from professors but it only led to more questions which the library and google seem unable to answer. In particular, one professor explained the similarities of this challenge to that of a hovercraft, where one designs the craft by matching the power curve of the engine to the flow rate necessary from the that engine to produce a nominal delta-p beneath the craft's chassis. Thats all well and good, however it leaves me with a great many unknowns about which i have no practical experience to enable me to make reasonable estimates for establishing a design basis. Particularly these are:

What suction/pressure losses should i assume nominal around the skirt during operation? My professor told me i would need to determine the gap we will be shooting for between the skirt and the wall. I'm guessing a good jumping off point is about 1/32nd of an inch. Is that reasonable? How do i determine losses from that value? I know the geometry of our design and the total area enclosed beneath the platform by the skirt.

If anyone can shed some light or offer a good reference which i can read up on i would greatly appreciate the help!

Thanks.
 

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