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Cans and glass syringes

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:46 am
by tonyw4
Great site hope you can help.
I teach Engineering Studies near Melbourne, Australia. Stumbled across
the Stirling engine when looking for machining projects for 15 to 18
year olds. Looks good have collected quite a few ideas and started a
couple of projects. The questions I have at the moment are to do with
a tin can engine that uses a piece of balloon as a diaphragm. I have
used a can as the pressure cylinder that has corrugated ribbing in it
as a wall stiffener would the flow across this ribbing prevent my
engine from running?
Also I am half way through a LSE Stirling that I acquired the drawings
for from a Japanese website. Any knowledge or tips in regard to this
one.It uses glass syringes as piston and cylinder.

Cans and glass syringes

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:05 pm
by stan.hornbaker
The corrugations in the side of the Displacer (pressure) cylinder increases the 'dead' volume but should not be too detrimental in a model engine. It has the advantabe of increasing turbulence in the air flow. The upper end can be water cooled for better operation by adding a larger tin can soldered to the first as a water jacket. The balloon should be adequate as a pressure piston. Be sure there are NO air leaks any where but the point of connection of the displacer rod to the balloon. There must be only a very tiny amount of leakage for the engine to operate properly.

Regarding the LSE-1 engine: you will have to lap/polish the glass syringer to allow the plunger to free fall of its own weight in the barrel. Any drag will prevent operation and too much lapping will cause too much leakage.

You will find a lot of Stirling engine information at
Main page:
Details at:

Response to Cans and glass syringes

PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 1:02 am
by tonyw4
I am happy to tell you that i have had the LSE working for over a month. As for the tin can engine up to date i have had no success but i am going to try a different approach
I have tried to send a reply post but it kept on bouncing. probably my fault