Homebrew Pulsejet Uses Carbon Fiber To Great Effect

Jet engines are undeniably awesome, but their inherent complexity prevents many from experimenting with the technology at home. Perhaps the most accessible design is the pulsejet; in valveless form, it can be built relatively easily without needing a lot of precision spinning parts. [Integza] decided to try building his own, facing many hurdles along the way. (Video, embedded below.)

Despite eschewing turbines and compressors, and consisting of just an intake, exhaust and a combustion chamber, the pulsejet still presents many challenges to the home gamer. Primary concerns are sustaining combustion without the jet flaming out, and building the jet out of suitable materials that won’t simply melt into a gooey puddle on the floor.

[Integza]’s design process began with many 3D-printed attempts. While the geometry was on point, none of these designs could run for more than a few seconds without melting and falling apart. Determined to avoid the typical welded-steel approach, [Integza] instead resolved to go left-of-field with carbon fibre mat combined with high-temperature sealant. With the help of a 3D-printed mold, he was able to produce a working engine that could stand up to the high temperatures and produce that glorious pulsejet sound.

It’s come a long way from [Integza]’s earlier experiments, and we look forward to seeing where it goes next – whether that be on a plane or perhaps even a go-kart. Video after the break.

19 thoughts on “Homebrew Pulsejet Uses Carbon Fiber To Great Effect

  1. I think that this type of engine wants to go at high speed.
    And with some cooling fins it probably will perform better.
    Maybe adding a blower and making a “wind tunnel” can make it run closer to it’s real intended environment.

    1. Colin Furze mad eone and he starts his with a leaf blower but after that it’s all self-powered by physics.

      Plus with the unvalved version the inlet faces the same way as the exhaust (same with the one he made in the video) so it might not help and will probably hurt it

    1. From the video “that beautiful and melodic sound, that is so characteristic of pulse-jet engines”…

      Oh – you mean the terrifying noise that scared the cr*p out of Londoners for 3 years?

      Nevertheless, @Inetzga is quite a funny guy, and an entertaining video.

      1. Actually the noise of the buzz bomb didn’t scare the crap out of Londoners, if you heard the sound you knew it was flying over you, but once the engine cut out the bomb dove onto it’s target, so when the engine sound cut out THAT was the time to crap yourself!

  2. You might check into some High Unity Coatings (HUCs) like ITC-100 and ITC-213 (see: https://www.ceramaterials.com/itc-coatings/) I have seen an early demo where they made a ceramic kiln from plywood and sprayed with ITC-100, and it lasted an entire firing (getting up to maybe 2000F over several hours). The question is if you can find a HUC that will stick to plastic. Since ITC-213 will stick to graphite, I would try that first. If that did not work I would then try to metal plate onto the plastic, and then use ITC-213 to stick to that. As a note, when I first got some ITC to experiment with I got a couple of examples (one where they sprayed ITC-100 on Kaowool ceramic fiber blanket, and another where they brushed ITC-213 on a 1″x4″x0.064″ steel stock. I was able to hold the bear metal end and let an oxy-acetylene torch running on the end — without getting burnt! Freaky cool stuff ;-)

  3. Just one question: What about waterglass as a resin for the carbon fiber instead of high temperature silicone rubber? It is cheaper and probably even more heat resistant. In this case its stiffness would be a better property then the flexibility of the rubber.

  4. I like this construction quite a bit. The RTV used for the matrix provides high temp resistance, room-temperature curing, AND easy mold release. That’s a lot of advantages for home building compared to typical epoxies.

  5. It wasn’t funny when he wasted tomatoes, it was sad and idiotic. About the engine, adding water jacket would provide cooling and extend it’s lifetime – even the plastic version. When watching that, I came to an idea of making pistons for thermal engines (Stirling, steam, internal combustion) of refractory clay if someone doesn’t have equipment for casting/machining metal. What do you think about it?

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