What is the highest pressure possible today?

I have a sketchy idea of using a weather balloon with the lightest possible pressure vessel that can pack as much helium as possible and would like some pointers on where to lookup to.

Is it possible to have a weather balloon liftoff with a composite pressure vessel dynamically controlling/adjusting the gas ? What would be the ideal pressure vessel in terms of highest pressure possible? Weight of the vessel plus pumping the gas back in the cylinder in flight? Is it doable?

some numbers please

  • $\begingroup$ start by looking to other high pressure gas storage, eg cng, welding gas,etc. ball park 3500psi. $\endgroup$ – agentp Aug 11 '16 at 1:59

It sounds like what you really want to know is what is the best ratio of mass of gas to mass of container. Pressure is part of this but by no means the whole story.

Industrial gasses are typically stored in portable tanks at around 250 bar, although higher pressures of 300 bar or more are becoming more common.

These cylinders are typically mass produced in steel and are designed for long lives in under fairy adverse conditions and as such have quite generous factors of safety.

With this in mind you could certainly get better performance by using higher performance materials and trimming safety factors in favour of more stringent quality control. Also, while cylindrical tanks are the most convenient shape for industrial use they aren't the most efficient in terms of rated pressure to weight ratio. For example toroidal composite tanks are a lot lighter.

There is no overriding reason to go for very high pressures in this context as the mass of the gas is the same however much you compress it.

  • $\begingroup$ The toroidal shape could be a possible asset to leverage when the compressor is factored in. If it's to be motor based perhaps efficiency can also be gained by the toroid used as backing for the copper windings/bobbin. Interesting to know how the passing currents might be affect the helium gas at high pressure inside the toroid? $\endgroup$ – Nick Aug 11 '16 at 19:11
  • $\begingroup$ High pressure is only meant to shrink the size of the vessel before launch - as much as possible and without compromising safety etc. 9000 psi would be able to pack a lot of helium in a small container ... 300 bar is the take away number for now :) $\endgroup$ – Nick Aug 11 '16 at 19:17

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