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Perfect gas-seal Mechanical Airlock

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Well, this took more effort than I expected.

I enjoy using pump-powered mechanical airlocks, but they're usually only viable in situations where a perfect seal is not required. If you're trying to maintain a vaccuum or a homogeneous atmosphere, it's so much easier to set up a liquid lock or transit tube that I recently realized I'd never actually built a mechanical airlock with a perfect gas seal.

So, I set out to do exactly that!

End result: this. 




Weight Plates: "Below 20 Kg"

Atmo-sensors: "Below 0.1 g"

Filter gates: "2 seconds"

Gas Pipe Element Sensor: "None" (for vaccuum, otherwise whichever gas you want on the right)


Yeah, it's massive. The original design had only one chamber, but it was too easy to send two dupes at it from opposite directions at the same time and break the gas seal. This version doesn't have that problem: even if some gas slips through, it gets caught in the second gas chamber. The symmetry also means it can successfully maintain a different atmosphere on both sides.


Additionally, since the chambers maintain a vacuum seal when not in use, it doesn't transfer any heat. Despite this, I wouldn't recommend connecting it to high-temperature gas chambers: if the plastic pumps go above 75 C the whole thing will stop working.

The three gas pumps in each chamber ensure every tile in the chamber is covered by a pump (this post can help you understand this mechanic), allowing the airlock to skip the milligram and microgram stages and cycle reasonably fast. Cycle speed could definitely be improved by the addition of a regular gas pump in the chamber, but that would add another 2 tiles to each side of the design.

Minor improvement: putting an airflow tile underneath the outer doors will reduce the amount of gas they push into the chamber when they close, which will make the airlock cycle slightly faster.


Is it better than a water lock? Of course not! Jump-over water locks are trivial to build, extremely compact, have a perfect gas seal, require no power and have no stress debuff: nothing is better than them.

But this might be more fun. It was for me to design, at least. :)

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To follow up my previous statement: The central AND gate can be swapped for a memory cell and the other gates just ditched, as seen here.

EDIT: You might also want add outer doors like I did, as it ensures that items won't stay dropped on the button.

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