93. Prolific Pressurised Pipes

25 Apr

FACT: Stanford Hospital is a hospital like any other, in the United States of America has a peculiar, but extremely efficient way of passing messages around the building. Piping.

For many years Stanford Hospital has featured one of the most extensive pneumatic piping systems in the world, and to date it is the largest functioning one in the world. If you don’t know what a pneumatic piping system is, let me enlighten you; it is a system of pipes powered by pressurised air. Put whatever you need transporting into a canister, then you load it into a a holder, the holder shifts along and drops the canister into a pipe. Press a single button and with a hiss at the canister flies off through a complex network to a hub where it is sorted then sent off to the destination. All of which takes place at over 28 kilometres per hour (18mph).

It’s basically air-powered post. Initially invented and installed on a wide scale during the 19th century in places where faster-than-human transport was very beneficial, such as in post offices. Although initially designed to transport paperwork around the building it now transports over 7000 samples, including blood and urine, every day. This network is used very extensively and winds throughout every crevice. Totting up at over 4 miles in length. So effective is the system that the engineers at Stanford can proudly claim that it has never once in its extensive history has a single canister ever gotten stuck. Kudos to them I say.

Here’s a video on the system:

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Posted by on April 25, 2011 in Trivia


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