A paintball gun uses a valve called a poppet to fire its paintballs. These valves are also known as mushroom valves and are comprised of a tapered plug with a hole. When compressed air passes through the valve, the paintball is fired. Poppet valve markers tend to be louder, more vibrational, and more air efficient than other types of paintball guns. They are also less maintenance-intensive.
Forces applied to a poppet valve
When using a poppet paintball gun, you need to understand how it works. The mechanism of the valve is relatively simple: the paintball enters the storage chamber and is compressed by the gas pressure applied to the closure face. When the hammer strikes the valve, the gas is released. The gas pressure load relates to the surface area of the closure port, and the hammer force must vary according to the change in gas pressure.
The pressure that passes through the paintballs in a burst is controlled by a spring. When the valve opens, the force is balanced by the spring force. As the mass flows through the poppet, the force on the valve decreases. This process is repeated when the sear is released, allowing for the burst of air. Forces applied to a poppet valve can vary considerably.
Types of poppet valves
There are two main types of poppet valves in paintball guns: the hammer/valve type and the totally-pneumatic type. While the former uses mechanical force to force the poppet open, the latter relies on directed air pressure. These two types are generally considered more advanced, although they can share components. However, there are many benefits to both types of valves.
The two types of poppet valves are used in a paintball gun to regulate the amount of gas in the paintballs. Poppet valves can also be used in a paintball gun if the ball is made of plastic. A poppet valve enables the paintball to be fired from a gun in less than one second. It is typically a one-way valve, and the ball must be able to pass through the valve before it reaches its target.
The articulating barrel design is another common type of valve. These guns don’t use a bolt to close the breech. Instead, the bolt slides back and forth. Typical examples include the AirStar Nova, Splatmaster, and a mid-late-90s semiauto marker. These markers used air pressure to hold the barrel closed and vented it during firing, and also recocked the bolt after firing.
Benefits of a force controlled poppet valve
One of the benefits of a force controlled poppet valve in your paintball gun is that it will reduce the risk of “shoot-down” in the barrel of the paintball gun. When a paintball is fired, the gas pressure pushed by the trigger will push the bolt forward, firing the paintball. The air released from the valve will then channel backwards, releasing a paintball. The result is a much more accurate shot.
In the early years of poppet valves, they were limited to a 1 inch bolt. This was due to the limitations of the bolt itself, which was thought to be a low-volume device. This design limited the capabilities of intelligent bolt-head designs, such as those that would prevent stack clipping or bolt strike fractures. Additionally, this type of valve allows for staged acceleration, which is essential for systems that need to maintain momentum.
ICE Epic’s force controlled poppet valve
The ICE Epic uses a force controlled poppet valve, which works in conjunction with a mechanical marker to seal the breech. Like the Nova/Mayhem/Legion Shocker, the ICE Epic has a trap-door mechanism that keeps the breech sealed during firing. The trap-door is held closed by pressure inside the dump chamber, which is vented during firing. While this process does not necessarily improve the accuracy of the gun, it does ensure that the breech is completely sealed.
Another force controlled poppet valve is the mQ2 (mQ-series). The mQ series is a mechanically operated check valve that works by applying pressure to the poppet from both sides. The smaller side of the poppet faces the dump chamber, which has high air pressure. The poppet is pushed in one direction by the air pressure inside the dump chamber, while the large side of the poppet is pressed against the valve stem by a bias spring, which returns the poppet to the closed position.