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Exploding Gas Canisters: The Hazard of Overheating
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Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Exploding Gas Canisters: The Hazard of Overheating on 05/06/2007 15:58:40 MDT Print View

Roger, I was thinking more of the fireball that would happen with a lit stove. I agree that ones hearing would take a hit as well.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Exploding Gas Canisters: The Hazard of Overheating on 05/07/2007 02:44:32 MDT Print View

Hi Eric

> I was thinking more of the fireball that would happen with a lit stove. I agree that ones hearing would take a hit as well.

YOU think about the fireball - I don't want to! :-)
(Ex volunteer bushfire brigade member ...)

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
re:Exploding Gas Canisters: The Hazard of Overheating on 05/07/2007 04:26:59 MDT Print View

Roger, I just wanted to echo my appreciation for your thorough report. I was fascinated to learn the base did NOT stay attached after everting; I thought it was a pressure relief system designed to say, double the volume; which would 1/2 the temp of an ideal gas; giving the user time to kick the canister away.
We all need to be careful to obey that 50C rule.
This type of article is why I will be renewing my membership.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: re:Exploding Gas Canisters: The Hazard of Overheating on 05/07/2007 16:48:01 MDT Print View

Hi Brett

> I was fascinated to learn the base did NOT stay attached after everting; I thought it was a pressure relief system designed to say, double the volume; which would 1/2 the temp of an ideal gas; giving the user time to kick the canister away.

I suspect that the idea was hatched in a committee somewhere, before they had field experience. 'It seemed like a good idea at the time ...'

Of course, the real reason for the concave bottom is simply mechanics: it's stronger that way, for the weight.

Brian James
(bjamesd) - F

Locale: South Coast of BC
relevant video on 05/09/2007 10:10:25 MDT Print View

I'm not sure whether this video is contained or discussed in the article as I'm not able to read it. (I let my membership lapse in protest over the trick language used to describe the "Online Option" -- which is not an online option at all!)

Here's a guy throwing what appears to be an 8-oz butane canister into a fire. Notice how long the delay is between the bottom popping out and the canister blowing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmbWldLbsSY

Edited by bjamesd on 05/09/2007 10:11:28 MDT.

Chris Jackson
(chris_jackson) - F
more videos of exploding gas cannisters on 05/11/2007 20:59:20 MDT Print View

This guy got hit by the fireball.

This guy got hit by the flying gas cannister.

Edited by chris_jackson on 05/11/2007 21:17:32 MDT.

Forrest G McCarthy
(forrestmccarthy) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Composite Fuel Bottles on 12/03/2007 11:07:06 MST Print View

I am considering a compressed gas cooking system for ultra-light wilderness ventures. The benefits of weight, efficiency, and ease of use of the Jet Boil and MSR Reactor are attractive. My hang ups regard environmental and practical concerns. While most manufactures advertise these cartridges can be recycled, I find this to be very difficult in most locals. Nor do I see the practicality, on extended expeditions, of hauling multiple canisters.

For these reasons I have been exploring the use of a re-usable composite bottle. Driven by the popularity of paintball guns, small carbon fiber reinforced compressed gas cylinders are mass produced and readily available (http://www.airhog.com/mini_tanks.htm). The compressed gasses typically used in these bottles require higher PSI values then butane or even propane. The bottleneck in employing these tanks for ultra-light stoves is both the valve system and ability to refill them.

For a propone tank under 4 pounds an OPD (overfill protection device) is not required. However, standard propone refill stations (Suburban Propane) are not equipped to handle small tanks. Isobutene and propone/butane mixes are not readily available. We do not have a gas/welding supply outlet in my town so I have not been able to inquire about their capabilities. It appears a personal refill station maybe required.

To my knowledge the Lindal Group does not produce a valve that would work with composite bottles nor designed for refilling. Standard propane valves are heavy and would negate many of the benefits of a re-usable composite bottle.

Has anyone else thought of this? What did your learn? Any ideas regarding valves, re-filling, legality, and hazards are welcome.

Edited by forrestmccarthy on 12/03/2007 11:14:11 MST.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Composite Fuel Bottles on 12/03/2007 11:48:43 MST Print View

I've imagined exactly what you're describing, if for no other reason than to avoid accumulating all those partial canisters!

Some countries sell bulk isobutane/butane, which would make the concept a lot easier to accomplish due to the much lower vapor pressures involved. You can even buy canister refill kits. But I can't imagine self-fill propane canisters ever gaining traction in the States, which is a pity since propane is such a great-performing fuel. Developing a truly foolproof system would be a huge challenge for such a relatively miniscule market.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Composite Fuel Bottles on 12/03/2007 11:49:18 MST Print View

Hi Forrest,

I think the bottle you are talking about is called "The Pigmee" and weighs about 3 pounds empty and without the valve assembly. The bottle is aluminum with carbon fiber over it someway.

Great idea just not light.

Forrest G McCarthy
(forrestmccarthy) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Composite Fuel Bottles on 12/03/2007 13:02:38 MST Print View

The Airhog website states that the “pigmee” ways 4 pounds full with a valve assembly. That is only one of many composite bottles on the market. Luxfer (http://www.luxfer.com) and SCI (http://www.scicomposites.com) are the two main manufacturers of composite bottles. Depending on the length of an outing they may, or may not, be lighter then standard aluminum cartridges. On a month long ski traverse a composite bottle has the potential to save a lot of weight in both the container(s) and unused fuel. Probably not the lightest option for a weekend outing.

Edited by forrestmccarthy on 12/03/2007 13:07:35 MST.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Composite Fuel Bottles on 12/03/2007 15:44:32 MST Print View

Hi Forrest,

I have been on the web site and have talked to
Martin at Air Hog.comtwice now.

The total empty weight of the bottle and the valve is just a little less than 4 pounds.

The bottle weighs 2 pounds 3.2 ounces and the valve weighs 1 pound 8.2 ounces. Martin weighed them for me as we were talking.

I gave him this web site and he found it as we were talking. I showed him your comments. He is very interested in any new ways to use their products.

He said he was an Adventure biker - motor - and is always looking for lighter gear. He said he would give BMW a good look over this evening.

He aslo said to give him a call if you need more information about your ideas.

Edited by bfornshell on 12/03/2007 15:47:20 MST.

Forrest G McCarthy
(forrestmccarthy) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Composite Fuel Bottles on 12/03/2007 19:39:48 MST Print View

Bill,

Thanks for looking into it. I tried speaking with someone at SCI and Luxfer but go nowhere. I think it would be possible to save weight with a lighter valve assembly and possibly an even lighter bottle. As I understand compressed butane and even propane, though highly flammable, require less PSI and a lighter cylinder and valve. The roadblock maybe getting them filled. I do think there is potential here for longer winter, alpine, and polar expeditions.

I will call Martin @ Airhog. It is always nice when I find somebody willing to listen to one of my wacky ideas.

Edited by forrestmccarthy on 12/03/2007 19:40:45 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re DIY canisters on 12/04/2007 02:21:58 MST Print View

Well, I am reluctant to offer any encouragement here. The potential for an accident is a little higher than normal. But a standard screw-thread gas canister seems a LOT lighter than the ones you are talking about.

> I've imagined exactly what you're describing, if for no other reason than to avoid accumulating all those partial canisters!
I have a lot of totally empty canisters. I do not have more than one or two partially empty ones. I monitor what's left in each canister as I use it (when I get home), and write the weight on the bottom. When a canister has too little gas left for an overnight trip (30 g/day), I use what's left on day trips (8-9 g per morning tea). Works great.

OK, a few canisters get used up while testing stoves for BPL too ... :-)

Mark Regalia
(markr) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz
Not a very realistic test on 09/23/2008 13:55:59 MDT Print View

By heating with an outside source the tester failed to create an actual situation. A few years ago Itried running my stove full on with a shield around it and a pot of water on it. It not just did not overheat it got very cold. It never heated up.

The reason is simple physics. The liquid fuel expands into a gas as it leaves the canister. In order to expand it has to absorb a great deal of heat. So the canister acutally got cold rather than hot - quite cold in fact. This is the same principle used in refrigerators.