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View Full Version : Cutting a fuel bottle open with a cutting torch



cuemaker
08-23-2015, 06:13 PM
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=155_1429303272

krutch
08-23-2015, 06:46 PM
It never ceases to amaze me how thoughtlessly careless humans can be. That one is lucky it didn't explode on him. Bet he is jobless now.
I came to work one afternoon to find the shipping kid about to torch off a drum lid for a waste barrel. The boss instructed him to do that. I stopped him, went and told the boss what could happen. He insisted it be cut. I advised him to stand next to the drum while it was torched. He declined. I brought in a body cutter and air hammer next day and cut the top off. A much safer method.
Boss figured out a way to fire me a few weeks later for showing him the error of his way. Shipping kid was not killed by bosses stupid demand. I felt better overall.

Paul Alciatore
08-23-2015, 06:55 PM
What an ass.




It never ceases to amaze me how thoughtlessly careless humans can be. That one is lucky it didn't explode on him. Bet he is jobless now.
I came to work one afternoon to find the shipping kid about to torch off a drum lid for a waste barrel. The boss instructed him to do that. I stopped him, went and told the boss what could happen. He insisted it be cut. I advised him to stand next to the drum while it was torched. He declined. I brought in a body cutter and air hammer next day and cut the top off. A much safer method.
Boss figured out a way to fire me a few weeks later for showing him the error of his way. Shipping kid was not killed by bosses stupid demand. I felt better overall.

loose nut
08-23-2015, 06:58 PM
And the Darwin Award winner is.... Envelope please

KiddZimaHater
08-23-2015, 07:17 PM
Just another day in Mother Russia.
Next up, more Chinese people-eating escalators!

vpt
08-23-2015, 07:33 PM
Was just fine until the idiot kicked it over.

wierdscience
08-23-2015, 08:29 PM
Good grief!:rolleyes: Ah Russia...or as I call it the Wonderland of WTF! :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gH4j1S4II3Q

Beazld
08-24-2015, 06:07 AM
How do you say "Hey y'all, watch this!" In Russian?

John Stevenson
08-24-2015, 08:37 AM
How do you say "Hey y'all, watch this!" In Russian?

Эй вы все , смотрите это!

A.K. Boomer
08-24-2015, 09:17 AM
It never ceases to amaze me how thoughtlessly careless humans can be. That one is lucky it didn't explode on him. Bet he is jobless now.
I came to work one afternoon to find the shipping kid about to torch off a drum lid for a waste barrel. The boss instructed him to do that. I stopped him, went and told the boss what could happen. He insisted it be cut. I advised him to stand next to the drum while it was torched. He declined. I brought in a body cutter and air hammer next day and cut the top off. A much safer method.
Boss figured out a way to fire me a few weeks later for showing him the error of his way. Shipping kid was not killed by bosses stupid demand. I felt better overall.


That is a bossman that will be in the dark and remain ignorant his whole life...

pity the fool... and yes the people who have to be around him, so yeah lucky you...

railfancwb01
08-24-2015, 09:55 AM
Good grief!:rolleyes: Ah Russia...or as I call it the Wonderland of WTF! :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gH4j1S4II3Q

So where was the video of girls shooting AKs?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

radkins
08-24-2015, 11:27 AM
We had a fatality at a mine in Kentucky back in the early 80's when a welder cut into a large fuel tank (it had already been chemically cleaned) that he had "purged" with the exhaust from a truck engine, this incredibly stupid but fairly common method has resulted in some serious accidents. Just a few hours before the incident a foreman insisted I weld a fuel tank on an old army truck they had using the same "purge" method but I refused and even threatened to call MSHA (the mining version of OSHA) if he attempted to get someone else to do it, I was a contractor so he had no authority over me. When he gave in and commented on how unreasonable I was being I made the off-hand comment that "you guys will get someone killed doing that someday", tragically I just didn't realize how close that day was! The MSHA investigator told us of several accidents he had investigated over the years with some involving otherwise clean tanks that had been "purged" with exhaust as a precautionary measure!

I just don't understand how people can think exhaust gas from an engine is inert! No way way has all the fuel been burned in engine exhaust and it lacks only oxygen to become an explosive! Maybe this situation would be improved with catalytic converter equipped engines but then again maybe not, either way it's an incredibly dumb thing to do but people still do it sometimes.

plunger
08-24-2015, 11:40 AM
Whats the proper way to do it. Fill it with water ?

wierdscience
08-24-2015, 11:50 AM
Whats the proper way to do it. Fill it with water ?

Scrapping it-crushing it with the grapple on that excavator would have been a better idea.

Cutting a tank for reuse-vent or drain off contents,rinse with water and detergent then purge with inert gas while cutting is the safest way.

Inert gas being CO2,Argon,Nitrogen.As Radkins points out engine exhaust is a bad idea given the Carbon monoxide which will burn and even detonate.

Black Forest
08-24-2015, 11:51 AM
Whats the proper way to do it. Fill it with water ?

I have built countless BBQ smokers out of used propane tanks. I just took all the fittings off that would come off and rolled it into a wood fire in a safe spot. Then filled it with water and cut with a plasma, torch, reciprocating saw or cut off wheel on a grinder. When we used a cut off wheel we dropped the water level below the cut line.

wierdscience
08-24-2015, 11:56 AM
So where was the video of girls shooting AKs?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Here you go,all sorts of gun Pron.My hat's off to the girl rocking the SAW:D


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDFsE86uMEQ

radkins
08-24-2015, 12:36 PM
I have welded/cut a LOT of tanks including gasoline tanks by filling them with water, the trick is to be CERTAIN to eliminate all the air space except of course a small area in the weld zone. By small I mean small! I have had on occasion a tiny flash but with only couple of square inches and remaining out of reach of the hazard during the initial exposure to the welding/cutting there is no danger doing it this way. Any such ignitions I have encountered doing this have been so minor as to require only the usual safety equipment such as gloves, eye protection, etc. Just wash/rinse with soapy water then fill the tank with clear water leaving only a minimum of air space to allow for the welding.

topct
08-24-2015, 12:46 PM
They just lost an employee at a local metals recycling plant. A tank got punctured that someone had brought in. Not gasoline, not propane, it was chlorine that killed him.

Black_Moons
08-24-2015, 02:47 PM
Scrapping it-crushing it with the grapple on that excavator would have been a better idea.

Cutting a tank for reuse-vent or drain off contents,rinse with water and detergent then purge with inert gas while cutting is the safest way.

Inert gas being CO2,Argon,Nitrogen.As Radkins points out engine exhaust is a bad idea given the Carbon monoxide which will burn and even detonate.

Again for the 2nd time on this forum, Myth. CO levels of modern cars (And any car that has passed aircare in the past 40 years) are thousand of times below the explosive/flamable limit. Unburnt hydrocarbon (Gasoline) levels are much higher, especially with a malfunctioning or cold catalytic converter but are STILL not within the burnable range unless you managed to have a bad/cold catalytic converter AND a cylinder misfiring.

Also, Gasoline engines exhaust contains very little oxygen further limiting flammability. But it does still contain some. Diesel exhaust at idle will contain a LOT of oxygen on the other hand, because diesel has no intake restriction, throttle level changes how much fuel is injected.

Not saying you SHOULD use exhaust as a purge gas. Just saying it has very low CO content and gasoline engines will have low O2 content. Malfunctioning/cold gasoline engines could have high hydrocarbon content and potentially oxygen, as a misfiring cylinder will flush a perfectly combustible charge out the exhaust (likely ignited by the catalytic converter if the engine is warm) but that will be diluted by other cylinders.

Oh, And IIRC lots of engines actually inject oxygen into the exhaust so the catalytic converter has some oxygen to work with, but this oxygen level is still below the amount required to burn fuel, or it would burn in the exhaust and not need a catalytic converter. (Catalytic converters greatly reduce the threshold of chemical reactions like combustion)

mattthemuppet
08-24-2015, 03:43 PM
It never ceases to amaze me how thoughtlessly careless humans can be. That one is lucky it didn't explode on him. Bet he is jobless now.
I came to work one afternoon to find the shipping kid about to torch off a drum lid for a waste barrel. The boss instructed him to do that. I stopped him, went and told the boss what could happen. He insisted it be cut. I advised him to stand next to the drum while it was torched. He declined. I brought in a body cutter and air hammer next day and cut the top off. A much safer method.
Boss figured out a way to fire me a few weeks later for showing him the error of his way. Shipping kid was not killed by bosses stupid demand. I felt better overall.

On balance I think you came out of that pretty well!

radkins
08-24-2015, 04:12 PM
Again for the 2nd time on this forum, Myth. CO levels of modern cars (And any car that has passed aircare in the past 40 years) are thousand of times below the explosive/flamable limit. Unburnt hydrocarbon (Gasoline) levels are much higher, especially with a malfunctioning or cold catalytic converter but are STILL not within the burnable range unless you managed to have a bad/cold catalytic converter AND a cylinder misfiring.

Also, Gasoline engines exhaust contains very little oxygen further limiting flammability. But it does still contain some. Diesel exhaust at idle will contain a LOT of oxygen on the other hand, because diesel has no intake restriction, throttle level changes how much fuel is injected.

Not saying you SHOULD use exhaust as a purge gas. Just saying it has very low CO content and gasoline engines will have low O2 content. Malfunctioning/cold gasoline engines could have high hydrocarbon content and potentially oxygen, as a misfiring cylinder will flush a perfectly combustible charge out the exhaust (likely ignited by the catalytic converter if the engine is warm) but that will be diluted by other cylinders.

Oh, And IIRC lots of engines actually inject oxygen into the exhaust so the catalytic converter has some oxygen to work with, but this oxygen level is still below the amount required to burn fuel, or it would burn in the exhaust and not need a catalytic converter. (Catalytic converters greatly reduce the threshold of chemical reactions like combustion)

It's no myth that car exhaust confined inside a tank with the PROPER mixture of air can and will explode! Don't tell me this is not possiable because I have witnessed it twice and once the container had never even held a flammable liquid! That one was a 4'x4' square tank that had been built for a farm truck fuel delivery tank and the crude welding had several leaks, these morons building the thing decided that the exhaust would not only help them find the leaks but would make the tank safer to weld on (not sure what their line of thinking there was?), in any event the thing burst open without hurting anyone except for severely injured pride. Unfortunately the other one resulted in a fatality, this was on a diesel fuel tank that had been cleaned with a Sodium Hydroxide cleaning solution prior to the exhaust "purge", exploding exhaust fumes is NO MYTH!!!!!

boslab
08-24-2015, 05:11 PM
Having been blown up by CO, I know know the lower explosive limit, it's 12% btw! and it's a hell of a bang! it can flash over in vehicle pits! but you'd be unconscious or dead by then! I had my trusty Dreager on and molten metal clothing and hood! still a fright
Mark

radkins
08-24-2015, 05:52 PM
I wasn't sure what the CO explosive limit was but for sure 100% of the fuel is not burned during normal combustion. In the case of the fatal incident I mentioned two expert witnesses were called and testified that the procedure was indeed at fault and both not only agreed that the exhaust was the main contributor to the explosion but explained how it can and does occur. This investigation was quite involved because two company supervisors, the maintenance foreman and the shop foreman, were facing possible criminal charges.

Kiwi
08-24-2015, 05:54 PM
This thread doesn't inspire me with confidence my eldest Son has come home with a gas cylinder to make a forge now I have cut many a petrol tanks and 44 gal drums up for various projects in the past with not even a flash and all i've done is fill them with water let them stand for a few days them empty them out and reflush before cutting but I still sweat. when I was an apprentice on of the tradesmen gas welded up a petrol tank that had a small crack in it. It was full of petrol and it didn't blow, His theory was that you can heat petrol and nothing will happen, but don't let flame near it or the fumes the flow from the crack was to slow to be a problem and the crack being too small to allow the flame to reach the fuel inside the tank. a theory I will not try every one in the shop ran out across the road and hid behind the parked cars waiting for the big bang that we thought was coming

mike4
08-24-2015, 07:14 PM
There is one born everyday, all of the regulations and inductions that most of us have to endure just to get on to a site do not prevent the one factor that leads to most of these incidents , that is STUPIDITY!

Michael

boslab
08-24-2015, 07:25 PM
Oddly it doesn't explode above 75 % either, if you want really unnerving welding inside a gas holder with about 1 million cubic feet of gas in, very twitching of the sphincter, fixing leaks on the diaphragm and water seal, bang in oak plug saw off and plate over, unpleasant due to the BA on your back.
I can remember they gave us a sibbe Gorman mask with a hose for working in a pit full of nasty vapor, the labourer unhooked the inlet off a post and hung it on the bloody compressor right by the exhaust, my mask was filling with soot, I had to break out the escape set throw the mask and shove the escape on, note to self keep eyes shut in chlorine gas.
Labourer was sacked, aka canned there and then and removed before I got the chance to beat him to death with a spanner
I'm glad I've retired, it's safer
Mark

Juiceclone
08-24-2015, 07:49 PM
when necessary to cut a potential fire/explosion container, like mentioned above, I fill with water. But LEAVE the water in and position the container so that any air left is at the top where the cutting/etc will occur. Kind of tricky, but it works. The really small amount of air/vapor left in the tank can det or burn but there isn't enough there to cause a problrm. And once cutting or welding begins, all the o2 gets used up and there's nothing left to combust. I don't think you can really remove all combustible vapor possibility no matter how much or what you use to clean a container ... probably goes right into the metal pores and comes out to get you when heat is applied? Flushing the container with CO2 if available before filling with water is a good idea .

cameron
08-24-2015, 07:57 PM
Seems funny that in the frequent discussions of this topic there is little or no questioning of what happens to the inert atmosphere in a tank when the cutting oxygen valve is opened.

radkins
08-24-2015, 08:58 PM
Seems funny that in the frequent discussions of this topic there is little or no questioning of what happens to the inert atmosphere in a tank when the cutting oxygen valve is opened.

Absolutely and it should have been mentioned before now! Personally unless it was filled with water I would never cut into any kind of container/drum with a cutting torch, when I mention cutting I am talking about using a saw, grinder with a cutting wheel, etc. Even smoke/fumes from burning paint or sealer that would otherwise not be a problem can be extremely dangerous when mixed with the excess O2 from a cutting torch!

vpt
08-25-2015, 09:02 AM
Oddly it doesn't explode above 75 % either, if you want really unnerving welding inside a gas holder with about 1 million cubic feet of gas in, very twitching of the sphincter, fixing leaks on the diaphragm and water seal, bang in oak plug saw off and plate over, unpleasant due to the BA on your back.
I can remember they gave us a sibbe Gorman mask with a hose for working in a pit full of nasty vapor, the labourer unhooked the inlet off a post and hung it on the bloody compressor right by the exhaust, my mask was filling with soot, I had to break out the escape set throw the mask and shove the escape on, note to self keep eyes shut in chlorine gas.
Labourer was sacked, aka canned there and then and removed before I got the chance to beat him to death with a spanner
I'm glad I've retired, it's safer
Mark



Anything questionable I fill with water and cut while still full of water.

radkins
08-25-2015, 09:57 AM
Anything questionable I fill with water and cut while still full of water.


If it involves using a cutting torch that is going to inject excess O2 into the chamber then I consider all of them questionable! It's amazing how flammable or even explosive some materials, materials that might otherwise be considered nonflammable, become in the presence of high concentrations of oxygen. Basically if smoke can be created inside a container by heating the outside then the introduction of high levels of O2 by the cutting stream from the torch is likely to create a dangerous situation.

Willy
08-25-2015, 11:36 AM
Now this is the way it should be done.
This guy should be the poster child for shop safety!:eek:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnPVnH2zapY

Paul Alciatore
08-25-2015, 03:04 PM
OK, I am not a welder and I understand all this concern about CO, but when you are talking about a fuel tank or barrel, what about the fuel itself. I mean, just how much of it was absorbed into the walls of the tank. Perhaps there is some rust there and it has held some of the fuel. You wash, you purge, you let it stand, then you weld or cut. But just how much fuel vapor can/will come out of those inside walls?

And auto exhaust contains more than CO. What about unburnt fuel? I mean, is every engine in the world so precisely tuned that 100% of the fuel is consumed? Are you going to risk your life on that? I wouldn't.

Frankly if I were going to weld on any enclosed container that has ever had fuel in it, I would insist that either it be filled to the top with water or a continuous stream of inert gas be run in it for several minutes before starting UNTIL the welding is completely finished.

And I have a question about fuel tank repairs. What is wrong with soft solder? Perhaps one with a small amount of silver content for extra strength, but still a low temperature alloy that could be used with a big iron instead of a torch. I'm not recommending it; I don't know and I am just asking.

fastfire
08-25-2015, 03:56 PM
While working in a machine and fab shop I welded several gas and fuel tanks with OX-acc welding.
Before we did any welding hooked up a hose hooked to a running pickup exhaust for a few minutes and while welding. This eliminated the o2.
Fire needs 3 things, fuel, oxygen and an ignition source, take away any one of the 3 and no fire.

radkins
08-25-2015, 04:00 PM
While working in a machine and fab shop I welded several gas and fuel tanks with OX-acc welding.
Before we did any welding hooked up a hose hooked to a running pickup exhaust for a few minutes and while welding. This eliminated the o2.
Fire needs 3 things, fuel, oxygen and an ignition source, take away any one of the 3 and no fire.



Did you read this entire thread? That is an incredibly STUPID thing to do! MANY accidents have resulted from doing this and I personally witnessed two, one of which resulted in a fatality!

Willy
08-25-2015, 04:41 PM
From the days when I used to transport fuel in aluminum fuel trailers we would occasionally spring a small leak in the trailers that were at the end of their service life or on those that were subjected to rough road or off road service.
The leaks always occurred in the bulkheads between compartments. The bulkheads were double walled so that in the event a crack did occur there would be no chance of cross contamination between compartments. We routinely carried mixed product loads consisting of gasoline, diesel, both clear and dyed so the double bulkheads were essential. At the bottom of the bulkhead there was a threaded bung that was left open so that if a crack occurred we would know immediately. Never saw a large leak in over 25 years, usually just a very small drip, at which point the plug was inserted into the bung. The unit was then taken out of service for repair.

The standard procedure used at the facilities we used was to steam both compartments either side of the bulkhead and the bulkhead itself. This usually took 6-8 hours of continuous steam at which point a sniffer was inserted into those areas.
If at this time it was deemed safe to proceed a large volume of air was blown through all three areas in order to evacuate any possible remnants of volatile vapors. This served to maintain an atmosphere below the lower explosive limit while welding was done. The hatch covers were then removed so buddy could be lowered inside to do his magic... and maybe say a little prayer.:)

Not sure if this procedure remains the same or if different jurisdictions require another protocol but those guys did this daily without incident.

Black_Moons
08-25-2015, 05:00 PM
Having been blown up by CO, I know know the lower explosive limit, it's 12% btw! and it's a hell of a bang! it can flash over in vehicle pits! but you'd be unconscious or dead by then! I had my trusty Dreager on and molten metal clothing and hood! still a fright
Mark

Yep, 12%, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exhaust_gas states that CO produced is around 1 to 2%

I had thought CO was WAYY lower but apparently I had been using a webpage that incorrectly reported 'grams per mile' figures for exhaust as PPM.. Let me do a little more research. hmmmm.

http://www.crypton.co.za/Tto%20know/Emissions/airfuelratio5big.GIF

shows an interesting story however that CO and HC (hydrocarbon) can increase to near explosive limits at VERY rich conditions.. Lets look into older cars..

I found another paper http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00966665.1955.10467686
that shows CO levels in 1957 (Date of paper being published, think much older, less efficent motors, no emissions control at all) that show CO levels at 11~13%, just over the explosive limit *at idle*
At cruse/acceleration/etc, CO levels where much lower. Of course, without any O2, you'll need to mix in fresh air for there to be a danger (or a oxy/fuel cutting torch's O2..) and that will dilute the CO some more (Unless you use the cutting torch..)

I am guessing those old carbs used to run rich at idle.

So yes, I must change my previous position and say: Some cars, Especially before the catalytic converter heats up, could be producing explosive levels of CO.
Definitely doable with a car before catalytic converters/emission control standards, or one with misfiring cylinders.

I am guessing this is how it became an established practice (Not saying its a good practice..). It works with some cars (those in good running condition), when warmed up, usually, but can just as easily backfire. (Come to think of it, An exhaust backfire is the exhaust igniting isn't it?).

Id call the practice (if used with modern, in good running condition car, warmed up) 'safer' then just cutting into the fuel tank with a cutting torch alone, but still nowhere near the safety level we expect today of actually living till we are 80+ with all our limbs still attached and nowhere near the level of safety from reducing the combustible volume with water, or a proper CO2/Nitrogen purge (or even just continuous atmospheric air to blow out hydrocarbons and keep it below the explosive limit is likely more safe then car exhaust)

Personally, When I had to cut into a barrel that contained volatile matter, I filled it 100% with water, drilled a hole very slowly under the water line, then used my air powered cutting shears (hole was a pilot hole for the shear to start at) after the water drained out below the hole, before too much volatile matter refilled the airspace. Why have sparks/flame all around when you don't have to? And even then I fully understand that ANY metal cutting tool could in theory cause the metal to spark, hence why I still filled it with water, its just a shear is unlikely to cause sparks while a cutting torch/cutting disk is guaranteed to cause sparks.

cameron
08-25-2015, 05:38 PM
If you google "hot work on tanks", you'll find the regulations for many more jurisdictions than you would have found just a year or so ago. Many of them seem to be a rewrite of the Australian regs. Not quite as casual an approach as many here would advocate.

PStechPaul
08-25-2015, 08:40 PM
I thought perhaps dry ice could be used to purge O2 from a tank, and apparently it is an accepted technique:

https://www.continentalcarbonic.com/makes-tanks-safer.html

http://www.millerwelds.com/resources/communities/mboard/showthread.php?32053-cutting-heating-oil-tank/page2

http://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/28004-cutting-a-propane-tank-safely/

http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/general/ot-help-cutting-up-fuel-oil-tank-256174/index2.html

boslab
08-25-2015, 09:11 PM
I've welded inside tanks and to be honest it was unpleasant, some were argon filled requiring the use of breathing apparatus, when I gave that up and moved to the lab we were regulars at so called confined space jobs, gas sampling usually, a triple personal monitor won't pick up some beastys so we used gas sampling tubes to draw a sample then stick it through a GC, aka gas chromatograph, you would find all sorts in coke oven gas pipes, cyanide etc etc all nasty, some explosive, you can get gassed with CO out in the open, just walking into a cloud of it, safer on a windy day than a still one, your gas monitor would start chirping at 80ppm but I've regularly worked without BA up to about 400 ppm, once your neck gets stiff you know it's time to go, odd I know, stiff neck and headache are early symptoms of CO poisoning
It has about 18 times the affinity to heamaglobin than oxy ( at least that's the figure I was told)
I was told if you see someone drop then turn around and backtrack, don't rush to thier aid, if you do you're going to join them on the floor, 2 good lungfuls and you go down like a sack of ****e, they weren't joking it got me once, I hit the floor like a wet blanket, legs wouldn't work, fortunately a couple of guys some distance away saw me collapse and put thier rescue sets on, (20min cylinders you have to carry)
Then dragged me out after sticking my mask on.
Very frightening, but an occupational hazard in the steel industry, gas everywhere
I digress, cutting any kind of tank should be considered carefully, take a while to think about it first!

fastfire
08-26-2015, 03:03 AM
Did you read this entire thread? That is an incredibly STUPID thing to do! MANY accidents have resulted from doing this and I personally witnessed two, one of which resulted in a fatality!

That was in the late 70s, I have gained some wisdom since then and wouldn't do that again.
You know, young and dumb.

Black Forest
08-26-2015, 05:51 AM
My competition in the equipment refurbishing business in Texas took a job I tuned down. The job entailed sandblasting a large propane delivery truck and tank.

The company wanted the whole truck and tank sandblasted and painted. I asked the company owner if he had ever heard of static electricity!

My competition took the job and proceeded to sandblast the outside of the tank. He opened the top hatch to get the rim real good. Fired up his hose and KABOOM! They never did fine his whole body.

If you sandblast at night you see a light at the noozle tip that looks like a flashlight beam. That is the static electricity.

radkins
08-26-2015, 06:47 AM
If you sandblast at night you see a light at the noozle tip that looks like a flashlight beam. That is the static electricity.

Plus the sand striking the metal puts on quite a light show!

Juiceclone
08-26-2015, 09:15 AM
Along this line, I have repaired many mc gas tanks over the years by cleaning and flushing, and then putting a shop-vac hose into the tank (with all fuel taps removed) running it for a while and then do the work..weld or braze..with the vac always running. The air flow thru the tank does not allow any combustible buildup to exist. Vac can be used to suck or blow whichever seems best for the job. I would NOT attempt this on a large container, or one in which there is not sufficient openings to create a good cross-flow.

boslab
08-26-2015, 09:31 AM
I wouldn't suck petrol fumes with a shop vac, might turn into a little jet engine!
Mark

radkins
08-26-2015, 11:59 AM
I wouldn't suck petrol fumes with a shop vac, might turn into a little jet engine!
Mark


Or worse!


I saw a kind of a comical example of just what can happen by vacuuming flammable liquids with a shop vac, comical because no one was hurt and the only damage was to a shop vac that had seen it's better days anyway. In this case it was kerosene that had been spilled onto a concrete floor from an overturned kerosene heater, this fellow reasoned it a good idea to use the vac to suck up the kerosene because he thought it would suck it out of all the cracks and joints. As soon as he started there was a white mist shooting out the exhaust port of the vac but in a few seconds it ignited and for a short time did indeed look much like a jet engine on afterburner! Within seconds however there was fire coming out around the motor cover also but at that point the motor stopped and the whole thing just became a smoking hulk. We did get a good laugh at him kicking that thing around the shop trying to put out the fire!

Black_Moons
08-26-2015, 07:01 PM
Actually, I have done work on a motorcycle tank before. I washed it with a lot of laqure thinner a few times, then let it dry for a week.

Afterwards I took a sniff of the tank, Couldn't smell a damn thing and declared it safe to braze on. Not sure id do that with a larger tank where the risk would be much greater if it ignited., 2 liter motorcycle tank still has a pretty big opening to volume ratio compared to a barrel, car gas tank, or even many of the larger motorcycle gas tanks.

Kiwi
08-26-2015, 07:44 PM
Actually, I have done work on a motorcycle tank before. I washed it with a lot of laqure thinner a few times, then let it dry for a week.

Afterwards I took a sniff of the tank, Couldn't smell a damn thing and declared it safe to braze on. Not sure id do that with a larger tank where the risk would be much greater if it ignited., 2 liter motorcycle tank still has a pretty big opening to volume ratio compared to a barrel, car gas tank, or even many of the larger motorcycle gas tanks.

Thinners has a higher flash point than petrol

IdahoJim
08-26-2015, 07:56 PM
And the Darwin Award winner is.... Envelope please
I don't think we'll need Carnak to imagine what's in the envelope...LOL
Jim

Don Young
08-26-2015, 10:57 PM
I don't know about later ones but the tanks used on Harleys and Indians in the 40's and 50's were pretty strong and small volume. We used to just blow them out with the air gun and stick the lit torch in the filler opening. A small "pop" was all we ever got.

I have successfully soft soldered patches on auto fuel tanks with a soldering iron.

I once watched (from afar) someone at a scrap yard piercing the old 20lb propane bottles with a spear on a log splitter hydraulically powered from a diesel tractor. It was real exciting when the bottle was not empty and a cloud of vapor obscured the running tractor. They actually recycled several thousand bottles without incident.

RB211
08-26-2015, 11:04 PM
Did you read this entire thread? That is an incredibly STUPID thing to do! MANY accidents have resulted from doing this and I personally witnessed two, one of which resulted in a fatality!
Hmm, I used to hold M80 firecrackers in my hand, light the fuse, watch it burn down, then throw it. Yes, I still have both hands, and 10 fingers. Now that was stupid!

Doozer
08-26-2015, 11:42 PM
Now this is the way it should be done.
This guy should be the poster child for shop safety!:eek:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnPVnH2zapY



No worries.
Dave of Dave's farm was I believe locked up
for sex with a minor. He is in a more dangerous place.

-D

boslab
08-27-2015, 12:14 AM
Amongst the dullest things I've seen this week, either blown up or if a hydraulic failed flattend by a car, then blown up or any combination of the above, oh well, I was told once that some folks perpuse in life is to be an example to the rest of us.
Mark

Black_Moons
08-27-2015, 09:24 AM
Thinners has a higher flash point than petrol

Sure, but my main point was that thinners don't stick around, they dilute gasoline, let you rinse the remaining gas/oil/etc out, and what is left is generally CLEAN and all remaining traces of thinners evaporate away.

Willy
08-27-2015, 01:41 PM
.............. 2 liter motorcycle tank still has a pretty big opening to volume ratio compared to a barrel, car gas tank, or even many of the larger motorcycle gas tanks.



This is the key, volume to opening ratio. If the opening is large enough and the volume small enough all you end up with is a slow burn and not an explosion.
On a small MC tank all I ever do to prepare for a weld or braze job is to simply hold a flame to the opening of the tank in order to burn away the vapors. While I certainly won't endorse this process for everybody due to the all of the variables involved, it works for me.

Don't even think of using this procedure on anything larger!

I realize too that I'll probably get more flame action here than I would from the tank but I simply consider it risk assessment and management.

Looks like I'm not the only one to do this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTb4ToknOyY

Kiwi
08-27-2015, 11:23 PM
Sure, but my main point was that thinners don't stick around, they dilute gasoline, let you rinse the remaining gas/oil/etc out, and what is left is generally CLEAN and all remaining traces of thinners evaporate away.

Yeah ok I'll watch you at a distance thanks. I recon it's kinda like putting out oil fires with explosives a great theory, great entertainment for those who watch, and sphincter puckering to do himmmm I think I'm getting old

boslab
08-28-2015, 12:39 AM
Scrap cylinders are reprocessed by the thousand daily, re melted recast and reused, the valves get opened after a check to see how much is in them, if there's a bit in they go for emptying, the gas is drawn off first, very profitable it is too!, they get de valved and returned without the valve, the scrap yard took the valves off the empty ones, then the excavator and shears snipped them in half.
There was more money in the recovered gas and brass valves as there was in the steel.
Scrap used to get checked thouroughly but every so often a gas bottle would find it's way into the converter, very loud boom and metal thrown out on the floor, but that was fairly common anyway, I was more scared of water myself, that would really make a mess
Mark

Black_Moons
08-28-2015, 02:37 AM
Scrap cylinders are reprocessed by the thousand daily, re melted recast and reused, the valves get opened after a check to see how much is in them, if there's a bit in they go for emptying, the gas is drawn off first, very profitable it is too!, they get de valved and returned without the valve, the scrap yard took the valves off the empty ones, then the excavator and shears snipped them in half.
There was more money in the recovered gas and brass valves as there was in the steel.
Scrap used to get checked thouroughly but every so often a gas bottle would find it's way into the converter, very loud boom and metal thrown out on the floor, but that was fairly common anyway, I was more scared of water myself, that would really make a mess
Mark

Lovely. Wonder if any full argon bottles made it in? Bet that'd leave a pretty hole..

Richard P Wilson
08-28-2015, 04:04 AM
Scrap cylinders are reprocessed by the thousand daily, re melted recast and reused, the valves get opened after a check to see how much is in them, if there's a bit in they go for emptying, the gas is drawn off first, very profitable it is too!, they get de valved and returned without the valve, the scrap yard took the valves off the empty ones, then the excavator and shears snipped them in half.
There was more money in the recovered gas and brass valves as there was in the steel.
Scrap used to get checked thouroughly but every so often a gas bottle would find it's way into the converter, very loud boom and metal thrown out on the floor, but that was fairly common anyway, I was more scared of water myself, that would really make a mess
Mark

I did a job at the stainless plant in Sheffield, working near the melting shop. From time to time a stainless beer barrel, still with dregs in it, would make it past the scrap inspector and get fed into the furnace. You would know when this had happened because of the loud bang and the new hole in the roof. The scary bit was trying to predict where the hot barrel was going to land---.
You are right about water, do you remember the torpedo ladle accident at Scunthorpe?

boslab
08-28-2015, 06:12 AM
If I'm remembering right as torpedo breakouts were common in the 80s was a 250t iron torpedo broke out and the iron hit the floor, it's fine to pour water on molten iron, just cools it and makes a lot of steam, pour iron on water and boom, superheated steam explosion, throws molten iron slag and anything else around like confetti in a hurricane very bad, I think someone was killed.
Dangerous stuff water, even a little, there was a mould cooling failure in France that caused an explosion, the 16 ton copper mould was blown out of the building through the roof and landed 1/2 mile away, 16 people were killed several never found bar for rags and bits
Charging scrap in a bin means the converter is tilted down, it's mouth level with the control room, there are bars on the windows to stop projectiles like Gas tanks.
The crane driver is usually twitchy when charging too
Mark

vpt
08-28-2015, 08:26 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9c18ITCKBY

oxford
08-28-2015, 09:01 AM
That video was awesome, a few of those barrels really took off.

radkins
08-28-2015, 09:05 AM
Hmm, I used to hold M80 firecrackers in my hand, light the fuse, watch it burn down, then throw it. Yes, I still have both hands, and 10 fingers. Now that was stupid!

Lol! I can sure relate to that one! When I was a kid M80s, Silver salutes and Cherry bombs were easy to get and we would all have a pocket full of the damned things! Probably as dangerous or maybe even worse was having several of them in pockets or lying nearby while lighting another one, even having them near other less dangerous fireworks was a common and rather dumb thing to do. Here where I live now fireworks are legal and the fireworks stores are all along the major highways, they do a "booming" business all year round to out-of-state visitors but what they have is a far cry from what we had as kids. Firecrackers are not nearly as powerful as they once were and just about anything they have that goes boom has been tamed down considerably to what was once legal. While M80's, etc have been illegal here since the 1950s they were easy to find several years ago when the penalty for selling them was just a small fine but selling them will now earn a dealer a vacation at the grey bar hotel instead so they (fortunately!) are extremely hard to come by and are rarely seen these days.

Sometimes I wonder how we survived growing up

Doozer
08-28-2015, 10:20 AM
Not totally related, but...
For propane torches used around the shop,
I buy the camping stove size propane cylinders
because they are short and squatty, and the
torch will not have a tendency to tip over on
the workbench. When the propane is used up,
I cut the top off the tanks on the metal band saw.
The empty cylinders with the top removed make
handy sized cans to put things in around the shop.
I just make sure they are very empty before I cut
them. I take the overpressure schrader core out
to be sure.

-D

Black_Moons
08-28-2015, 02:28 PM
Not totally related, but...
For propane torches used around the shop,
I buy the camping stove size propane cylinders
because they are short and squatty, and the
torch will not have a tendency to tip over on
the workbench. When the propane is used up,
I cut the top off the tanks on the metal band saw.
The empty cylinders with the top removed make
handy sized cans to put things in around the shop.
I just make sure they are very empty before I cut
them. I take the overpressure schrader core out
to be sure.

-D

Hmmm, Debatable danger. On the one side, camping propane cylinders are so damn small, even ignition likely would not burst the container and I have not heard of propane detonating.

On the other, it has such a tiny opening size even with the valve removed, ignition will likely result in a very high pressure spike.

firbikrhd1
08-28-2015, 03:41 PM
Just another day in Mother Russia.
Next up, more Chinese people-eating escalators!

I served 29 years in the 7th larges Fire Rescue department in the US. Let me assure you that such ignorance is NOT limited to Russia or China.