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Thread: Cutting a BIG propane tank?

  1. #11
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    If it was me and I was seriously considering such a venture I'd contact my nearest OSHA office for guidelines. I'm sure they have an approved procedure and process protocol in place.
    Lets face it this is a daily occurrence in the process of decommissioning and scraping rail cars and it is done safely when following code procedures.
    Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
    Bad Decisions Make Good Stories

  2. #12
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    You know, you can make one heck of a BBQ grill out of that.... make the town famous, if it doesn't get blown up first

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duffy View Post
    The ONLY gas that difuses significantly into steel is helium, and then at HIGH pressure.
    Hydrogen, as well. Lines carrying tritium are double walled, with a vacuum between the walls, to cut down on tritium contamination on the outer surface due to diffusion. And this at atmospheric pressure. Hydrogen readily diffuses in steel and causes embrittlement problems.

  4. #14
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    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
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    It'll make one heck of a bang!!!
    Brian Rupnow

  5. #15
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    Jul 2014
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    "There is nothing pure in this world."

    The LPG purchased from a commercial source contains "stuff" other than propane. Some of this "stuff" will collect in the bottom of an LPG tank. Given enough time, the "stuff" will accumulate. Sometimes it's waxy. Sometimes it tarry.

    The "stuff" will melt at certain temperatures and then boil at other certain temperatures. Boiling "stuff," of course, results in highly flammable gas.

    This is why folk who routinely cut open propane tanks will very occasionally blow themselves up, much to their widows' dismay. (Or relief.)

    So, theoretically speaking, make sure all of the theoretical "stuff" is theoretically removed from the theoretically huge theoretical tank before making the theoretical torch cuts. Please do this on the East Coast, and I'll stay home here in Oregon.

  6. #16
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    9 FT X 67 FT, I would think your biggest problem would be getting it home to your shop. If you get it home and cut into it, you'll know/learn more about the BIG Bang theory
    _____________________________________________

    I would rather have tools that I never use, than not have a tool I need.

  7. #17
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    Jul 2006
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    Dracut, Massachusetts
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    I see someone else mentioned dry ice. That is what I have seen used to help assure an inert atmosphere inside of a couple of underground oil tanks that were located such that there was no easy way to lift them out intact. Once they were cleaned out (guys in the tank with breathing gear and loads of what looked like cat litter, shovels, buckets etc. Nasty work) , a bunch of dry ice was dumped in there and allowed to fill the tank with CO2 and displace all of the air, fumes and what not. I think they sampled with some sort of meter to assure that there was no explosive fumes and minimal air in there, and then proceeded to cut the thing into pieces with a torch. I was not directly involved, so only know what I could see and ask about. Looked to be pretty hard icky work, really. But nothing blew up and nobody got hurt, these people knew what they were doing.
    Last edited by alanganes; 07-10-2019 at 09:44 PM.

  8. #18
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    Jan 2017
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    None of this is necessary - what's inside a propane tank is propane & pure propane does not burn - oxygen is necessary. I have demonstrated this by drilling a hole in an empty 20lb tank and holding a match to the hole. What happens is a very languid flame as the slowing escaping propane mixes with the air. I'm talking about an empty tank of course - with a pressurized tank I would have gotten a jet of flame, but still not an explosion. Also, one cannot use an oxy-fuel cutting torch, as the torch may introduce oxygen into the tank.

    Yeah, one hears stories of exploding propane tanks, but the devil is in the details - just what were the circumstances of the explosion. I guarantee it was not someone cutting open an empty tank where a cutting torch was not involved.

  9. #19
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    Dec 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by oxford View Post
    The first step in cutting something like that up is to make sure the video camera is running for the YouTube clip, or maybe liveleak
    Didn't Foxworthy say something about that,,,,,,,?
    "Hold my beer, watch this" !!!!

  10. #20
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    Jan 2014
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    Long Island, N.Y.
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    How about something like a brushless jigsaw or Saws-all?

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