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CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/04/2015 9:07 AM

A welder friend of mine was about to cut an old kerosene

drum with a oxycetylene torch.

I asked how he had cleaned the drum,and he replied that he had not cleaned it,

he had purged it with CO2 from his truck exhaust for about an hour,which,according

to him,made the contents safe to weld or cut.

I disagreed.He said the had done it many times with no problems.

I wished him luck and cleared that area.

I did not hear a KABOOM!.

He got away with it again.

I know that CO2,in the right conditions is explosive and felt this was very dangerous.

Anyone else agree or disagree?

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#1

Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/04/2015 9:59 AM

CO2 is emphatically not explosive. If you like it has already "exploded" when carbon reacts with oxygen to give CO2 plus lots of heat. So CO2 is inert in that sense. The only elements that might react with CO2 are those that have an even greater affinity for oxygen than carbon, such as magnesium, sodium, potassium. Flushing a container with car exhaust seems a bit crude, but as long as he has a catalytic exhaust system to remove all unburnt hydrocarbons, then sounds like a good idea.

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#2

Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/04/2015 10:00 AM

your friend is killing off all the polar bears with this shameless release of carbon, call the FBI and jail him asap!

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#3

Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/04/2015 10:10 AM

Assuming his truck has a catalytic converter, he did generate CO2...but if it does not have a cat, he generated CO! Just a little factoid.

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#4

Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/04/2015 10:22 AM

Actually his purging approach is a very common and effective one.

Even without catalytic converters a properly most any tuned IC engine being it gasoline, diesel or propane powered will produce an inflammable exhaust gas that is more than sufficient to prevent combustion.

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#10
In reply to #4

Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/04/2015 10:26 PM

I think the word "inflammable" does not mean what you think it means. That can be a very dangerous error to make. I think you mean non-flammable, which is the opposite of inflammable. If you see the word "inflammable" on a tanker truck, try not to ram it with your own truck.

I think of skin being "inflamed" to remind me of what it means.

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/04/2015 11:15 PM

Call the grammar police.

Same thing.

Flammable vs. inflammable - Grammarist

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#13
In reply to #11

Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/05/2015 4:05 AM

Thank you. You said it more clearly than I did.

". . . an inflammable exhaust gas that is more than sufficient to prevent combustion" should be ". . . a non-flammable exhaust gas that is more than sufficient to prevent combustion"

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#15
In reply to #11

Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/05/2015 4:21 AM

Good link.

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#14
In reply to #4

Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/05/2015 4:20 AM

Wrong word maybe tcmtech?

"Non-flammable" is probably the word(s) which you were seeking I feel, then your sentence makes sense...

The wrong word turned your comment around just about 180°. Been there, done that, and got the T-Shirt!!

Though if CO was produced instead in any reasonably large amount, this can be made to burn further as any good Catalytic Converter mechanic will tell you!!

As a teenager, I modified the exhaust system of my Hillman Imp to mix in extra air with the exhaust and an old spark plug, with the side electrode removed, an HT coil, a buzzer circuit to do the making and breaking, with an ignition cap over the contacts....many years ago!!

It was easy when driving fast/high engine revs, to have several feet of flames shooting out!! It kept people away from following too close.....

Modern Cars with a Cat will not work in this way. Though I have never ever tried one, nor with a diesel engine (guessing!).....

What I feel that may be a really good effect here when using exhaust to purge, in such cases of welding on "empty" containers of "inflammable" fluids and their gases, but nobody has mentioned up to now it seems, is also the "heat" of the car exhaust, that will tend to evaporate any small residues of kerosene or other volatile fuels.....which may be even more effective than the CO2 in making such a container safe from "INFLAMMABLE" fuels and welding explosions!!!

Has anyone here considered this aspect? (I have not read all posts below this one by the way!)

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#80
In reply to #14

Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/09/2015 2:24 PM

It seems that I was not the only teenager with a flame thrower for a car!!!

Mine was done in 1965 on my Hillman Imp in the UK.....what were the other cars mentioned here?

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#85
In reply to #80

Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/10/2015 1:13 AM

Wow. I had a Hillman Husky, 1962, a friend had 2 Minx. 1958 I think. I had a plan to put a Ford 302 drivetrain in it. Active duty got in the way.

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#89
In reply to #85

Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/10/2015 3:52 AM

That a "blast from the past"! Thanks.

The later Husky was eventually "Imp" based, the one you mentioned was "Hillman Minx" based if I remember correctly.....

The Hillman Imp that I had, had a really interesting development. It was designed at the time of the Suez crisis in 1956 with a very economical 2 cylinder, but VERY loud! Not mentioned in the link, but Mike Parkes (see article) was a friend of my Father, and told me that himself when he saw that I drove one!!

See here:-

Hillman_Imp

The Suez crisis passed, petrol was again available, engine was discarded.....Now no engine available.

Then someone thought about the full Aluminium Coventry Climax FW (Feather Weight) engine built for fire pumps, bought the rights, reduced it down to 875cc, and put it in the Imp......

It was also put into early Formula one cars (larger capacity of course), up until the mid 60's.......

Jim Clarke was driving one, 2 liter 4 cylinders, against the common 3 liter 8 cylinders of other manufacturers and even winning/getting on the podium sometimes....

Jim_Clark_Racing_Driver

See here:-

Coventry_Climax

That engine was for its day very high revving and fitted well with the car. Later a slightly bigger version was also produced with twin carbs......

Great cars.

Marked as Off Topic.

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#94
In reply to #89

Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/10/2015 1:50 PM

Yes, the Husky and Minx appeared similar in body style. It was my understanding that the Hillmans used the same engine as the Sunbeam Alpine. Thus the mind of an 18 year old felt that if Sunbeam could add the Ford V8, then I could add the same engine to the Hillman. I had a chance to pick up another Husky about 15 years ago. I looked at the rust, and declined.

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#36
In reply to #4

Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/05/2015 2:53 PM

The heat in the exhaust gases should also vaporize any liquid HydrCarbons which should result in less potential problems other than environmental ones.

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#5

Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/04/2015 10:41 AM

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is not flammable or explosive. Carbon monoxide (CO) is flammable and is probably what you were thinking of when your intuition warned you that this may not be safe. From your description I still think that your intuition that this procedure is dangerous is correct, but your reasoning is wrong.

I suspect your friend thinks that the truck exhaust has insufficient oxygen in it to support combustion. If this was true then catalytic converters would have no oxidizer to finish the combustion process. Depending on the method used to purge this can, an hour of exhaust gas might simply displace any residual flammable vapors with warmed gas to allow welding without ignition. On second thought, ignition is not the concern. Explosion is the concern. By purging the drum with many, many times the volume with exhaust the kerosene vapor concentration will immediately be far less than an explosive concentration. I would never recommend this approach but then again I have not welded anything in a long, long time.

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#8
In reply to #5

Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/04/2015 1:37 PM

You are correct.

I was thinking of CO,not CO2.

He was about to perform cutting on the drum,and cutting requires excess high

pressure oxgen during the cutting phase.

All of the oxygen is not consumed in the cut,and will go inside of the drum.

My concern was a possible perfect mix of CO and/or kerosene fumes plus oxgen

creating an explosive mixture at sometime in during the cut.

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#6

Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/04/2015 11:20 AM

CO2 isn't combustable, but CO is.

Combustible Gas Chart

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/04/2015 12:29 PM

You mean like this???

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#79
In reply to #7

Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/09/2015 12:42 PM

GA! Brings back good memories of my older brother when he installed sparkplugs in the exhaust pipe outlets of his car so that he could create flames coming out of his exhaust when cruising the boulevard.

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#16
In reply to #6

Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/05/2015 4:32 AM

Dear Mr.lyn,

The chart in the link provides some important data.

Regarding C02 - the detail for "IMMEDIATELY DANGEROUS for LIFE or HEALTH " is shown as 40,000 ppm.

Some time back, I studied that when the CO2 reaches 800 ppm, human being cannot survive. This data is published by a famous Meterological Lab (name I forgot) who are monitoring the weather.

The level of 800 ppm and 40,000 ppm has vast difference. If possible pl. provide what is the safe level indicated from the same reference which you have provided.

DHAYANANDHAN.S

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#24
In reply to #16

Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/05/2015 8:45 AM

I suspect the testing method for this lethal limit of carbon dioxide is the difference. Also the body will react to high levels of carbon dioxide for it is the waste gas our lungs are expelling. The average carbon dioxide level now measured in our atmosphere is around 400 ppm. You maybe thinking of another complication from carbon dioxide levels.

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#30
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Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/05/2015 12:22 PM

40,000 ppm is 4%, a concentration of CO2 which has a narcotic effect but which is eminently survivable, provided that the concurrent supply of oxygen is adequate. I have personally observed a complete recovery from a concentration of over 10%. In the industrial situation the raised CO2 must always be accompanied by a low oxygen, and it is the latter which is the killer.

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#32
In reply to #30

Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/05/2015 12:52 PM

I believe the critical concern here is the medical condition of Hypercapnia. As the Wikipedia link shows, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels all the way up to 7% (70,000 ppm) are survivable. As I alluded to, levels above 1.5% produce a noticeable body response (if one is noticing) that will often provoke at least a desire to correct the situation.

Certainly individuals with compromised respiratory conditions will likely be more susceptible.

Also CR4 and my comments should not be considered a reputable source for any medical conditions or treatments.

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#33
In reply to #32

Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/05/2015 1:18 PM

Hypercapnia is simply the Greek word for too much CO2 in the body. It is not a medical condition in itself, although there are medical conditions which cause hypercapnia. These tend to be the ones in which the body is unable to acquire sufficient oxygen. As I said, it is the oxygen lack which is the killer.

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#34
In reply to #33

Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/05/2015 1:22 PM

I defer to you, but stand by my comments.

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#38
In reply to #33

Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/05/2015 3:05 PM

I was not aware a "medical condition" was a clearly defined, precise, linguistic set of attributes (or whatever is the correct moniker) in medicine. Good thing I added my medical disclaimer.

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#39
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Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/05/2015 3:19 PM

You should have ended your disclaimer after the word, "source".

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#40
In reply to #39

Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/05/2015 3:29 PM

My, oh my, CR4 provides a very respectable volume of technical frivolity. Then there's our bountiful collection of ego boasts and laughable laudable abuse.

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#31
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Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/05/2015 12:39 PM

40,000 PPM of CO2 is "IMMEDIATELY DANGEROUS for LIFE or HEALTH"

800 PPM CO2 is meteorologically dangerous over an extended period of time, (hundreds of years) due to the adverse affect it will have on the climate of the world. (Global Warming)

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#43
In reply to #16

Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/06/2015 2:11 AM

If it did not blow up it was safe.

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#76
In reply to #16

Re: CO2 as an inert gas

07/07/2015 10:57 PM

The level of 800 ppm is suggested for Air conditioned space otherwise the occupants may feel headache when the level goes above 1000 ppm.What the chart gives 40000 ppm is life threatening

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#9

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/04/2015 4:41 PM

This is a very old way, more than 70-80 yrs ago to "purge" a drum or other container before cutting it. I know it was used in the Aleutian islands of Alaska during WW2 by my father-in-law to "modify" their fuel drums into stoves and repair vehicle fuel tanks. Unfortunately it is not a fool proof method. Yes, CO2 doesn't burn but CO does, how clean was that exhaust? If it is an open head drum how can you be sure that all of the inerting gas is still where you put it? How do you know that nothing has been released from the metal/paint from the heating of the cutting torch? Almost all reconditioned drums are lined with an epoxy coating, will it burn/flash/go boom when heated by the torch? (Ever wonder why these inner liners are almost always colored burgundy? It is so you can't tell where it wasn't put on completely and therefor you can't tell the coating from the rust!).

There many exceptions to the safety of doing what your friend does. It really doesn't take much more to do the cutting in a safe manner. When underground steel oil storage tanks are removed they are first inerted with an appropriate gas and then opened up with a pneumatic chisel to cut the metal, absolutely no torch involved! How do he tell when the container is completely inerted? Hold a match up to the opening and if it doesn't explode it is safe but if it isn't the explosion will tell you it needs more inerting.

What about rinsing the drum out with a few rinses of water and then washing it with a detergent soap and warm water? How is it done in the drum reconditioning industry? At least use a known inert gas such as Nitrogen. Better yet, use Argon. It is inert, denser than air and not expensive. Keep the opening at the top while cutting and keep enough flow to keep the fill hole area inert.

Much safer, extremely low probability of explosion and more advantageous to not letting some other guy run off with your woman and your life insurance payout money.

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#12
In reply to #9

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/05/2015 2:26 AM

I have seen that done a few times way back when. The heat was supposed to evaporate these fumes remaining in the tank as well as eliminate the oxygen. I was told that it was best to fill the tank with water after purging as full as possible. The test was to pass the lit torch quickly over the opening. If it did not blow up it was safe.

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#46
In reply to #12

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/06/2015 8:18 AM

I wouldn't be worried about eliminating all the oxygen, after all, by itself it will not combust. I would worry more about any combustible materials left in the container, especially in gaseous form. After all, using an oxy-gas unit, introduces oxygen. I know and watched a few times as my dad repaired gas tanks on cars, by welding. His preferred method was to make sure the tank was full of fuel, so there were no fumes that could be ignited. If you try to lite a pool of gasoline by quickly immersing a lit match in it, the match will be doused by the gasoline as there were insufficient molecules of gasoline in it's truly combustible state- a gas.

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#48
In reply to #46

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/06/2015 8:53 AM

Really dangerous as petrol gases down to -60°C or thereabouts (if my memory serves me).

I know and understand the principles you and your Dad are referring to, but you need to be in either a "no oxygen" or "below -70°C" environment (or both!) for it to work just as you mentioned and be "safe!" Otherwise, it could still go seriously wrong!!!

I personally would still not try it even on a Diesel tank, though Diesel needs around +40°C to start gassing (if my memory serves me). Around 100°C difference....

I feel that the old methods are still best, fully empty tank, let it drain for an hour, cover with an old blanket to maintain temperature, then pipe hot steam through the tank (a simple apparatus using an electric kettle will work just fine), allowing the condensate to drip out, and any steam to rise and exit....an hour is good....or more!!

But even doing this, I was happy when the job was done and nothing went wrong!!

As an aside, not really much to do with this, I just like telling a tale about not Petrol.

I bought a broken Diesel engined car (new house, 2 children, no money), for very little money, 3 years old.....in 1985 or so.... Mitsubishi Gallant. 4 Cyl 2.3L Engine. Head broken....

I bought a secondhand head cheaply, but the valve seats and valves needed grinding in and lapping. So I had the grinding work done professionally and I did the lapping in.

What I used to use to check if the valve was sealing right was petrol many more years previously, as a teenage, when I refurbished cars at the weekend while in the RN, but knowing JUST how dangerous petrol can be, and not having any anyway....I decided to use alcohol (Meths). Which is lighter than air and dissipates upwards, far far safer. Its also "thinner"!!

So I lapped in all the 8 valves (I had at the end of 8 hours work hands like badly made raw pork sausage!!) alcohol "tight".

That diesel engine started like a dream....when I told the old mechanic that had done the grinding work, he was blown away and said that he had NEVER had/seen such an easier starting diesel engine in his whole life!!! ...and he was OLD!!

Tale telling over!!! Sorry!!!

Simply never, ever trust petrol (Gas in the USA!) and its vapours....

See here:-

Bonfire and Petrol (Gas USA)

There are plenty of those on YouTube (I mean total idiots of course!!)

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#50
In reply to #46

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/06/2015 9:57 AM

I wouldn't be worried about eliminating all the oxygen, after all, by itself it will not combust. Yes, it will not combust, but NO it sure makes things combust at a lower temperature, with much greater speed and intensity (explosively). Remember the Apollo 1 disaster? Gus Grisson, Ed White and Roger Chaffee were killed because of a 100% oxygen flash fire explosion. This happened on Feb 27, 1967.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_1#Pure_oxygen_atmosphere

Your father was extremely lucky and you also for still having a father. Putting a hot welding rod onto a fuel tank full of fuel vapors defies breaks every safety rule concerning welding on fuel storage containers! What if the rod should burn through the container and this ignition source is mixed with the air that came through with it?

If you try to lite a pool of gasoline by quickly immersing a lit match in it, the match will be doused by the gasoline as there were insufficient molecules of gasoline in it's truly combustible state- a gas. Gaseous gasoline vapors are the things that start the combustion. Below the LEL their isn't enough vapors to ignite, above the UEL their isn't enough air (oxygen source), too much fuel, to ignite. What happens though when the lit match passes from the LEL level vapors through the explosive vapor level on the way up to beyond the UEL vapor level? KA-BOOM! The match doesn't even need to get to the liquid to ignite since there are sufficient molecules to ignite there.

When training people to use a fire extinguisher I put water and then gasoline in a metal tray for a source of fire. When lighting this I never put throw the match inside the tray. I throw it next to the pan on the outside. Ignites the fuel vapors every time! It isn't the liquid that is the direct problem, its getting to the ignition source to the liquid that is the problem.

What ever happened to the old method of using a hot iron to solder the break in the tank? Worked for a long time as long as the heat source, an efficient flame, was not directly near the piece being soldered. Still need cleaned and purged but without the disastrous effect. This can't be done with plastic tanks but for steel ones it works fine.

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#61
In reply to #50

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/07/2015 2:03 AM

I never thought I would have to differ on a point with you, but, plastic welding is becoming more prevalent. NO FLAME used though. The portable welder is a glorified soldering iron that has regulated compressed air blowing around the tip, while at the same time allows a plastic filler rod to enter the hot air stream so as to allow the well softened plastic part, and the semi-molten filler rod to merge together, filling the crack, or joining two parts together. Some better welders substitute nitrogen for the compressed air.

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#65
In reply to #61

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/07/2015 9:37 AM

The misunderstanding is my fault. I had been writing about steel fuel tanks all along and didn't state that I was referencing to them. Sorry for my presumption.

I am not as confident with plastic fuel tanks as some others may be because of several experiences. 1) one place I consulted for had plastic storage tanks they built with plastic welding for their own use. They were 4' cubes with several nozzles on the top. They had a persistent problem of the welds failing catastrophically. Several different people made them so no blame could be put on one individual. They ended up using stainless strap banding around them horizontally and vertically. No problems after that reinforcement. 2) Had a '95 Dodge P/U that needed the fuel pump in the plastic gas tank replaced. Also noticed a pin hole leak in the bottom of it. Dropped it, drained it, washed it with soap and water, rinsed it with water, inerted it with a continues flow of nitrogen and used a hair dryer to dry it with heat to the outside surfaces. When I took it to several repair shops they wouldn't touch it. Too many risks and liabilities if the plastic soldering should fail was their reasons. Replaced it with one from a junk yard for $20. Lasted longer than the truck when it went to p/u Heaven at 250,000 miles. Transmission work would have cost too much to keep it.

Yes, I may be overcautious but based on my experiences the cost of a replacement fuel tank or storage tank of other material is more justified than plastic welding. You have been fortunate in your success with plastic welding. I hope this continues for you. Good Job!

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#66
In reply to #65

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/07/2015 10:00 AM

Yes, but.......................................it can be done.

Plastic welded equipment is the norm in plating and PWCB fab industry.

NO mechanical fasteners are used to build this equipment which can be as long as 80 feet. Typical construction is 4x8 or 4x10 foot by 1 inch thick sheets or smaller sizes as required. PVC and polypro are used exclusively and joined by a single bead of plastic welding rod, expertly laid down by welders using hand held equipment.

Some of this equipment has been in service for over 20 years.

ASI A3030 Horizontal Wet Processor

For larger image:

Eidschun Engineering - Plating Equipment, Electroplating ...

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#68
In reply to #66

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/07/2015 11:25 AM

http://www.propolyamerica.com/ This company builds poly water tanks fore fire equipment with a lifetime guarantee on them. Poly tanks have done away with leaky rusting steel tanks in the fire service.

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#63
In reply to #50

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/07/2015 8:47 AM

Thanx for putting the safety first info here. I should have put that in my original post.

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#18
In reply to #9

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/05/2015 5:43 AM

I have repaired and modified many dozens of fuel tanks. Exhaust fumes ? No thanks. On diesel tanks i use either pure bottled CO2 or argon ( bit expensive these days ) but CO2 is a dirt cheap gas. On petrol tanks I steam clean then purge them with the above gases . Zero problems.

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#20
In reply to #18

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/05/2015 8:05 AM

Consider this is an old fashioned farmer that has done it this way all of his life,and it

is hard to convince him to spend any money for a inert gas.

CO is however,very effective at ridding a buliding of pests if you can vacate it for a day or 2.

I had dry wood termites in my shop,and they are notorious for being hard to get rid of.

I turned off the power to the shop.

I started my 5kw gasoline generator on the bottom floor,and left it running with the

choke slightly flooding.It was powereing a pedestal fan to circulate the air.

The generator will run about 6 hours on a full tank.

I didn't open the doors till two days later.

The vapors had dissipated,and I let it air out all day before I entered again.

No more termites or other bugs or critters.

I am not advising anyone to do this,but it worked for me.

As for cutting a tank with petro fumes,I always fill it with water and detergent,and let it sit for a day.

Then I add water from the bottom,forceing any oil out of the top.

I then drain and partially refill the tank.

I start my cut just above the water line.

(It will not cut below the water level.)

I then rotate the drum as I cut until I have completed the cut.

It is messy,but cheap and effective.

I am glad I seldom have to do this,as when making a "pig cooker BBQ ".

For normal 55 gallon drums, I use a drum deheader,which is like a large can opener made for drums.

Easy and neat.

Here is a link for anyone interested:

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=drum+deheader+tool&t=ffnt&ia=images

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#25
In reply to #20

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/05/2015 9:17 AM

Your friend wouldn't be doing any farming if he is in hospital for 2 years. And he will sell the farm to pay for the 115 skin graft operations . That's no exaggeration , a friend of mine has had 115 surgeries for burns from 2 litres of petrol exploding while refilling a lawnmower. Burns are about the worst kind of injury you can have.

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#26
In reply to #9

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/05/2015 10:49 AM

I heard that carbontethracloride will make such a drum safe to cut or weld.

What does the chemists say?

Jurie

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#27
In reply to #26

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/05/2015 10:59 AM

It is considered non-flammable and has been used as a fire extinguishing agent. (Halon)

It is no longer manufactured, at least in the USA.

It is still legal to recycle it.

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#29
In reply to #26

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/05/2015 11:07 AM
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#35
In reply to #26

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/05/2015 2:35 PM

Carbon Tetrachloride has a NFPA 740 RATINGS (SCALE 0-4): HEALTH=3 FIRE=1 REACTIVITY=0 1 being the best, 4 being the worst. https://www.mathesongas.com/pdfs/msds/MAT04310.pdf Unfortunately when CarbonTet is heated to high temps (cutting torch) in the presence or air (oxygen from cutting stream of tip) it forms Phosgene (a definite bad thing). NFPA RATINGS (SCALE 0-4): HEALTH=4 FIRE=0 REACTIVITY=1. This was used as a chemical warfare agent during WW1 where it was responsible for 85% of the 100,000 chemical warfare deaths. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phosgene Definitely will not make the drum safe to cut or weld. Definitely will make it worse. Whenever I worked with anything with a NFPA rating in any part of this of 3 or 4 I did everything possible to engineer the problem out. IF this couldn't be done my "pucker factor" went tighter than a frog's a$$. That is so tight it is waterproof. Good Luck, Old Salt

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#17

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/05/2015 4:53 AM

Air-chisel is the way I cut drums.

Water hose out prior to work is purge enough.

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#19

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/05/2015 7:39 AM

This brings back a horror story to me that I would prefer to forget but will relate it now. Many years ago (1970's) the company I worked for also had many service shops throughout the world that did repairs on large power equipment. A very large transformer was in the process of having the cover welded on. Operating procedure called for the tank to be purged with nitrogen gas before welding. Time was Christmas Eve. Location was in a large city in southeast United States. My manager (our group was a field engineering group for the same company) called me and requested that I go investigate a death at the Service Shop. The more he talked, the more he talked himself into going instead of me. I am glad. The shop had run out of nitrogen gas and the worker thought that he could use the old method of using car exhaust to purge the tank instead before welding. Not sure what went wrong but the bottom line, was this worker was killed in the explosion and missed the Christmas he was trying to get to. He had a wife and 3 young kids. He had not conferred with anyone about the substitution and was using his own truck for the exhaust.

I have no idea exactly what went wrong but would never use exhaust to prevent explosions. Where I grew up, driving in the desert was common, as was gas tanks and oil pans with cuts or punctures from hitting rocks. The school shop teacher had a routine procedure to drain what gas or oil was possible, jack up the end of the vehicle that the leak was on, purge the tank with exhaust from another vehicle, clean, and solder a patch (using a torch) over the leak. That scarred me even as a teenager and epoxy had just started being available. When I had a leak, I drained and tilted, but used epoxy and never had a problem with the several holes I got early in my driving career. I haven't gotten a tear in a gas tank or pan since the 1950's.

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#23
In reply to #19

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/05/2015 8:32 AM

It is odd that a pinhole leak in a gas tank will eventually drain the entire tank,while a

1 1/4 inch kitchen sink drain will clog completely!

A small pinhole leak can be fixed by cutting a small piece of inner tube,and forceing a

sheet metal screw through it.Then screw it into the leaking pinhole.

Unless the tank is very rusty and thin,this is a permanent fix.

I still remember cooking pots being repaired this way,except using rivets instead of

screws and rubber.

The hardware store sold a kit so you could do it yourself.

People didn't throw things away,they were used up instead.

If a pot was thrown away,you could almost see through it.

Bottles were recycled.Bags were paper.(Plastic?What was that?).

No beer in cans.

Kids said please,thank you and yes ma'm and yes sir. If you didn't have your own cow

or chickens,you left your empty milk bottles on your porch with the payment for last

weeks delivery in the bottle,with a note telling how many eggs you wanted in addition

to your milk.

Your newpaper was thrown on your porch by a kid on a bicycle and it was there rain

or shine,fair or foul,sleet or snow.

I am being nostalgic here,but sometimes I long for yesteryear,when a disc was pulled

by a mule or tractor,a hard drive was 10 miles of bad road,a bit was in a horse's

mouth,a bite was given by a bad dog,and a floppy was something only old men got.

When a handshake was as good as a written contract,and honorable men were

common (politicians,diplomats, and lawyers excepted-they are the same throughout history).

I realize that time moves on,and leaves behind the remains of the past,to be swept

away like scraps from a dinner plate in a restaurant.

But as far as really making progress,I doubt it.

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#28
In reply to #23

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/05/2015 11:02 AM

Ditto For me it is no good going to a museum, I know more about the "old stuff" than the guide!

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#44
In reply to #19

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/06/2015 2:31 AM

Sad story. I hope you never have to retell it again. I also have an oil pan patch story. Around 1972 I worked in an Oldsmobile dealer. There was a customer's car that needed a bit of test driving over a weekend, so the designated tester was bringing her 1965 442 into the shop for the weekend. She hit the brakes too hard as she was going over the metal lip of the entrance. Ripped the oil pan drain plug right off. Put it on a lift, cleaned the area with lacquer thinner, and mixed up a hot batch of body filler bondo. One last wipe with the thinner, and slapped the bondo right up against the pan, mixing board and all. Filled it with oil, and it stayed like that for weeks while we chased down a new pan, painted it to match, and then finally installed it.

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#21

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/05/2015 8:05 AM

Auto exhaust would be a latter choice for me depending on the exhaust treatment. Steam works well as does a chunk of dry ice evaporating while working. A steady source of CO2 or any other inert gas such as nitrogen, argon will also prevent combustion and I have seen a steady supply of compressed air used with success. A lot depends on what was in the barrel in its history. Some compounds get into the pores of the metal and what appears to be clean is NOT clean. If in doubt "don't"

My late father often told a story of during WWII in England one of the enlisted men decided to use a container that previously held TNT or similar product to make a tool box of which needed a lock welded on. After several washing's and scrubbing he lit the torch and was immediately told that it could explode due to the product in the pores of the metal. Advice was ignored and work shop evacuated (stampede) Out side the men heard a loud bang and found their associate still alive but blind and deaf. He was blind for two weeks and deaf for 3 months. The box was not recognizable as a box and there were parts missing. Scrubbing or washing is not enough and in this case probably nothing would have prevented this scenario.

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#22
In reply to #21

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/05/2015 8:30 AM

What "leaks out" of dynamite is an (oily liquid if I remember correctly) substance called nitroglycerin which is REALLY dangerous when it soaks into wood or other porous substances...as he found out!!!

Even without a flame it would remained dangerous to sudden shocks or movement.....

If Dynamite is stored wrongly, that can happen....

This is one of the reasons that in the RN, we never used true Dynamite.....well not in my time anyway.....The Royal Navy has its own forms of explosives for such reasons.....

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#37

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/05/2015 3:04 PM

There is plenty of oxygen in our exhaled breath to sustain us.

The carbon dioxide,due to it's acid charater,will irritate and cause damage to the

lungs if the concentration is too high.

A lake eruputed and spewed out pure CO2 ,and the victims looked like they were

burned. It was the effects of the acidic CO2.

Rebreathers filter the exhaled breath through caustic soda,then through charcoal and

recirculate it for breathing.

The caustic soda neutralizes and absorbs the CO2,and the charcoal removes any

residual impurities.

The rebreather apparatus adds fresh air only as needed.

This allows scuba divers to extend their dive time with a smaller quantitiy of oxygen.

Any gas is deadly if it contains no oxgen,but some are faster acting than others.

Some are deadly in small concentrations,such as chlorine,cyanide,etc. even when

adequate oxygen is present.

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#41
In reply to #37

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/05/2015 3:40 PM

There is plenty of oxygen in our exhaled breath to sustain us. True

The carbon dioxide,due to it's acid charater,will irritate and cause damage to the

lungs if the concentration is too high. False

A lake eruputed and spewed out pure CO2 ,and the victims looked like they were

burned. It was the effects of the acidic CO2. False

Rebreathers filter the exhaled breath through caustic soda,then through charcoal and

recirculate it for breathing. Partly true - the charcoal is not essential

The caustic soda neutralizes and absorbs the CO2,and the charcoal removes any

residual impurities. If your compressed gas is oil-free you do not need charcoal

The rebreather apparatus adds fresh air only as needed. True

This allows scuba divers to extend their dive time with a smaller quantitiy of oxygen. True

Any gas is deadly if it contains no oxgen,but some are faster acting than others. True

Some are deadly in small concentrations,such as chlorine,cyanide,etc. even when

adequate oxygen is present. True

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#42
In reply to #41

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/05/2015 6:21 PM

I think I clearly stated that the charcoal was to remove residual limpurities.

I saw a video of the victims of the lake eruption,and the narrator stated that the CO2

caused the appearance of burns,not from the heat, because the gas was not hot, but

from it's low Ph.(acidic)

Link follows:

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/gas-cloud-kills-cameroon-villagers

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#45
In reply to #42

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/06/2015 5:26 AM

Carbonic acid is a weak acid with a pKa of 6.37 and is incapable of producing burns. If you look at your lake eruption story again you will note the concurrent appearance of sulphur-containing compounds, which are much more likely to have been the cause of the burns.

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#47

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/06/2015 8:20 AM

I am wondering if there is any connection between being gassed with CO and CO2? I know that one allows the hemoglobin to give up its CO2 and exchange it for 8O, whereas CO does not allow this change back.

My Father killed himself with car exhaust, before Catalytic converters were in general usage in the UK, and was made a seemingly "live" colour due to a large portion of his blood being "stuck on" CO....

From Wiki on CO I found this slightly macabre sentence:-

In pathological (autopsy) examination the ruddy appearance of carbon monoxide poisoning is notable because un-embalmed dead persons are normally bluish and pale, whereas dead carbon-monoxide poisoned persons may simply appear unusually lifelike in coloration.The colorant effect of carbon monoxide in such postmortem circumstances is thus analogous to its use as a red colorant in the commercial meat-packing industry.

UMMMM!!!!

Maybe there is also some similar colouring effects maybe?

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#49

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/06/2015 9:24 AM

Call me silly, but I'd try displacing the oxygen and flammable (or inflammable, they mean THE SAME THING(1)) gases from a container by filling the container with H20 It may make oxyascetalyne cutting a little slower, but you KNOW for CERTAIN that there are no explosive fumes left in the tank, because there is no ROOM for fumes to exist.

Although, if I had just filled a barrel with water, I'd be more likely to use a band saw or angle grinder to cut it, with those the water is HELPING when it's pulling the heat away.

Notes:

  1. There are so many flammable/inflammable jokes out there, I cannot count them.(2)
  2. And we can thank the US Declaration of Independence for all of those jokes. without 'Inalienable rights,' we Americans would never have gotten the 'in- means not' rule pounded so far into our heads that we needed to coin the word 'flammable' to mean 'able to burn.'(3)
  3. Thank you so much Thomas Jefferson, your poetic turn of phrase has meant the death (or worse, painful humiliation, and possibly a video on AFV or World's Dumbest...) of many a redneck.
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#51
In reply to #49

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/06/2015 10:29 AM

Don't blame Jefferson. He may not have been infallible, and some people found him intolerable, but his thirst for liberty was insatiable, even if he had indecent relations with a slave.

From dictionary.com:

in-3

1. a prefix of Latin origin, corresponding to English un-, having a negative or privative force, freely used as an English formative, especially of adjectives and their derivatives and of nouns ( inattention; indefensible; inexpensive; inorganic; invariable). It assumes the same phonetic phases as in-2.(impartial; immeasurable; illiterate; irregular, etc.). In French, it became en- and thus occurs unfelt in such words as enemy (French ennemi, Latin inimicus, lit., not friendly).

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#54
In reply to #51

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/06/2015 11:52 AM

Well, since we just finished with Independence Day(1) weekend, I thought I should throw in a reference to the Founding Fathers, and their possible influence for Americans needing a word to mean 'inflammable' that didn't sound to them like it meant 'nonflammable.'

Notes:

  1. Also knows as 'Celebrate the birth of our country by blowing up a chunk of our country' day, or, 'Celebrate Democracy by singing God Save the Czar on the White House lawn' day.(2)
  2. I'm not sure if that's satire or ignorance(3), but every year, near the end of A Capitol Fourth, when they're starting the fireworks, they play the same excerpt from the 1812 Overture(4) which includes a choir singing God Save the Czar.
  3. The 1812 Overture commemorates the routing of Napoleon's forces from Imperial Russia, It's an entire story told through music, for those with the patience and culture to sit down and really listen to the whole thing.(5)
  4. The 'exciting part.' You know, with the cannons.
  5. Which means that most Americans have NO idea what the 1812 Overture is about, since they have no patience, and they think 'culture' is something in yogurt.
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#55
In reply to #54

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/06/2015 12:11 PM

This year is also the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo......in the UK a London mainline station was been named after it and a town in Hampshire, called Waterlooville.....on the way to Portsmouth from London and served by that mainline station in London I mentioned.

See here:-

Battle of Waterloo 1815/2015

Boneparte did not fight again after that!!!

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#56
In reply to #54

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/06/2015 12:14 PM

"most Americans have NO idea what the 1812 Overture is about"

That's NOT TRUE!

It's about 15 1/5 minutes.

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#58
In reply to #56

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/06/2015 12:34 PM
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#62
In reply to #56

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/07/2015 2:08 AM

( The Lone Ranger)

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#67
In reply to #62

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/07/2015 11:13 AM

NO!!!

That was the William Tell Overture, or better said, a part of it.....called "Finale, March Of The Swiss Soldiers", if I remember correctly.

You might remember it better when you hear it, here for example:-

Finale, March Of The Swiss Soldiers

I hope this helps!!

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#69
In reply to #67

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/07/2015 11:27 AM

OK, I was wrong again.

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#59
In reply to #54

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/06/2015 12:43 PM

I thought culture was where one got cheap pearls.

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#60
In reply to #59

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/06/2015 2:16 PM
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#70
In reply to #54

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/07/2015 11:30 AM

Isn't that the one where the British ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles and they ran through the bushes where the rabbits wouldn't go, they ran so fast that the hounds couldn't catch 'em, down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico?

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#71
In reply to #70

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/07/2015 11:39 AM

Nice try, but WAY off the mark!! Revoltingly!!

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#73
In reply to #71

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/07/2015 12:24 PM

Didn't it have something to do with Napolean and Russia?

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#74
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Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/07/2015 1:01 PM

Almost all dramatic European politics comes back to that egomaniac in some fashion.

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#75
In reply to #73

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/07/2015 2:09 PM

Correct.

There is quite a reasonable dissertation here if you want to learn more:-

1812_Overture

It was the very first LP I ever bought (I had bought several 45s though!), at age 11 I believe, conducted by Antal Dorati, using an actual period cannon from Strasbourg, France.....

There is an original recording here I believe:-

Antal Dorati's Version

Enjoy.....

On the reverse side of the original disk, they explained HOW they made the recoding, particularly the cannon shot!

When my Father was asked (surprise phone call!) by the BBC in 1965 what music they should play for me far away in Singapore for Christmas ("Forces Home and away" program I believe for the old Brits!), he named the 1812!!

My shipmates were amused. I wanted Beatles!!

By the way, its about the last 5 minutes or so when the Gun goes off many times (one gun, recorded several times, leading technology in the 50's, there was nothing quite like it. I was totally fascinated.)

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#77
In reply to #75

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/08/2015 1:04 AM

Original "platter" not "disk".....nice moment to look back on Andy.

Cheers!

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#78
In reply to #77

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/08/2015 2:49 AM

Actually, in the times I am talking about it was called a "Disk or usually Disc".....

CDs became also known as disks, but did not displace the original....to think that, I would guess you are VERY young!!

If you fully understand the full name of "CDs", the "C" stands for "Compact", in comparison to the sheer size of previous "Disks" ....

How do you think the name "Disc jockey" came about in the early 20th Century, many years before CDs.

It is true that some people called Vinyl Discs "platters", but thats all, only "some". "Disc" is still the conventional name for Vinyl, for many people. Maybe people over a certain age.....? 25?

There is a BBC Radio program transmitted from the 1942 onwards, called "Desert Island Discs", notice, NOT "platters"....it is still being sent out even today!!!!

Notice please its also not called "Desert Island Compact Discs" either!!

BBCRadio 4 Desert Island Discs

You might like to study the name "Disk Jockey" more carefully here:-

Disc jockey

The first Radio Disk Jockey was in 1909, also mentioned in this link somewhere......so its not a new term invented for CDs.....

As Vinyl Disks, (made from Shellac originally I believe), have been around for far more than 100 years, the new kid on the block CD, has simply not been around long enough to claim this name ONLY for itself!!! Not yet anyway.

I would not be surprised if before that happens something better comes along......maybe also round.....

Original "Disc Jockey" not "platter Jockey".....nice moment to look back on Wal.

Cheers!

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#81
In reply to #78

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/09/2015 3:37 PM

i never called them disks or platters. Everyone I knew called them "records." The only time I heard them called disks was in the phrase "disk jockey."

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#82
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Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/09/2015 3:57 PM

I guess it was different between areas/countries.....

But the USA called the guys changing the "platters", Disc Jockeys for over 100 years now.....

We called small 7" 45 RPM "singles", discs, and 12" 33 1/3 RPM ones LPs....

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#83
In reply to #82

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/09/2015 10:01 PM

No we don't. Well at least not all of us do. Once again you are presenting personal assumptions as facts that cannot be disputed.

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#88
In reply to #83

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/10/2015 3:09 AM

..then you neglected to read fully the Wiki article that I previously posted!!!! Your choice!!

Which was for the USA mainly, but applied to some other countries too......

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#86
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Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/10/2015 1:15 AM

What did you call the 78rpm records you had?

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#90
In reply to #86

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/10/2015 3:55 AM

My Mother simply called them Discs, taken maybe from her favorite program in those days, that I already mentioned, "Desert Island Discs"..... still running since 1942....

I guess I copied her......though I have no recollection anymore....

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#84
In reply to #81

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/09/2015 11:56 PM

When I grew up in the golden age of rock and roll a "Platter" was a music group that sang songs such as "Only You" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtjCc1vjO7Y "The Great Pretender" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s08AOiRmy3w and others https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s08AOiRmy3w&list=RDs08AOiRmy3w

A "disk" was either a Frisbee or an LP, "10", that was used as a Frisbee when there wasn't any Frisbees available. The only well known DJ's that used the term were Cousin Bruce Morrow, 770 am, 7pm to 19pm, heard all over the country after dark and Wolf Man Jack in California. They were Disk Jockeys because they had to do everything themselves, yes also being the station engineer some times, and they had to "jockey" things around to get it all done in the length of a 2 minute record playing on the turntable. Hence the term "Disk Jockey".

Then came the glory days of the 8-track tapes instead of 3-1/2" (15 minutes per side), 7" (30 minutes per side) and 10" (60 minutes per side).

See what the youngsters of today were missing! The glory days of disks, the beginnings of stereo, 10" LP records, 45's with the large holes in the center and the 8-track tapes. A cassette? What was that? They weren't in use yet! Ah, for the good old days!

Now "vinyl" records are considered the premium recording media. "What goes around, comes around!" Now that a real GAS!

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#87
In reply to #84

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/10/2015 1:25 AM

Your memory matches mine exactly in respect to the radio personalities. I remember there was an AM radio station from Chicago that was on late at nigh that was in that same mold as Bruce. Did you master Me-A-Surry? If you remember that much, what did you call the 78 rpm records?

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#93
In reply to #87

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/10/2015 9:19 AM

WLS. I listened to Dick Biondi every night.

That was 1963-1966;

WLS The Bright Sound Of Chicago Radio. - The History of ...

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#95
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Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/10/2015 1:54 PM

Its official now. Lyn is an old fart.

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#96
In reply to #95

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/10/2015 2:04 PM

Hey, watch how you throw those comments (hidden complements) around! It's better to be a Old Fart than a Young Stinker! At least the old guys can look back and smile at the "mistakes". The young ones don't even know how to smile. Also remember that as one matures they begin to understand why it is better to get pi$$ed off than to get pi$$ed on.

Good Luck, Old Salt

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#97
In reply to #95

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/10/2015 2:23 PM

There's some sort of irony talking about old farts in a thread titled CO2 as an inert gas. Sorry, it's Friday and I just had to point that out.

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#98
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Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/10/2015 3:22 PM

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#91
In reply to #84

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/10/2015 5:32 AM

Good recall,old salt,but you missed one important link in the technology:

The 4 track tape player.

It came before the 8 track.I had a Craig 4+4 player in my "55 chevy 2Dr coupe.

It would play both 4 and 8 track tapes.

It required frequent calibration to center the heads and prevent adjacent tracks from

bleeding over.It came with a calibration tape that you adjusted for null.

Also in the '60's a DJ had to have a 1st class FCC license if there was not one on site during all the broadcast hours.

Most stations would only hire FCC qualified for DJ's.

Everything now is automated,transmitter frequencies and band widths do not

drift,calibration is not required to be performed frequently,and anyone kicking a can

down the street that has the gift of gab can be a DJ.

Some stations completely automate the whole process,looping the same music over and over again.

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#52

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/06/2015 10:43 AM

Tell your friend to quit doing this. I attended a funeral in Ohio in 1978 for a friend who had done this many times before, and the last time he tried it, was the last time.

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#53
In reply to #52

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/06/2015 11:52 AM

Just for definition, which post were you answering?

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#57
In reply to #53

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/06/2015 12:27 PM

I would have guessed he was answering the OP.

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#72
In reply to #53

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/07/2015 11:57 AM

The OP. His friend is not cleaning out flammables and is counting on a purge gas to protect him. I've seen a very bad outcome from similar actions while I was "in the oil field" in Ohio. As I recall, the tank he was cutting had been "cleaned" first, but obviously still contained enough crude to explode.

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#64

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/07/2015 9:16 AM

An oxidized gas, stable. Non toxic at moderate level.

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#92

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/10/2015 7:37 AM

CO2 is not explosive, CO is.

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#99

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/11/2015 2:49 PM

CO2 in fact does burn. Ever try and put out a Magnesium fire with CO2, not recommended.

The heat of burning Mg breaks down the covalent bond, freeing the O2 which combines vigorously with Mg. Magnesium burns at 470 C, Oxyacetelene at close to 4K C.

I would guess the folks were quite fortunate. I would have suggested getting a thermos of liquid N from the local supplier.

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#100
In reply to #99

Re: CO2 as an Inert Gas

07/11/2015 5:13 PM

Point made, but if you're going to nit pick you should get your nits correct. In the magnesium and carbon dioxide reaction the magnesium is burning (being reduced) while the carbon dioxide is the oxidizer.

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