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Old 10-27-2005, 06:41 AM   #1
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I see this has been discussed on this board and others from time to time. It was on RV.net a few days ago and why the thread was locked is beyond me given the nature of the topic. This article appeared in our morning paper and upon searching the net I found it all over.

Interesting to note that Michelin supports the use of Nitrogen. If the equipment cost (with volume picking up) becomes reasonable, I can certainly see changing all my tires over to nitrogen on the MH, Colorado, Equinox and bikes.



--------------------------
Nitrogen poised for larger role in tire inflation

Dave Halliday
The Edmonton Journal

Friday, October 21, 2005


CREDIT: Dave Halliday, The Journal
Mobile nitrogen inflation setup built into the back of a pickup truck.
EDMONTON - Air has been used to inflate tires for most of the history of the automobile, but that position is about to be challenged by nitrogen.

Steve Godreau, sales manager for Drexan Corp. which supplies nitrogen inflation equipment, said nitrogen has been used in aircraft and race car tires for decades.

Long-distance trucking firms such as Reimer Express are testing nitrogen tire inflation with promising results.

While the oxygen in air tends to migrate out of the tire, leaving the tire with reduced pressure, nitrogen has less tendency to do that, resulting in more consistent inflation pressures.

Godreau said that having tires correctly inflated reduces tire wear and the risk of tire damage, while allowing the vehicle to deliver the best-possible fuel economy.

Underinflation can lead to tire failure, particularly on long highway trips.

Tires inflated with air need to be checked at least once a month to ensure they're at the correct pressure.

In contrast, nitrogen inflated tires could go several months, such as the interval between oil changes, without needing adjustment, Godreau said. However, he recommends checking tire pressure regularly.

In a November 2003 technical bulletin, tire-maker Michelin says that it "supports the use of nitrogen based on its ability to better retain pressure over a period of time."

Godreau said one of the most frequently asked questions is whether nitrogen-inflated tires can be topped up with compressed air. The answer is yes because a small amount of air won't significantly lower the amount of nitrogen in the tire. However, a tire shop with nitrogen equipment could also top up the tires.

The Parker TireSaver nitrogen generator his company sells takes advantage of the fact that air is 78-per-cent nitrogen. The machine strips oxygen from compressed air, making nitrogen available for tire-shop personnel to use in inflating vehicle tires.

Waterloo Ford Lincoln recently installed a nitrogen system for tire service. The use of nitrogen is indicated by the installation of green valve-caps on the tires.

There's no cost for nitrogen inflation when a customer purchases new tires at Waterloo. To replace air with nitrogen in existing tires, Waterloo charges $19.95.

Costco and a few tire shops also inflate tires with nitrogen.

Along with nitrogen, the other major component in air is the 21 per cent that is oxygen.

Godreau explained that both compressed air and oxygen can present problems for tires.

Compressed air may contain moisture which can contribute to pressure fluctuations. The moisture can also rust steel wheels or oxidize aluminum wheels, creating a rough surface that can create problems sealing the tire to the wheel and lead to pressure loss. When oxygen in the compressed air escapes through the tire, it can also cause rusting of the tire's steel belts.

Oxygen is known for causing oxidation when it comes in contact with other materials. When rubber is involved, oxidation can make rubber brittle and cause it to lose tensile strength.

Godreau said tests by Ford Motor Company staff show that tires retain much more strength when inflated with nitrogen rather than oxygen.

Although nitrogen has been used in aircraft and racing applications for years, it didn't make the jump to passenger cars until recently.

"The technology was not applied to the tire business until about two years ago," Godreau said.

Before nitrogen generators became available, the gas came only in pressurized cylinders which raised questions about cost and the safe handling of those cylinders. Although nitrogen is inert, high pressure in the cylinders could make them dangerous.

The Edmonton Journal 2005
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Old 10-27-2005, 06:41 AM   #2
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I see this has been discussed on this board and others from time to time. It was on RV.net a few days ago and why the thread was locked is beyond me given the nature of the topic. This article appeared in our morning paper and upon searching the net I found it all over.

Interesting to note that Michelin supports the use of Nitrogen. If the equipment cost (with volume picking up) becomes reasonable, I can certainly see changing all my tires over to nitrogen on the MH, Colorado, Equinox and bikes.



--------------------------
Nitrogen poised for larger role in tire inflation

Dave Halliday
The Edmonton Journal

Friday, October 21, 2005


CREDIT: Dave Halliday, The Journal
Mobile nitrogen inflation setup built into the back of a pickup truck.
EDMONTON - Air has been used to inflate tires for most of the history of the automobile, but that position is about to be challenged by nitrogen.

Steve Godreau, sales manager for Drexan Corp. which supplies nitrogen inflation equipment, said nitrogen has been used in aircraft and race car tires for decades.

Long-distance trucking firms such as Reimer Express are testing nitrogen tire inflation with promising results.

While the oxygen in air tends to migrate out of the tire, leaving the tire with reduced pressure, nitrogen has less tendency to do that, resulting in more consistent inflation pressures.

Godreau said that having tires correctly inflated reduces tire wear and the risk of tire damage, while allowing the vehicle to deliver the best-possible fuel economy.

Underinflation can lead to tire failure, particularly on long highway trips.

Tires inflated with air need to be checked at least once a month to ensure they're at the correct pressure.

In contrast, nitrogen inflated tires could go several months, such as the interval between oil changes, without needing adjustment, Godreau said. However, he recommends checking tire pressure regularly.

In a November 2003 technical bulletin, tire-maker Michelin says that it "supports the use of nitrogen based on its ability to better retain pressure over a period of time."

Godreau said one of the most frequently asked questions is whether nitrogen-inflated tires can be topped up with compressed air. The answer is yes because a small amount of air won't significantly lower the amount of nitrogen in the tire. However, a tire shop with nitrogen equipment could also top up the tires.

The Parker TireSaver nitrogen generator his company sells takes advantage of the fact that air is 78-per-cent nitrogen. The machine strips oxygen from compressed air, making nitrogen available for tire-shop personnel to use in inflating vehicle tires.

Waterloo Ford Lincoln recently installed a nitrogen system for tire service. The use of nitrogen is indicated by the installation of green valve-caps on the tires.

There's no cost for nitrogen inflation when a customer purchases new tires at Waterloo. To replace air with nitrogen in existing tires, Waterloo charges $19.95.

Costco and a few tire shops also inflate tires with nitrogen.

Along with nitrogen, the other major component in air is the 21 per cent that is oxygen.

Godreau explained that both compressed air and oxygen can present problems for tires.

Compressed air may contain moisture which can contribute to pressure fluctuations. The moisture can also rust steel wheels or oxidize aluminum wheels, creating a rough surface that can create problems sealing the tire to the wheel and lead to pressure loss. When oxygen in the compressed air escapes through the tire, it can also cause rusting of the tire's steel belts.

Oxygen is known for causing oxidation when it comes in contact with other materials. When rubber is involved, oxidation can make rubber brittle and cause it to lose tensile strength.

Godreau said tests by Ford Motor Company staff show that tires retain much more strength when inflated with nitrogen rather than oxygen.

Although nitrogen has been used in aircraft and racing applications for years, it didn't make the jump to passenger cars until recently.

"The technology was not applied to the tire business until about two years ago," Godreau said.

Before nitrogen generators became available, the gas came only in pressurized cylinders which raised questions about cost and the safe handling of those cylinders. Although nitrogen is inert, high pressure in the cylinders could make them dangerous.

The Edmonton Journal 2005
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Old 10-27-2005, 08:16 AM   #3
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I vote for HELIUM. Not an oxidizer, and best benefit is quite a bit lighter than nitrogen or air. Lets see...six tires on a dually truck, plus the spare, plus five trailer tires....wonder how much weight savings for entire rig over nitrogen or air??? Then we would have to figure the weight loss percentage, taking into account a 8000# truck and a 11,000# fiver... Bet I could save 0.002 MPG of diesel at $2.69 / gallon... I dropped my calculator, now I have to start over
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Old 10-27-2005, 08:58 AM   #4
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Sure, go ahead and use Helium. You can probably buy it for two bits a can.

If the price of nitrogen producing equipment (or rather equipment that takes out the oxygen)becomes cheap enough to warrant use (say similar to the price of my compressor) I'll switch promptly. I'm tired of constantly adding to car, bike and RV tires.
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Old 10-27-2005, 10:08 AM   #5
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We used to just shoot a litle freon in the tires. On hot days they would be really pumped up. I have heard of one person putting propane in one. He was in a bind, and if he really did what he claims, and knowing him, he was probably drunk. I wouldn't recomend trying it.

I have used hair spray to seat a bead. Especially with lawnmower tires. Spray some in, toss in a lit match, and run. It helps to tie it down with a rope. Also, take the valve out of the stem, and as soon as safely possible, put some air in it. If not, the hair spray will burn out faster than the air can draw into the stem and pull it back off the bead.
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Old 10-27-2005, 07:08 PM   #6
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Yup, I use N2 in my tires, 78% N2 and that is plain old air. I see no reason to pay to add the remaining 22%.
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Old 10-28-2005, 04:29 AM   #7
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A local tire dealer is putting Nitrogen in tires they sell if the customer wants it. Passenger as well as larger commercial tires. I have heard there is a second dealer in town that is offering it also. No additional charge and they will top off at a later date if needed...no charge. Ordinary compressed air also can be used to top off if there is no place to get Nitrogen.
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Old 10-28-2005, 06:25 AM   #8
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The helium is a good idea but if you overfill them you could lose traction as the the blimp, er RV, floats away.

I'd vote for Nitrous Oxide, aka laughing gas. It's "sorta" like nitrogen and if you ever had a blowout you could just sit around and laugh it off.

Life's too short to take it serious.
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Old 04-14-2006, 07:21 PM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by charliez:
..... I have heard of one person putting propane in one. He was in a bind, and if he really did what he claims, and knowing him, he was probably drunk. I wouldn't recomend trying it.
......... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Use of propane as an areosol propellant used to be common. I.E in aerosol cans of tire inflater/stop leak. Purchase same at a Dollar Store last year. Its use is no longer legal ~ at least in CA where an unsuspecting tire shop ~ might expose the evacuated gas to a spark.
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Old 04-15-2006, 07:55 AM   #10
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The helium is a good idea but if you overfill them you could lose traction as the the blimp, er RV, floats away.

I'd vote for Nitrous Oxide, aka laughing gas. It's "sorta" like nitrogen and if you ever had a blowout you could just sit around and laugh it off.


Good one Cruzer, you made me smile for today!
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Old 04-17-2006, 04:51 AM   #11
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On a little more serious note, my own opinion.

I think using Nitorgen is simply a way to insure you're using a dry gas. That is, one without water vapor (or perhaps "vapour" up there...).

Air driers are available, they are sold for various raicng applications, but are pricey. Simply using Nitrogen, as supplied in tanks from a gas supplier, is a cheap way to do it.

I've thought about trying a balancing powder in my tires. I have used Centramatic balancing rings and liked them, but they are pricey! If I do try a powder, I'll probably use Nitrogen as a simple way to limit the water vapor, and hence actual liquid water, that could really screw up the balancing powder.
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Old 04-17-2006, 05:29 AM   #12
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Tim, I'd virtually forgotten about the topic and all the disinterested replies.

If you do try the nitrogen and balancing powder how about giving us a report. Maybe even first hand at WHRRI this summer.

Don
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