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Nitrogen Use and Tire Aging

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by 2dinos, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. 2dinos

    2dinos Formula 3

    Jan 13, 2007
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    I'd imagine this was discussed at some time

    If you get rid of the ~21% O2 - - - The logical advantages:

    Displace moisture which will reduce tire warming pressure rise
    Displace moisture which will reduce corrosion risks / issues in rim
    Reduce O2 which will reduce corrosion risks / issues in rim

    The ~21% O2 in our atmosphere will support slow & fast oxidation ie rust & burning. Soo, will it give any benefit to tires aging out? If tires start do degrade in X years, will using N2 give X+? years? Any data on this? Or anybody care to share any observations?

    Even adding one year would be great. Maybe if done when tires are as new as possible? I've come across lots of negative stuff. Waste of $ etc etc. But the F cars are pretty precious, and doesn't sound horribly expensive relatively speaking. Typically we go for the best oils, waxes and don't give it a second thought.

    Thanks and Happy New Year !!
     
  2. Llenroc

    Llenroc F1 Rookie
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    What about the O2 on the outside of the tire? They tend to break down on the outside not the inside from what I have seen.
     
  3. ago car nut

    ago car nut F1 Rookie
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    Sunlight is hard on rubber!
     
  4. energy88

    energy88 F1 World Champ
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    Most people wear out the tires before dry rot becomes a dangerous problem. Assuming that dry rot manifests itself at about 10 years and if there is plenty of tread left on the tire at that mark, then the miles driven per year is likely low (2,000 to 4,000 miles per year). An incremental 2,000 to 4,000 miles at the end of the tire life is probably not worth it to most people. An extra year before mandatory tire replacement becomes necessary probably depends on the extra cost of the N2 over 10 years versus ordinary air.

    What is the charge for N2 and how readily available is it?
     
  5. 2NA

    2NA F1 World Champ
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    There's no reason to pay any upcharge for filling tires on a street-driven car.
     
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  6. BOKE

    BOKE Beaks' Gun Rabbi
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  7. NoSpeedLimit

    NoSpeedLimit Karting

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    I would use helium or hydrogen, since these gases would also reduce the unsprung mass.
     
  8. energy88

    energy88 F1 World Champ
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    Hydrogen, no. As one of the simplest elements, it requires very robust containers and lines to prevent it seeping thru the container walls. This is a major fuel tank problem on hydrogen powered vehicles.
     
  9. Bob in Texas

    Bob in Texas Formula 3
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    Not to mention the isty bitsy problem that hydrogen is highly flammable...


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
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  10. crinoid

    crinoid F1 Veteran
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    When McLaren stole the plans from The Scuderia Ferrari, Ferrari had been using nitrogen to air up the F1 tires and McLaren argued they didn't see much reason to do it.
     
  11. tomc

    tomc F1 World Champ

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    Re use of hydrogen, see this pic.
    Image Unavailable, Please Login

    Molecular hydrogen is touchy stuff. From what I've read, hydrogen powered cars will need H2 to be sequestered, physically or chemically.

    T
     
  12. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Both hydrogen and helium are tiny molecules, as someone mentioned, and tires filled with them would leak like a sieve.

    We used nitrogen for tires in the USAF, but those tires see huge changes in temperature and outside pressure on every flight and go from 0-140 knots near instantaneously and from no load to carrying huge weight loads. Not quite the same environment as a car.
     
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  13. Ianjoub

    Ianjoub Formula Junior

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    I have a nitrogen bottle in my shop for filling shocks and still don't bother putting it in my tires.
     
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  14. tomc

    tomc F1 World Champ

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    Small correction (apologies, one time chemistry major! ), helium is an atom. Hydrogen is found in molecular form, H2.
    But, as Taz says, they're very small, I'd guess the smallest among elements in their standard states. Hydrogen diffuses through solids quite easily, assuming it doesn't react first...T
     
  15. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Tom- Affirmative, and I have a chemistry degree. As you said, helium is pretty much inert, which is why it works well in balloons, dirigibles, etc. Just a bit hard to find.
     
  16. tomc

    tomc F1 World Champ

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    Cool. Didn't know you were a fellow Chem major!
    There used to be a large helium "mine" up near Amarillo. Pass more than a few Helium Roads in towns of the Panhandle. Not sure how active those reserves are anymore...T
     
  17. thorn

    thorn F1 Rookie
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    Nitrogen in a street car is snake oil. But believe whatever you like.
     
  18. GordonC

    GordonC F1 Rookie
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    When Ferrari race team member Nigel Stepney stole the plans from Ferrari and gave them to McLaren (McLaren didn't steal anything, although they were in possession of stolen data - a pretty important difference), the FIA itself revealed through extremely sloppy redaction of the hearing transcripts that Ferrari had been using CO2 in their F1 tires, not nitrogen.

    At that time, nitrogen was already pretty commonly used by race teams worldwide for it's dry nature when used, allowing more precise control of hot pressures. The absence of moisture is the only single benefit to nitrogen vs. regular compressed air which contains moisture.
     
  19. Ak Jim

    Ak Jim F1 Rookie
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    Isn't the earth almost out of helium?
     
  20. tomc

    tomc F1 World Champ

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    My understanding from people who are more involved in that area, yes, there is a shortage. Whether it's a domestic or world wide supply issue, I am not knowledgeable enough to say...T
     
  21. energy88

    energy88 F1 World Champ
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    I believe it is pretty much self-sustaining from radioactive decay underground. If it were that scarce, I would expect that it would be too expensive to use in party balloons.

    It can also be extracted from other substances, but I would image that is super expensive depending on economies of scale.

    During my days in the oil & gas industry, I recall that the Federal Government would require helium associated with drilling and petroleum reserves be required to be reported annually which was a PIA.
     
  22. hwyman

    hwyman Karting

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    Gordon doesn't CO2 destroy most rubber? When we use seals in Oil and Gas we use different seals, viton, buna, Kalrez etc. depending on the CO2 content since it usually swells the seals
     
  23. vincep99

    vincep99 Formula 3
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  24. albkid

    albkid Karting

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    In the broadcast business where high power transmitters are routinely used, the transmission lines, typically 6" in diameter or bigger waveguide, nitrogen is used to pressure the lines because it is dry. The risk of flash over from the center conductor to the outside conductor is unacceptable using any gas other than nitrogen because of moisture. A flash over can cause a fire inside the transmission line and the effects are truly bad.
     
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  25. thorn

    thorn F1 Rookie
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    I don't think anyone is suggesting that nitrogen has no useful purpose...
     

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