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Thread: Acetylene-filled balloons explode - GIF

  1. #11
    Supporting Member NeiljohnUK's Avatar
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    Unsurprising with the global shortage of Helium, we're currently limited to ONE cylinder of Helium per month by our supplier, so people are finding other things to fill balloons. Still one advantage of restricting Helium for balloon filling, fewer suicides with it. https://www.researchgate.net/publica...ium_Inhalation

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    Supporting Member stillldoinit's Avatar
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    stillldoinit's Tools
    About 35 years ago I used to fill balloons with oxy/acty. Would put ballon in paper bag , light torch with neutral flame then touch nozzel to something causing flame out. Then hold baloon neck on nozzle till baloon was about a foot in diameter snug in bag and tie off the neck. Have it in open space and light bag on fire and run like hell. Most of the time I could make it about 75 feet before the explosion. Lady 1/4 mile away was on the throne and thought her house exploded, pulled her pants up and ran outside. Neighbor a mile away called and asked if everything was okay down tje road as she heard a very loud explosion. I was feeling pretty proud of mymyself and was telling a few people later. The subject of static electricity was brought up snd pointed out to me that I was lucky to still be able to get around. Needless to say, I don't blow up baloons anymore. However a spudgun built from a co2 fire extinguisher with a 2"barrel 4' long will shoot a semi frozen potato over 900 feet with the same mixture.

  3. #13
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    I think if you look at the .08 time on the clip you see the person with green balloons walk them into the lights and the explosion propagated from where they contacted the hot lights.
    I worked once where a company was setting up oil storage tanks for an oil refinery. In the bottom of the tanks was about 2 feet of water from rain and snow. Some of the welders decided to inflate balloons with welding gases. Some were acetylene, some were oxygen. The acetylene balloons would explode if hit with a spark and release a big ball of flame.
    The balloons with just oxygen would randomly detonate on their own with a loud flash and bang. It seems the oxygen would saturate the rubber and as the rubber weakened it would burst. When the balloon burst it released enough energy through the rest of the oxygen saturated rubber skin for the rubber to detonate like a high explosive. The oxygen filled balloons were more dangerous than the fuel filled balloons and it took months for them all to explode because nobody wanted to be trying to collect and dispose of them.
    Imagine working inside of a 200 foot diameter round steel tank where every now and then, randomly, something would explode with as much noise as a stick of dynamite would have.

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    Supporting Member suther51's Avatar
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    Second on the lights as the ignition.

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    Liquidhandwash's Tools
    Quote Originally Posted by DIYSwede View Post
    Nope - acetylene is 10% lighter ( than air) at 1,095 kg/m3 @ 16 C and 1 Bar.
    Density of air at 20 C and 1 Bar, is between 1,1934 @ 0% RH and 1,2039 @ 100% RH

    For most practical uses: ρ = 1,25 kg/m

    Ignition was probably caused from static electricity potential differences between the balloons and/ or their respective holders.

    2 cents & Cheers
    Johan
    I don't know about the numbers But when i was a kid I filled a ballon with acetylene and it fell to the floor fastest then an air-filled ballon. My friend stupidly put a match to it and burned off his eyebrowes

  6. #16
    Supporting Member jdurand's Avatar
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    jdurand's Tools
    I saw someone decide to get a fast light on a BBQ, blew O2 onto the briquettes and apparently saturated them. When lit they went off like black powder.

    Things to NOT do with flammable metals and gases, I prefer to keep all my appendages and do stuff like professional fireworks.

  7. #17
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    Gas welders know that you never ever grease the threads on the O2 regulators because the oxygen can saturate the grease and it becomes a sensitive high explosive. They also know that acetylene can detonate when the pressure is more than 39 psi on it which is why it is dissolved in acetone to bottle it instead of just pressurizing it.
    Welding gases are dangerous.
    Last edited by cmarlow; 11-19-2019 at 07:30 PM.

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    Supporting Member Frank S's Avatar
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    Frank S's Tools
    Quote Originally Posted by cmarlow View Post
    Gas welders know that you never ever grease the threads on the O2 regulators because the oxygen can saturate the grease and it becomes a sensitive high explosive. They also know that acetylene can detonate when the pressure is more than 39 psi on it which is why it is dissolved in acetone to bottle it instead of just pressurizing it.
    Welding gases are dangerous.
    You also cant cut deeper under water with acetylene than 15 ft learning to use hydrogen to cut underwater can be a new experience in itself.
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to Frank S For This Useful Post:

    cmarlow (11-19-2019)

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    Supporting Member bruce.desertrat's Avatar
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    bruce.desertrat's Tools
    Makes my craziest "stupid grill trick" seem really tame in comparison:I once got the idea that grilling bacon would be a good idea. It was, for about a minute, then the fat rendered, fell onto the coals and erupted into a gout of intense flame. Was an amazing thing watching the bacon just vaporize in the flames (which were shooting about 4 ft high 8-P

  11. #20
    Supporting Member Hoosiersmoker's Avatar
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    Ignition source was the lighting at the front edge of the stage. Look at about :07, you can see the green balloons come close then touch just before :09


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