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Thread: Barrels explode after being welded together - GIF

  1. #11
    Supporting Member Frank S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crusty View Post
    A peripherally related comment: I bought a can opener of the type that cuts the can lid crimp ring from the side (instead of the lid itself) and I use it frequently to make shop storage containers since the separated lid still fits and seals onto the can. I've even been known to go to the grocery store looking for some food in a container that's about the right size that I need to later use once the food's gone.

    Attachment 35162

    If I have to torch cut into a barrel after emptying it, I always flood the barrel interior with Argon from my TIG torch first so if there's any flammable vapor remaining there's no oxygen in the barrel to support combustion.
    That's the kind of can openers we use here as well.
    Back in the days of working in the blacksmith shop a service station mechanic brought a gas tank over to be repaired. William took a long length of flex tubing connected it to his welding machine and stuck the other end in the tank then left the welder run for about 30 minutes or longer before he used his OA torch to braze the split in the tank. I remember him telling me that the exhaust gases from an engine without a muffler would heat up the tank once it was too warm to touch the air inside the gas tank would be filled with the burned exhaust making it less likely to explode, but there was still was still a chance that enough unburned fuel and oxygen could still be in the gas tank was why he allowed them to heat up to reduce the amount of oxygen.
    I've used his method several times through the years, but I doubt that using the exhaust gases from todays super clean burning engines would displace enough oxygen to insure there would be no chance of properly killing the tank of any combustible oxygen.
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  2. #12
    Supporting Member Crusty's Avatar
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    I've heard a story about a welder called out to fix a crack in a leaking gasoline tank and supposedly the welder had the tank completely filled to the neck rim with gasoline, then set the top alight. While it was burning, he welded the crack closed since the flame atop was burning all the vapors away.

    Ya really gotta trust your physics to do this but back in past days people were more willing to try things in an effort to get the job done.
    If you can't make it precise make it adjustable.

  3. #13
    Supporting Member Frank S's Avatar
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    Frank S's Tools
    Quote Originally Posted by Crusty View Post
    I've heard a story about a welder called out to fix a crack in a leaking gasoline tank and supposedly the welder had the tank completely filled to the neck rim with gasoline, then set the top alight. While it was burning, he welded the crack closed since the flame atop was burning all the vapors away.

    Ya really gotta trust your physics to do this but back in past days people were more willing to try things in an effort to get the job done.
    I've welded up cracks in diesel tanks on heavy equipment several times by keeping the level above the crack the hardest part is to burn a rod hot enough that ihe arc is not contaminated by the leaking fuel but not so hot as to burn a larger hole while you are welding.
    Even more exciting is to weld on a nipple to the lower area in the end of a 10,000 gallon diesel tank. then use a torch to pierce a hole in it.
    Did that once as well I should say twice first and last time at the same time. At a construction site a tank was delivered then filled with diesel the problem was the tank had been positioned reversed from how they needed it to use and there was no nipple and valve for them to hook up their pump all of the equipment operators were sitting on the tail gates of their pickups about 50 feet away drinking beer watching me weld on the nipple, after welding it on and threading on a gate valve, I put a 7" long #4 cutting tip in my torch when I lit it up and proceeded to poke it through the valve and nipple to begin cutting a hole I heard a dozen pickups start up and begin backing away. I chuckled to myself and thought P***y's as I pierced a hole and held the torch in there long enough to make the hole as large as possible diesel and flame flowed out the hole with a vengeance until I was able to close the valve then it was just a matter of allowing the fuel on the dirt to burn itself out.
    there was a lot of rumbling inside the tank as the molten metal and the flame of the torch was blown inside but rumbling was all it did. When I finished and they could see that the tank was not going to explode they backed their trucks to where they had been. You wusses got any beer left I asked. Man you must have stones the size of king Kong's to blow a hole in the end of a tank with thousands of gallons of diesel. Naa that is why I get paid the big bucks to drive this welding rig around now whos got an extra beer.
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  4. #14
    Supporting Member jdurand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crusty View Post
    A peripherally related comment: I bought a can opener of the type that cuts the can lid crimp ring from the side (instead of the lid itself) and I use it frequently to make shop storage containers since the separated lid still fits and seals onto the can. I've even been known to go to the grocery store looking for some food in a container that's about the right size that I need to later use once the food's gone.

    Attachment 35162

    If I have to torch cut into a barrel after emptying it, I always flood the barrel interior with Argon from my TIG torch first so if there's any flammable vapor remaining there's no oxygen in the barrel to support combustion.
    When we were in Russia a couple of years back we were given a big jar of home canned mushrooms. We brought it home and then pondered how to get the bloody thing open. That funky crimped rim meant that nothing we had would get under the edge and uncrimp it.

    Barrels explode after being welded together - GIF-2018-12-09_wild_mushrooms_gift.jpg

    We finally got into it without breaking the jar, the mushrooms were great!

    One of the first things on our shopping list when we return is to get a jar opener!

  5. #15
    Supporting Member hemmjo's Avatar
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    Physics is a powerful tool. Chemistry plays an important roll also. An "empty" propane or gasoline tank are more dangerous than a full one. As the tank that Frank mentioned if there was just a little fuel in the tank, that would have been a much more dangerous (read deadly) process to attempt.

  6. #16
    Supporting Member Frank S's Avatar
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    Frank S's Tools
    With all this talk of exploding barrels and fuel tanks going on wouldn't you know it my welder neighbor brought over a tank off of a Freightliner this morning. Frank can you weld up an aluminum tank for me I've never welded aluminum and would be afraid to weld on a tank anyway, but I spent an hour at the car wash trying to clean it out.
    So I started to set up my wire welder with the spool gun and somehow managed to short a couple of wires which burned out the board (Lucky me)
    I told him no problem I'll just weld it up with a torch like brazing on steel.
    This I got to see he said, I may not know how to weld aluminum but I know that an OA torch is not something you use on it.
    My rate is triple for holding class I said.
    Well maybe I had better go and work on something call me when it is ready.
    Barrels explode after being welded together - GIF-wp_20200529_13_20_15_richftr.jpg
    welded up in 2 places on the bead at the rim and the hole rubbed in the side
    Barrels explode after being welded together - GIF-wp_20200529_13_57_15_richftrr.jpg
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
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  7. #17
    Supporting Member Crusty's Avatar
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    Crusty's Tools
    Hey Frank, be thankful that we weren't talking about digging postholes in clay.
    If you can't make it precise make it adjustable.

  8. #18
    Supporting Member Frank S's Avatar
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    Frank S's Tools
    Quote Originally Posted by Crusty View Post
    Hey Frank, be thankful that we weren't talking about digging postholes in clay.
    been there done that almost added callouses to my calloused hands.
    How come we never talk about finding extremely large sums of money or gold I could use some of that talk maybe I'd get lucky
    Last edited by Frank S; 05-29-2020 at 05:55 PM.
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank S View Post
    been there done that almost added callouses to my calloused hands.
    How come we never talk about finding extremely large sums of money or gold I could use some of that talk maybe I'd get lucky
    The newsreels here did mention just recently of a woman driving over two big bags of money, but I don't recall where that was since none of it would ever come my way


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