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Anyone know how much pressure those "bomber oxygen" tanks can safely hold?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Kevin Lee, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. Kevin Lee
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    Kevin Lee Super Moderator Staff Member

    I have a couple in good shape but the labeling is long gone. Thinking I'm going to use them with a compressor so I can have enough air in my shop to run the occational air tool and of course inflate tires.

    Assuming someone here has one with the labels in tact with a psi rating.
  2. 35ratbstr
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    35ratbstr Member

    Kevin,

    I dont think it is worth the chance. Think about the damage it could do when you can probably find one for under $500.
  3. Engine Pro 5X
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    Engine Pro 5X Member

    I have a cat that works for me and he has all of that crazy knowledge stored in his melon !! He has told me before but I never remembered, but I do know his comment was to not worry about my air compressor ever blowing one up >>>>.
  4. plym49
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    plym49 Member

    Not to worry. Your shop air is maybe 150 psi tops. Those tanks held like ten times that.
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  5. tbraginton
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    tbraginton Member

    What size tank are you talkin I've got a little guy but it wouldn't hold much air to be useful. You never know what the inside looks like even if the outside looks good... PSI will do some major damage if it gets loose
  6. SUHRsc
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    SUHRsc
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    mine are all the normal size that you see in cars and all say the same thing on them
    [​IMG]
  7. plym49
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    plym49 Member

    Those are just fine for the pressure of shop air. However, their volume is too small to do much with, except maybe for cleaning spark plugs or an air brush.
  8. CoolHand
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    CoolHand Alliance Vendor

    What you need to do is find a clapped out air compressor and steal the tank off of it.

    I've got a compressor with a 150 gal tank on it, and that runs directly into another 250 gal tank off a long deceased industrial machine that I happened across many years ago.

    I can run an air grinder for about 15 mins before my compressor kicks on. :D

    Now, when it does kick on though, it runs for a while. ;)
  9. Weeks46
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  10. patrick2965
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    patrick2965 Member

    Hey Kevin,
    One thing I saw some dirt trackers doing was to use a nitrogen bottle, like you run of the mill Ox/Acet bottle, with a regulator. Don't pull the trigger on your impact to make noise, only work.
    440RR, oh SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Glad I wasn't there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  11. CoolHand
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  12. Kevin Lee
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    Kevin Lee Super Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks, Zach.
  13. Ole don
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    Ole don
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    What do those military tanks weigh? They look to be aluminum, are they?
  14. Kevin Lee
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    Kevin Lee Super Moderator Staff Member

    Stainless.
  15. ems customer service
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    ems customer service Member

    here-s how you do a home test.

    1: flll it with water

    2 then pressureized it to as high as you can go , if a crack does burst then the danger of hgh pressure air is minimized,

    3. but the bomber tanks are really to old i would tak it to a welding supply store to check how much they would charge to hydro test it.
  16. ems customer service
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    ems customer service Member

    as for a portable power tool, i use a cordless milwaukee impact (275 ft/lbs) does every thing but inflate tires.
  17. budd
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    budd Member

    a couple of days ago i saw a new 60 gallon tank for sale for $280, it was a heavy duty looking tank, must of been ment for a 10 hp setup, doesnt help you but that tank would last a lifetime, a little hunting and i bet you could find something much the same in your area.
  18. InDaShop
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    InDaShop Member

    no doubt a bomber tank will take 400psi easy.

    Get it tested but I bet it will hold the same today as it did in 1942.

    of my tank collection I have two that were used as bouys in a lake for 20-25 years. They looked new after getting the mineral crude off the outside.
  19. Winterbear
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    Winterbear Member

    Are they all stainless? The one I found in a old dump seems to be rusted pretty badly.
    Chris
  20. hammeredabone
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    hammeredabone Member


    Kev, Just a thought, if the label is missing will your home owners insurance cover a non labeled pressure vessel? At work our insurance carrier wants to see our ASME
    rated pressure vessel data plates. If you do go this route make sure you use a relief valve on the tank lower than the rating of the tank.
    BTW, the coupe is looking extremely BADASS!!

    Gordon
  21. KeithDyer
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    KeithDyer Member

    Being off a bomber it should be aluminum, not stainless I would think.

    And saying it will handle 400 psig, that might be higher here on the ground than at altitude.

    Would still fill with water and do a hydrostatic test, we test new pressure vessels at 1.5 or 1.3 times working pressure in most cases.

    A controlable argon or nitrogen line will give you the pressure to test it with, but you need to be careful and pay attention to the set up.

    Water is only about 4% compressable so a failure will not equal an explosion.

    Figure it will fail, secure the tank and pressure line so it won't hurt anybody (air/gas space to the top), then be happy when it stays.

    K
  22. jdubbya
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    It is stainless for sure
  23. InDaShop
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    InDaShop Member

    Growing up one of these was my Grandfathers airbubble. God I hated having to go get it and drag it around the yard. Freaking heavy SOB's!!! Not even remotely a chance at being aluminum.
  24. CoolHand
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    It will be . . . . by up to 14.7 PSI at sea level.

    Not digging on you at all, just pointing out that atmospheric pressure is not high. Even if you made it out into space (absolute pressure = 0 PSI), you'd only have to support a pressure difference of ~15 PSI.

    Being in a vacuum is very hard on people (being somewhat squishy and quite stretchy), but easy on pressure vessels.

    To the OP - Whatever vessel you intend to use, just have it hydro tested to the standard factor of safety for whatever medium you intend to contain, and be at ease.

    That's all there is to it.

    Testing = Knowing

    :D
  25. Kevin Lee
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    Kevin Lee Super Moderator Staff Member

    I actually have two of them and again, they are stainless.

    And if anything pressure is going to be higher at altitude than on the ground, right? But lucky for me I will never load my air compressor into a bomber to go flying.
  26. sodbuster
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    sodbuster Member

  27. patrick66
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    patrick66 Member
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    Those old aircrew O2 tanks will safely hold up to a MAX of 400 PSI. The modern aircrew tanks also hold a max of 400 PSI, though the design is slightly different. They are DESIGNED for that pressure, at altitudes from sea level to as high as 41K feet. Air expands as you gain altitude.

    The term "bomber tank" is misleading. They are simply "aircrew O2 tanks", as all US military aircraft have had them, or currently carry them.

    I'm retired USAF aircrew, so I've had years of experience flying around with these bottles.

    Have that tank tested, as recommended above, before you apply it to your project.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2009

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