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Nitrogen in Tires?
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Picture of Doug Smiley
posted
Quote: I do not change the air in my tires till there is a leak.

Has anyone any experience with nitrogen in their Barth tires???
...have had some experience in allseason tires in Canada....


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Posts: 2060 | Location: Nova Scotia | Member Since: 12-08-2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Captain Doom
Picture of Rusty
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I use ~80% nitrogen (air).


Rusty


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Posts: 8200 | Location: Brooker, FL, USA | Member Since: 09-08-2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Kevin
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quote:
Originally posted by Rusty:
I use ~80% nitrogen (air).
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Posts: 2562 | Location: Northeast , Ohio | Member Since: 07-29-2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of benebob
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In theory Nitrogen is great as it lacks the water content that would be in just compressed air but the reality is you get 80 percent from the air itself and tires are made pretty darn good these days anyways so long as you got a good tire guy putting them on and cleaning your rims if needed.
 
Posts: 145 | Location: Lancaster, PA | Member Since: 09-06-2016Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of ccctimtation
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My story and I am sticking to it. Sometime in the mid-80s I was given a tour of the pits at Darlington. I noticed each pit was stocked with many compressed air tanks. I asked why they used these and why so many. The answer was they couldn't use a compressor so they used the bottles to drive tools. I mentioned that bottled nitrogen was a whole lot cheaper and wouldn't support combustion.
Memory is a fragile and ductile thing but it seems it was not long after this there was some advertising of nitrogen for tires. It is dry, and has a very slightly greater predictability of response to temperature than compressed air but it ain't worth spending money on in my estimation.
Tim


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Posts: 725 | Location: St. Charles, MO, USA | Member Since: 10-09-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Steve VW
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Interesting... hmm

I have seen nitrogen touted as a superior tire gas. I would like to see actual tests of this...

As for inflation loss, we are talking about something called effusion, ie a gas migrating through a porous membrane. (Think of a balloon leaking)

Graham's Law of Effusion states that the relative rate of effusion of gases is inversely related to the square of the molecular weight of the gas. Ie, light gases like helium He(4 amu) will have a higher rate of effusion (loss) than heavier gases like N2 (28 amu) or O2 (32 amu) Think balloons again.

Air is a mixture of gases, mostly N2 (78%), O2 (21%) and Argon (1%) Since nitrogen is lighter than oxygen, Graham's Law predicts that nitrogen should leak (effuse) FASTER than pure oxygen, and air, being mostly nitogen, should leak down faster as well. hmm

OTOH, nitrogen is unreactive at tire temperatures. This is good 2 ways. If any tire gas reacts and combines with subtances in the tire, the gas is lost. Even though the tire has not leaked the gas pressure will be less.

Nitrogen will not react inside the tire and is not lost this way. (Also, unrelated here, many tire men have been injured by explosions whe dismounting tires that have been inflated with the "fix a flat" aerosol. Many use propane for the propellant gas. Being flammable it can ignite and explode with any oxygen in the tire. Nitrogen eliminates this problem)

Oxygen, being more reactive could conceivably combine with tire compounds and be lost from the tire's gas. Not sure if this does occur much at tire temperatures...

OTOH, if you have ever let the "air" out of a tire you know it doesn't smell like air, something more in there now. Where do these oderant gases come from and what is their effect on tire gas pressure? hmm

Bottom line, I can't build a clear argument why dry nitrogen should be much better than dry air, leak less, etc.

I have never seen lab testing for this.


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Posts: 3217 | Location: Kalkaska, MI | Member Since: 02-04-2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 12/10
Picture of ccctimtation
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Steve, I think the tire air smells like the tire did in the store when newish. The molecular size of N2 is larger than O2 because O has a greater charge. That said this comparison is way below that of splitting hairs by several factors of 100 of angstroms Wink
I'm sticking with good old pretty dry air out of the compressor.
Tim


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Posts: 725 | Location: St. Charles, MO, USA | Member Since: 10-09-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Steve VW
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I agree. The few tests I have seen showed very small differences in leakdown rates, less than 2%. Dry air is fine.

A good discussion here: http://www.getnitrogen.org/pdf/graham.pdf

But once again, there is an argument for why O2 leaks faster, but no info on the actual difference measured in real tires...

So, if my tires lose 3 psi with air and only 1 psi with nitrogen the leak rate is "3 times faster" with air but still minimal.


8607-3346-33TFPOB------9708-M0037-37MM-01
86 Regal SE 33 Tag axle--"98" Monarch 37
Chev P3(7) 454TBI--------Cummins 8.3 300 hp
400 hp fuel injected-------6 spd Allison, Spartan MM
 
Posts: 3217 | Location: Kalkaska, MI | Member Since: 02-04-2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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