strange occurrence with a NATO gas can

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roscoe
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strange occurrence with a NATO gas can

Post by roscoe » Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:36 pm

So, I had two of the green NATO non-venting cans strapped to the roof rack when camping last week in Utah and Arizona. I didn't need the fuel, so they stayed up there till I returned home and pulled them down. I noticed that they were visibly bulging, and I figured that some pressure had built up in the heat. Since I was down to a quarter tank, I decided to top off my truck with the fuel in them. But . . .

When I opened one, a rooster-tail of gasoline shot up at least 10 feet in the air, hitting me in the face and chest, and soaking the front yard. Fortunately, I was wearing eyeglasses, but the yard now has a 3 x 10 dead patch. I lost about 2.5 gallons, I reckon.

I am not sure what happened, to be honest. It has been pretty hot here (115 Fahrenheit or so), so I can see the vapors building up, but to shoot out like that, it would have to generating vapors below the surface - in effect, boiling.

I hosed the second can down a bit before opening it and it puffed a little vapor, but nothing like the first.

Has anyone had anything like this occur? I found myself wondering about the Long Range Desert Group in Egypt and Lybia in WWII, and their Jerry cans.

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Re: strange occurrence with a NATO gas can

Post by Zembecowicz » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:16 am

Not exactly the same thing, but back when I was in the high power rocketry club we filled some older (non-venting) plastic cans up with gas on the West side of the mountains before heading East out to the desert.
By the following afternoon the cans were noticeably swollen. If they hadn't been opened carefully they probably would've hosed the user down pretty well.
Also, was there an altitude difference between where you filled the cans and your home?

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Re: strange occurrence with a NATO gas can

Post by fatty21 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:52 am

Had the same issue my first time dealing with metal jerry cans. You just gotta crack the seal a little bit to let the pressure seep before opening completely. Sometimes if u tilt the can that will help prevent the projectile effect.

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Re: strange occurrence with a NATO gas can

Post by TacAir » Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:58 pm

Near as I can find, the "boiling point" of regular 87 unleaded is about 181 degrees.

Since 'green' is the new black (solar absorption) I'm surprised the cans didn't fail on you.
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roscoe
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Re: strange occurrence with a NATO gas can

Post by roscoe » Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:18 pm

Hmm. I wonder if a light tan Krylon would be better. I can't really hard chrome them.

But I will be splashing a bit of water on these cans before opening them.

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Re: strange occurrence with a NATO gas can

Post by Tireur » Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:21 pm

The two fold answer is as easy as it complicated. Guessing you filled the tanks at a regular gas station, first thing in the morning?

The Desert Rats didn't fill their cans from tanks buried 10' down in the nice cool ground. Just pumping from underground tanks and not leaving extra large headspace in the cans that are going to be sitting in the sun all day is enough to build...considerable...pressure. Obviously. Colour is more or less inconsequential, it's the temp difference between the underground tanks, and what the cans are when you open them.

You'd be amazed how fast it can happen, gasoline has a fairly SIGNIFICANT expansion quotient. I know a guy that lost his motorcycle, and almost his garage, when he filled his tank right before getting home then left it idling in his driveway going inside to open the garage door. Answered two phone calls, got distracted, 10 mins later he opened his garage door and that full tank on a running motorcycle had puked enough gas it was already up like a fireball.
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Re: strange occurrence with a NATO gas can

Post by roscoe » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:38 pm

Wow! OK, note to self: leave space in the can!

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