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Old 03-08-2012, 08:26 PM   #21
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Last time I had tires put on at a shop, they tried to sell me on the nitro fill at $4 per tire. I declined. I have heard of some wanting twice that per tire and more and also being really pushy about it. Similar to charging you $3 for a valve stem that they paid less than $.20 for, they are trying to increase profits.
True, nitrogen particles are larger than air so theoretically it is harder for the tire to lose pressure while setting up and it will not vary in pressure as much while heat cycling on the road.
Atmosphere air is almost 80% nitrogen. I doubt they nitrofill machine puts out 100% pure nitrogen, but lets say it does. You are still only getting 20% more nitrogen in the tire compared to the various gases in atmosphere air. Since the tire has atmosphere air at basically 0 psi when mounted before inflated, unless you purge it (no way to properly do this on any regular wheel), you still have some gas in there that is not nitrogen. So, I feel you are defeating the purpose. I am no scientist, but with a regular air compressor, you are going to have about 80% nitrogen in the tire. WIth noitro fill, that number may get to 95%.
The advertising for it is similar to snake oil claims using scientific data and claims that cannot be proven. Will the tire last longer? Theoretically yes. Proof? None. Will it lose less air while sitting? Theoretically yes. Proof? less than none. They do not bother to tell you that the nitrogen can also escape through the porous rubber. I have had tires that sat for 10+ years on a vehicle and still had 20+ psi in them and they were not nitro fill.
Also, when you check the pressure in your rv tires and find it to be 5 psi low, are you going to haul it to a place that can top it off with nitrogen? Doubt it. You are going to do like 99.99% of other people and put compressed air in it and then defeat the purposed ideal of having nitrogen in it by adding atmosphere air.

I do see the logic of having it in aircraft tires and f1 cars, but in my opinion ( and that of most not selling nitrofill), it is nothing more than a gimmick to separate people from their money.
Why not fill them with argon? Neon? Any other noble gas? Because nitrogen is easier to produce with a cheap machine and profit from.
As for the claims of the oxygen in compressed atmosphere air having a lot of water in it? True- long ago. Any decent shop will have a cooling and moisture removal system on their air supply, so the introduction of moisture into your tire is not like it was 50 years ago when they were rusting wheels apart from the inside.
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:31 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by f1100turbo View Post
I just think theres a lot of claims of no benefit from using nitrogen with out scientific testing to disprove . I would entertain to be proven thats theres not a benefit to using nitrogen
sure its over priced ! my company buys I believe them to be 20 lb cylinders at 20,000 psi for $12.00 a fill .
I think maybe others would feel different if the price was say maybe $1.00 per tire to fill and it was more readily available .
WHY in the world wouldn't you want spot on tire pressures all the time ?
for tire wear and maybe some better fuel economy .
I have been proven wrong before and I have big shoulders .
Most shops that sell it have a purification machine made and sold by NITROFILL, and do not use cylinders. Also, N2 is sold by cubic foot, not weight as far as I am aware. I have nitrogen cylinders in my shop and dont put it in my tires.
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:33 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by edman87k5
Last time I had tires put on at a shop, they tried to sell me on the nitro fill at $4 per tire. I declined. I have heard of some wanting twice that per tire and more and also being really pushy about it. Similar to charging you $3 for a valve stem that they paid less than $.20 for, they are trying to increase profits.
True, nitrogen particles are larger than air so theoretically it is harder for the tire to lose pressure while setting up and it will not vary in pressure as much while heat cycling on the road.
Atmosphere air is almost 80% nitrogen. I doubt they nitrofill machine puts out 100% pure nitrogen, but lets say it does. You are still only getting 20% more nitrogen in the tire compared to the various gases in atmosphere air. Since the tire has atmosphere air at basically 0 psi when mounted before inflated, unless you purge it (no way to properly do this on any regular wheel), you still have some gas in there that is not nitrogen. So, I feel you are defeating the purpose. I am no scientist, but with a regular air compressor, you are going to have about 80% nitrogen in the tire. WIth noitro fill, that number may get to 95%.
The advertising for it is similar to snake oil claims using scientific data and claims that cannot be proven. Will the tire last longer? Theoretically yes. Proof? None. Will it lose less air while sitting? Theoretically yes. Proof? less than none. They do not bother to tell you that the nitrogen can also escape through the porous rubber. I have had tires that sat for 10+ years on a vehicle and still had 20+ psi in them and they were not nitro fill.
Also, when you check the pressure in your rv tires and find it to be 5 psi low, are you going to haul it to a place that can top it off with nitrogen? Doubt it. You are going to do like 99.99% of other people and put compressed air in it and then defeat the purposed ideal of having nitrogen in it by adding atmosphere air.

I do see the logic of having it in aircraft tires and f1 cars, but in my opinion ( and that of most not selling nitrofill), it is nothing more than a gimmick to separate people from their money.
Why not fill them with argon? Neon? Any other noble gas? Because nitrogen is easier to produce with a cheap machine and profit from.
As for the claims of the oxygen in compressed atmosphere air having a lot of water in it? True- long ago. Any decent shop will have a cooling and moisture removal system on their air supply, so the introduction of moisture into your tire is not like it was 50 years ago when they were rusting wheels apart from the inside.
Well said...
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:40 PM   #24
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edman - you bring up a lot of good points and I am not qualified to say they are correct or not. I do most certainly agree with what you say about not hauling a tire that needs 5 pounds of air to a shop that isn't close by simply because they are the only ones that have nitrogen. That's what got me to start this thread after I had my flat and I could not find a shop that had nitrogen - I had to ask myself - is the hassle of servicing my tire with nitrogen worth it?
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:05 PM   #25
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f1100 - not to get into a long term discussion and remember I am leaning towards believing that there is no real benefit to using nitrogen for your tires, I find your statement about keeping your tires serviced to the proper pressure to be what most of the other posters say is the most important thing you can do to keep your tires roadworthy to be right on.

I haven't been to my RV in awhile, but I believe the decal says that cold PSI is 80 - does that sound right for a 33 foot silverback 29rk with 16" wheels?
I have a 30 + foot 5er that 16" load range e tire the Max pressure
On tire is 85lbs the recommended tire pressure listed 3 times
On my camper is 80 psi and that's what I put in them.

My truck has 80psi on the tires but the manufacture recommends 50psi
In the front and 80psi in the rear so that's what I run.

The max listed tire pressure on any given tire is just that. Max
I would go with what manufacture of the camper/motor home/car or truck recommends.
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:29 PM   #26
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It's interesting that one of the main claims of nitrogen filling is that the tire won't lose pressure as readily as compressed air. I believe that a vast majority of the time that a tire losses pressure because of damage (punctures) or a poor bead seal on the rim...not permeability through the sidewall. Nitrogen is no cure for that.

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Old 03-09-2012, 10:35 AM   #27
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One bit of information - In 1987 the FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive (similar to an auto recall, but manadorty by law) that required all Transport Category aircraft ( these are your big Boeings, McDonnell Douglas types) to have their tires serviced with nitrigen instead of air. The reason as stated in the AD is "... to elimate the possibility of a chemical reaction between atmospheric oxygen and volatile gases from the tire inner liner producing a tire explosion."
So the FAA was more concerned with preventing tire explosions and fires( mostly from overheated brakes due to the magnesium wheels)than anything else.

That AD was based on research I and some of my colleagues in the Landing Gear and Brakes group at Boeing were doing. There was a fatal crash of a Swissair Caravelle that started our work. That airplane had magnesium wheels and Mil-H-5606 hydraulic oil. The pilot did a quick dash along the runway to disperse the early-morning mist, then turned around and took off. The overheated brakes cause a tire to explode, igniting the mag wheels and rupturing the hydraulics. The first AD after that made phosphate ester hydraulic fluid (Skydrol) mandatory as it's non-flammable. I think there was also an AD banning magnesium wheels.

Later, a 727 had a tire explosion that blew an 18" hole in the wheel-well pressure bulkhead, also caused by overheating brakes. We caculated that the instantaneous pressure spike inside the tire reached above 10,000 psi. It failed the dual stailess steel cables in the bead of the tire in tension. Most airliners have brake temperature monitoing systems these days. BTW, that incident was non-fatal, thanks to the US Postal Service! Mailbags being carried as cargo jammed in the hole and reduced the rate of decompression in the cabin, and the floor held without collapsing. If that hadn't happened, we'd have had a wreck like the DC10 in France.

As I've said before, if your RV can do 150 mph with a dragging brake and has retractable wheels, use nitrogen. If not, don't waste the money.

BTW, the pressure rating molded into the tire graphics is the maximum allowable. The tire should be inflated according to manufacturers' specs for the weight being carried by the tire.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:50 AM   #28
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I have read that N2 tires don't heat up as much as those tires filled with plan ol' air tires (~79% N2). I have also read of advertising that N2 tires give better fuel economy.

So, my tires filled to 50 lbs of 79% N2 go down the road, the air pressure increases to about 56-57 lbs. They are made to do that....that is why the maximum tire inflation figures stat "cold inflation".

So tires filled to 50 lbs. of 95% N2 (about the maximum concentration without excessive purging) heat up less, so let's figure about 52 lbs. of pressure.

Since when does a tire with 52 lbs. pressure get better fuel mileage than a tire with 57 lbs. pressure.

For those that want to use N2 filled tires, do it....there is nothing wrong with that. For those that want to use plain ol' 79% N2 compressed air, do it....there is nothing wrong with that either.

Ain't this a great world....we can make those decisions for ourselves.
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:04 AM   #29
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Agreed mtnguy
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:38 PM   #30
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E&E

.

"Later, a 727 had a tire explosion that blew an 18" hole in the wheel-well pressure bulkhead, also caused by overheating brakes. We caculated that the instantaneous pressure spike inside the tire reached above 10,000 psi. It failed the dual stailess steel cables in the bead of the tire in tension. Most airliners have brake temperature monitoing systems these days. BTW, that incident was non-fatal, thanks to the US Postal Service! Mailbags being carried as cargo jammed in the hole and reduced the rate of decompression in the cabin, and the floor held without collapsing. If that hadn't happened, we'd have had a wreck like the DC10 in France."

.
Good to see another airplane guy here -although it is not my intention to turn this into an aviation forum. I didn't see the need to go into as much detail as you did here, although I am sure that some readers here enloyed the background details.

You mentioned the DC10 accident in France - lets not forget about an earlier similar accident that started the whole aft cargodoor/cables issues with the DC10's -that being the accident that occured after takeoff from Detroit. I was working for that carrier and am very familar with the details.
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