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Author: Subject: Useing a balloon for a oxyhydrogen explosive?
crazedguy
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[*] posted on 27-1-2011 at 19:55
Useing a balloon for a oxyhydrogen explosive?


So I came up with the idea that you could put a balloon on a water bottle and capture the gases made by electrolysis.
The point of this would be to either tape a fuse to the balloon which would provide a sufficient bang, but I think it may be possible to get a better bang by strapping a small flash powder fire cracker to it.

So the question is would this provide better bang by setting it off with a small flash powder bomb would that get a full detonation, or would it be the same as just using a fuse?
I know that by adding 1 gram flash to set it off will be slightly louder but would it achieve full detonation. (1 gram-ish)

Would a balloon full of oxyhydrogen float?




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[*] posted on 27-1-2011 at 20:20


Yes, it will go bang. No, it isn't a good idea. If you must try it, use remote electrical ignition NOT a hand lit fuse, and be aware that static electricity can easily ignite the contents unexpectdly during filling and handling.



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[*] posted on 27-1-2011 at 20:26


Static is a good point I will spray the balloon with anti static spray, and use my wrist strap while I tie it.
And you didn't answer the question, will it go high order, a full detonation?

[Edited on 28-1-2011 by crazedguy]




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[*] posted on 27-1-2011 at 21:50


You're not detonating hydrogen with an FP firecracker. But you can burn off your face with it. From what I've seen, oxyacetyline is more powerful and equally dangerous.

Gases are the most volatile forms and static loves baloons. Put two and two together.
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[*] posted on 27-1-2011 at 22:02


Oxygen/Hydrogen will undergo DDT, but the runup distance at atmospheric pressure is typically larger than what a balloon would supply.

Flash powder ignition may work, but you'd be better off using an actual high explosive blasting cap to initiate detonation. I've used my DOP*/ETN compound caps to initiate oxygen/propane, oxygen/propylene, and oxygen/acetylene, with the adjacent peak pressure recording gauges reading much higher than the predicted adiabatic combustion pressures in all cases.

*Deadly Organic Peroxide, TCAP or HMTD. Replace with silver acetylide if possible.

[Edited on 1-28-2011 by SB15]




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[*] posted on 27-1-2011 at 22:19


Well I just don't want to use a H.E. cap, but I figure flash ruptures its case above the speed out sound so it should be able to transfer a shock wave through the oxyhydrogen maybe.



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[*] posted on 28-1-2011 at 00:29


Another problem is that hydrogen is a very small molecule, so it will just diffuse through the balloon, and there will be a invisible cloud of hydrogen OUTSIDE and AROUND the balloon.
So be very careful with this.
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[*] posted on 28-1-2011 at 05:36


You are better off using propane. The balloon is easy to fill from a blowlamp and it can be ignited with a piece of string as a fuse. Stand well back as it produces a sizable fireball from even a small balloon.
Adding air or oxgen will make quite an explosion.
Have a look at YouTube for videos.
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[*] posted on 28-1-2011 at 05:49


Marking the valves of an oxyacetylene torch to give a neutral flame, filling a balloon or large plastic bag with the ensuing mixture and igniting it remotely would wake all the people unfortunate enough to be your neighbours . . .
What fun?

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[*] posted on 28-1-2011 at 06:27


Perhaps foaming the gas mix in a polymeric bubble mix to form a 'foam' ala LEXFOAM could be interesting, IIRC nbk coined the idea. It would be fairly cool to fill a void with the shit then ignite it...



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[*] posted on 28-1-2011 at 07:01


I had the same Idea OT(Hiss. neutral mix) using acetylene for obvious reasons
as a rifle target using tracers.Obviously the practice would have to be limited to winter around here but I dont think it illegal,after all binary explosives are sold for the same purposes but at exorbitant $.A good size party balloon makes a hell of a bang.Should one be unfortunate enough to be holding said balloon and it detonated your eardrums are at serious peril of being perforated.Maybe Kewl but sounds like fun to me:P

[Edited on 28-1-2011 by grndpndr]
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[*] posted on 28-1-2011 at 07:04


Quote: Originally posted by crazedguy  
So I came up with the idea that you could put a balloon on a water bottle and capture the gases made by electrolysis.

Essays on Science and Society
Adam Hart-Davis
James Watt and the Lunaticks of Birmingham
Science 292 [5514] 55-56 6 April 2001

"The Luna Society* believed in argument and cooperation. They had long
discussions about why thunder rumbles and decided the best way to test their
various theories was by experiment. Boulton made a 5-foot-diameter balloon
from varnished paper, and they filled it with a terrifying mixture of air and
hydrogen ("inflammable air from iron"), They lit a fuse underneath, released the
balloon in to the night sky on a clam, clear evening and waited for the bang.
unfortunately, the fuse was rather long, and they all assumed it must have gone
out; so they to talk among themselves, when there was a colossal explosion, and
they all said, "There it goes!" and forgot to listen for the rumble! [James] Watt
was at home 3 miles away and wrote that the bang was "instantaneous and
lasted about one second." This seems self-contradictory, but in any case, the
experiment failed to produce a simple answer to the original question."

*The Luna Society started ca. 1765 was started by Erasmus Darwin (grandfather
of Charles D.), included among others; William Small teacher and mentor of
Thomas Jefferson, James Watt (who did not invent the steam engine), Joseph
Priestly, and potter Josiah Wedgwood, Darwin's other grandfather.



————————
"Watt's third lucky break came in the shape of the new boring machine invented
by ironmaster John "Iron-mad" Wilkinson. Wilkinson was a splendid
larger-than-life character who wanted to make everything from iron. ….. in a
corner of his office he kept his own iron coffin, which he proudly showed off to
visitors. (This caused some trouble when he died, for his wooden coffin turned
out to be too big to fit in the iron one; so they had to bury him temporarily in the
garden while they cast another iron coffin. Then they dug him up, put his wooden
coffin in the new iron one, and found it would not fit in the hole in the rock. So
again they buried him temporarily, blasted a bigger hole, dug him up,
successfully buried him, and placed a large iron obelisk on the grave.

Unfortunately, the house changed hands a few years later, and the new owners
did not like this great 20-ton iron pillar in front of their sitting-room window; so
poor Iron-mad was dug up yet again and buried for the fourth time at Lindale in
the Lake District.)"
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[*] posted on 28-1-2011 at 07:24


'Lunatiks of Birmingham' seems appropriate.Cast Iron coffin! How many pallbearers?!LOL
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[*] posted on 28-1-2011 at 10:20


Quote: Originally posted by grndpndr  
'Lunatiks of Birmingham' seems appropriate.Cast Iron coffin! How many pallbearers?!LOL


Buried in the Lake District.... a Lunatick... brings to mind
two poets.


djh
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“The paradox of the fall of the Shah,” Mr. Milani says, “lies in the
strange reality that nearly all advocates of modernity formed an
alliance against the Shah and chose as their leader the biggest
foe of modernity.” The Iranians have already paid dearly for this
folly. What price the rest of the world will pay remains an
open question.

John Muravchik
Wall Street Journal 19I11
Review of : Abbas Milani - A Monarch Dethroned
Palgrave Mcmillian
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crazedguy
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[*] posted on 28-1-2011 at 10:27


Quote: Originally posted by hissingnoise  
Marking the valves of an oxyacetylene torch to give a neutral flame, filling a balloon or large plastic bag with the ensuing mixture and igniting it remotely would wake all the people unfortunate enough to be your neighbours . . .
What fun?


I live next to a welding shop, so access to oxy isn't a problem, but that is not the point.
The correct way to do that is to set it to a perfect flame and tap it on something so it goes out.
You all are missing the point will it become a full detonation by using a small flash bomb to set it off, and would it float.
Of course it would be easier to buy the materials but that is not the fun part.




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[*] posted on 28-1-2011 at 10:52


Quote: Originally posted by hissingnoise  
Marking the valves of an oxyacetylene torch to give a neutral flame, filling a balloon or large plastic bag with the ensuing mixture and igniting it remotely would wake all the people unfortunate enough to be your neighbours . . .
What fun?



It's much easier to use volume measurements to achieve a stoichiometric ratio of gas in the balloon. Let's see, for acetylene it would be...

2C<sub>2</sub>H<sub>2</sub> + 5O<sub>2</sub> -> 4CO<sub>2</sub> + 2H<sub>2</sub>O

5molO<sub>2</sub>/7mol*100% = 71.4% O<sub>2</sub>
2molC<sub>2</sub>H<sub>2</sub>/7mol*100% = 28.6% C<sub>2</sub>H<sub>2</sub>

So figure 70/30 for a decent approximation.

Assuming a large 20cm diameter spherical party balloon, that gives:

V<sub>total</sub> = 4/3*pi*r<sup>3</sup>
V<sub>total</sub> = 4/3*pi*(10cm)<sup>3</sup>
V<sub>total</sub> = 4.2*10<sup>3</sup>cm<sup>3</sup>

We would obviously add the acetylene first, as it is the smaller fraction, then add the oxygen to mix the oxidizer and fuel effectively. So, the radius of the balloon after adding the correct quantity of fuel would be:

r<sub>fuel</sub> = (3*(V*0.3)/4*pi)<sup>1/3</sup>
r<sub>fuel</sub> = (3*((4.2*10<sup>3</sup>cm<sup>3</sup>;)*0.3)/4*pi)<sup>1/3</sup>
r<sub>fuel</sub> = 6.7cm

So fill the balloon to d = (6.7*2) = 13.4cm with acetylene, then add oxygen until the diameter reaches 20cm. Very simple, and a hell of a lot easier than trying to snuff out a torch flame and fill the balloon with mixed gases.

EDIT:

Quote:
You all are missing the point will it become a full detonation by using a small flash bomb to set it off, and would it float.


Yes, it will float. At STP, the density of air is approximately 1.3g/L. The density of the stoichiometric oxygen/hydrogen mixture will be:

p = 2/3*(2.0g/molH<sub>2</sub>*22.4L/mol) + 1/3*(32.0g/molO<sub>2</sub>*22.4L/mol)
p = 0.54g/L

As for the second part of the question, no, you will not achieve a full detonation unless you use a HE initiator. Hydrogen/oxygen will transition to detonation on its own, possibly even in a volume as small as a balloon, but even with a FP device as the ignition source, the reaction will primarily consist of an accelerating deflagration. It doesn't do you much good if the flame front accelerates beyond the local speed of sound when 95% of the fuel mixture has already been consumed.

Gas explosions are not very simple.

[Edited on 1-28-2011 by SB15]




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[*] posted on 28-1-2011 at 12:09


I have seen Dr Bunhead detonating balloons filled with a mixture of fuel gas and oxygen.
The balloons were strung together with Visco fuse to ignite them and they detonated quite loudly. I think if you get the mixture right there is very little difficulty in getting a good explosion.
Here is a link to Dr Bunhead's page, his show is worth seeing if you get the chance;

http://www.bunhead.com/index.htm
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[*] posted on 28-1-2011 at 12:48
acetylene by its lonesome


MA Nettleton
Gaseous Detonations : Their Nature, Effects and Control
Chapman Hall 1987

p. 73

4.3 Gases and vapours which are detonable in the absence of an oxident

"Probably the most important detonable gases and vapours in
the context of amounts produced and transported are gaseous
acetylene...."

Table 4.1 Experimental data on detonation properties of
exothermically-decomposed vapours.

100% C2H2

Detonation velocity in tube of infinite diameter 1.92 km/s
Pressure to which D=infinity applies (Nm-sq) 8.1x10 5th
Pressure limit (Nm-sq.) appx. 1.5 x 10 5th*

*There is some evidence suggesting that the pressure limit may
be lower when powerful imitators are used. The corresponding
detonation velocity may also be lower.


djh
----
The Fate of the Kilo Weighs Heavily On the Minds of Metrologist
Jeanne Whalen
Wall Street Journal 28I11

During the tea break at the London meeting [British Royal Society], delegates
mused on the importance of accuracy. Duncan Burns, a 75-year-old chemistry
professor, recalled the time he confused centigrade with Fahrenheit while
cooking resins in the laboratory at his first job. “I started a bloody great fire!” He
said.

----
Reminds upon me of the airliner that had to make an emergency landing when it
ran out of fuel! The pilot though he had X-gallons of fuel. The aircraft had been
fueld with X-liters. The NASA probe that crash landed … one group of engineers
was planning landing speed in meters/second … the others feet/second.

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[*] posted on 28-1-2011 at 13:44


Well I dont like primaries so I will probably try this soon but just with a fuse and then try with the flash powder, then compare and decide if its worth it.
But thanks for the info definitely.




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[*] posted on 28-1-2011 at 17:04


Acetylene / oxygen is a good mix in the right proportions.
A big balloon filled with this will produce an ear cracking explosion.
No need for a detonator, a simple string fuse will do!
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[*] posted on 28-1-2011 at 20:14


+1 Earsplitting! literally if to close. Marking the valves I would think be at least as accurate. Ive yet to see a balloon that was anything but vaguely spherical.KISS

@ Wizard,Just 2?

[Edited on 29-1-2011 by grndpndr]

[Edited on 29-1-2011 by grndpndr]

[Edited on 29-1-2011 by grndpndr]
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[*] posted on 28-1-2011 at 22:30


Quote: Originally posted by grndpndr  
KISS


What, you think a volume formula and a bit of intermediate algebra is anything but simple? Remember that the name of this site is Sciencemadness, and using a crude guess at flame stoichiometry to approximate valve positions is anything but scientific; it's caveman-esque at best.

If one is actually looking to properly experiment with detonating oxygen acetylene mixtures, they should make a decent effort to control variables in their tests. Volume as a function of radius is an acceptable method; using a fixed volume metering apparatus and Boyle's law is better. Marking the valves will get you your 1337 K3WL explosion, but it better satisfies the 'stupid' component of your acronym than the 'simple' part.




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[*] posted on 29-1-2011 at 00:46


If you were working with a repeatable spereical shape all this would be relavent.Balloons are not a reliable means to measure volume or ratios by thier circumference since there not speres nor are they of a repeatable shape are they?!

So it stands to reason if you dont have a consistent shape how can you calculate volume by simply measuring circumference of an inconsistent shape then assuming volume equates to a sphere which a balloon is not?Its a built in inconsistency that throws the entire premise of kilter

Given those facts it seems a more reliable way to have a correct ratio of gases is by filling the balloon with a known mixture.The only really precise method I can think of to verify volume of an irregular shape is by displacement or actually measuring the amount of gas used in filling the balloon.

Finally, Theres really no need to be so thin skinned/hostile towards those with differeing opinions.If the acronym KISS upset you that would be your cross to bear.It wasnt addressed at you it was simply a generalization.If I can arrive at the same or better results by a simpler method Ill do so.If that offends your scientific sensibilities thats unfortunate for you.You are more than welcome to think of me as a caveman.Not unflattering at all given our ancestor's adaptability,capacity to survive in an infinetly hostile enviroment.

Back to the topic at hand as Im sure many of you know small disposable tanks of oxygen and mapp gas (methyacetylene/propadiene,C4H10) are available at any hardware store
worth the name and it might be a respectable substitute for acetylene although what the effect of the excess hydrogen would have I leave to the more learned among you.

Whether or not std propane torch fittings work on the 02 or MAPP gas I dont know but I would doubt thier compatibility w/propane torch's causing extra $ outlays.Still in the vien of fun
as a rifle target using tracers from .22lr to a high power mil caliber or even improvised homemade tracers for which there are volumes of info it still sounds FUN despite....:(

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[*] posted on 29-1-2011 at 10:27


Quote:
If you were working with a repeatable spereical [sic] shape all this would be relavent [sic].Balloons are not a reliable means to measure volume or ratios by thier [sic] circumference since there not speres [sic] nor are they of a repeatable shape are they?!


I happen to have some spherical party balloons lying around, so I inflated a few to a consistent diameter and measured the diameter along the x and y axis of each.

#1
X axis: 18.4cm
Y axis: 20.1cm
= 8.5% variation
#2
X axis: 19.7cm
Y axis: 22.3cm
= 11.7% variation
#3
X axis: 19.0cm
Y axis: 20.5cm
= 7.4% variation

In my world, that's called 'pretty flipping consistent and spherical'.

Quote:
So it stands to reason if you dont [sic] have a consistent shape how can you calculate volume by simply measuring circumference of an inconsistent shape then [sic] assuming volume equates to a sphere which a balloon is not?Its a built in inconsistency that throws the entire premise of [sic] kilter


Technically, the specific shape doesn't actually matter. As long as the volume scales as a known function of the radius, this type of methodology can be applied.

Balloons are sufficiently close to spherical to make the approximation of volume scaling as a cubic function of radius. Regardless of whether or not they are truly spheres, diameter measurements will be much more accurate than guessing at valve positions.

Quote:
Given those facts it seems a more reliable way to have a correct ratio of gases is by filling the balloon with a known mixture.


A known mixture? How can you possibly *know* the mixture is stoichiometric based only on observing flame characteristics? Aside from the obvious observation difficulties, the changes in ambient pressure at the torch tip when the flame is extinguished and a pressure vessel is being filled can have a very significant effect on the composition of the gas flow. This is uncertainty you can't control.

Quote:
The only really precise method I can think of to verify volume of an irregular shape is by displacement or actually measuring the amount of gas used in filling the balloon.


The 'proper' method involves trapping each gas at a known pressure in a vessel of measured volume, then using a valve to fill the balloon with each volume. Slightly adapted versions of Boyle's law and the Ideal Gas Law can be used to design and optimize this system, but as the explanation would be well over the heads of most 'experimenters' on this forum, I won't get into it unless someone specifically asks.

Quote:
Finally, Theres [sic] really no need to be so thin skinned/hostile towards those with differeing [sic] opinions.If the acronym KISS upset you that would be your cross to bear.It wasnt [sic] addressed at you it was simply a generalization.If I can arrive at the same or better results by a simpler method Ill do so.If that offends your scientific sensibilities thats [sic] unfortunate for you.You are more than welcome to think of me as a caveman.Not unflattering at all given our ancestor's adaptability,capacity to survive in an infinetly [sic] hostile enviroment [sic].


I'm not upset about anything. I'm simply stating that discussions of such poorly controlled and inconsistent methods as marking the valves on a torch have no place on a scientific forum.

Quote:
Back to the topic at hand as Im [sic] sure many of you know small disposable tanks of oxygen and mapp gas (methyacetylene [sic]/propadiene,C4H10) are available at any hardware store
worth the name and it might be a respectable substitute for acetylene although what the effect of the excess hydrogen would have I leave to the more learned among you.


Methyl acetylene and propadiene (C<sub>3</sub>H<sub>4</sub>, they are structural isomers) MAPP blends are no longer readily available in most areas of the world. They have been replaced by a similar product which is comprised of ~99.5% propylene (C<sub>3</sub>H<sub>6</sub>;). Not quite as energetic, but more so than propane.

Quote:
Whether or not std propane torch fittings work on the 02 or MAPP gas I dont know but I would doubt thier compatibility w/propane torch's causing extra $ outlays.


They are indeed compatible with propane torches and fittings. Propylene/oxygen would make a rather respectable balloon filling mixture, but it would be far less likely to DDT than either acetylene or hydrogen.

[Edited on 1-29-2011 by SB15]




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[*] posted on 29-1-2011 at 14:06
"I though he was amply forewarned."


Safety&Hygiene News
October 1988.

I got the call right after I got back from church. Ed had gone in early on a Sunday
morning to work on developing a hydrogen sensor and got blown to smithereens.
He was working with a bootleg mixture of six percent hydrogen and twenty
percent oxygen. It's highly detonable, and an explosion was fairly predictable. "It
blew him to bits," recalls the safety manager for a division of an aerospace
company.

He was working on developing an improved way to detect criticality problems in a
nuclear reactor. He asked me a few weeks before how to handle the gas safely. He
should've been behind sandbag barricades, operating the valves remotely. I sent
him a letter, and pointed out that the mixture he wanted to use was illegal to
transport across state lines. He was a knowing participant.

I though he was amply forewarned. He was a graduate engineer. He knew the haz-
ards. According to his notes, he was metering hydrogen and oxygen into a very
small test chamber and getting variations he couldn't account for. He needed to
narrow the cause of the fluctuations, and he said he needed to get a calibrated gas
source. So he bootlegged it in.

The explosion cost about $125,000 in damages. It made a shambles of the shop. A
couple of cars were destroyed. And it caused some damage across the street. It
was pretty spectacular.

He had two grown children and a youngster. He was in his late 30's or early 40's. It
was interesting: he was sort of an aging flower child - this was back in the early
70's - and at his funeral they scattered rose petals over the water by Santa Barbara.
There were not enough of his ashes left.

His family ended up getting about a $1.2 million settlement. They sued the gas
supplier. It never even got to court.


djh
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The average women would rather have
beauty than brains because the average
man can see better than he can think.

Anon.

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