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Old 06-11-2007, 06:44 PM #1
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Default Popping balloons filled w/ hydrogen or acetylene?

Have any of you tried popping a balloon (From a long ways away) filled with a flammable gas with a laser?

You would probably have to put a candle near the balloon, secure it outside, step a long ways away, and fire it. I doubt the burning plastic would light it.

Just curious... the idea came to mind a while ago, and I couldn't help but wonder.

Buying acetylene or propane is probably your best bet.

OFC, a balloon with flammable gas as described can be very dangerous and proper safety precautions must be met. I personally know someone who blew out their eardrums and lost their eyebrows filling a balloon with acetylene, and lighting it via 6ft pole with candle taped to the end. He also bowed out the walls of his shop as well as blew out every window in it and in his personal house. Total damage costs were in the thousands. He used a very, very big balloon... and a stoichiometric O2 mix at that.


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Old 06-11-2007, 06:53 PM #2
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Default Re: Popping balloons filled w/ hydrogen or acetyle

HOLY CRAP !
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Old 06-11-2007, 07:39 PM #3
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Default Re: Popping balloons filled w/ hydrogen or acetyle

That "neutral mix" is dangerous and unstable. Even stomping on the balloon will ignite the mix not to mention static.

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Old 06-11-2007, 07:49 PM #4
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Default Re: Popping balloons filled w/ hydrogen or acetyle

If I were you , I would not mess with acetylene. I use Oxy Acetylene every day at work for cutting and welding and let me tell you that stuff is not just Flammable, it is explosive. It is the simplest of the Hydrocarbon gases with a formula of C2H2 and burns in Oxygen with the hottest flame a gas can produce . With the right cutting head, I can burn through 6 inches of steel plate.

I know of a case where a father was playing with his 2 kids and filled a large plastic bin sack with acetylene and when he tried to ignite it , the resulting explosion Killed him and one of his Kids. Acetylene is so volatile that it will spontaniously explode if used at working pressures greater than 1.5Bar and can only be stored in special Cylinders containing a porous mass with the Gas dissolved in Acetone.

If you wish to play with Flammable gases then use something less violent like propane or butane. However, I seriously doubt that you could ignite such gases using a laser, as it would just melt a pinprick hole in the balloon and pop it as if it were filled with air.

Please please please as a qualified Mechanical engineer, DO NOT mess with Acetylene. It can quite easily Kill you.

Jase
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Old 06-11-2007, 07:50 PM #5
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Default Re: Popping balloons filled w/ hydrogen or acetyle

I had the "idea" to try it but i never had the laser but thats about to change...
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Old 06-11-2007, 07:59 PM #6
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Default Re: Popping balloons filled w/ hydrogen or acetyle

EEEEK ! Be careful, man - I would like to continue seeing your posts on here, as I am certain you cannot live without seeing mine ! LOL !!! No ego here, eh ? hahahahaha

Seriously, some things should just be backshelved - and never attempted. That is some dangerous stuff there...
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Old 06-11-2007, 08:16 PM #7
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Default Re: Popping balloons filled w/ hydrogen or acetyle

I meant "its about to change" because Im getting my dl soon. lol..... I dont think I would ever have the b*lls to do that
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Old 06-11-2007, 09:14 PM #8
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Default Re: Popping balloons filled w/ hydrogen or acetyle

I will try it once I get my 105mw. 8-)
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Old 06-11-2007, 10:04 PM #9
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Default Re: Popping balloons filled w/ hydrogen or acetyle

Moderator --

DO NOT try IT with acetylene & O2 - NEVER. *I've seen a bread bag full go off like a half stick of "D" and that was detonated using a rifle.
Straight LP gas in a balloon is a rich mixture and will poof if ignited.
There's a couple of us here with pyro certification and some tricks are best left alone.
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Old 06-11-2007, 10:45 PM #10
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Default Re: Popping balloons filled w/ hydrogen or acetyle

Quote:
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I will try it once I get my 105mw. 8-)
Can you update your will, and include me as sole beneficiary for all your lasers before you lose your brain and do something stupid like that ?
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Old 06-12-2007, 08:38 AM #11
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Default Re: Popping balloons filled w/ hydrogen or acetyle

so ah how bout methane? that could be kinda fun...... anyway these guys are right bout acetylene my dad took out a chemistry lab with the stuff....he STILL has not lived it down...... very lucky he gout out of the building cos it took out brickwork, its not stuff i would want to be near...... anyway if your going to do a less volatile gas how about putting a match on the balloon and lighting that with laser
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Old 06-15-2007, 03:18 AM #12
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Default Re: Popping balloons filled w/ hydrogen or acetyle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemlock Mike
Moderator --

DO NOT try IT with acetylene & O2 - NEVER. I've seen a bread bag full go off like a half stick of "D" and that was detonated using a rifle.
Straight LP gas in a balloon is a rich mixture and will poof if ignited.
There's a couple of us here with pyro certification and some tricks are best left alone.
Mike

yes sir, Yes sir!... thats one nasty combination.. I remember as a kid my dad and his friend got about 60 feet of string "each" and hooked it to a plastic bag full of half and half and walked in the same parallel direction until the bag was over the hay they had lit with fire.
The boom was a white ball of fire "like a firecracker" that had a radius about 2 feet in diameter.
The blast was so intense it shook the whole house on its foundation and even the closest neighbor several miles away heard the blast.

Another time when I was doing security when I was young I got bored and found a bread bag and filled it with half and half from the welding rigs sitting nearby... I wadded up a newspaper to make a wick and lit it and stood about 30 feet away and watched.
The boom was so loud and powerful it knocked me backward and as it was dusk "everybody" across the street from the complex I was guarding all came out on their decks and balconies to see what was the boom as I hid behind a big cement pillar until the heat was off.

I've heard of a guy just carrying a bag of half and half across a field and the static electricity set it off and launched him several yards through the air.
That static electricity is what scares me!... thats totally unpredictable!!!
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