[TowerTalk] OT: Propane Tank near lightning ground

K8RI on Tower talk k8ri-tower at charter.net
Sun Apr 30 04:11:28 EDT 2006

Basically where ever you have a curve it is a slight weakening. The sharper 
the curve the more the weakness even though it may not be much until the 
radius gets small it is still there.  We run into this with aircraft 
construction with metal and with fiberglass.  With fiberglass we fill joints 
and radius them to 3/8 or 1/2" which greatly increases the strength.  A 
sharp discontinuity in temperature also creates localized stress.

I was raised on a farm and spent my first 21 years there.  Some time a bit 
after I graduated/survived high school my dad had to take something up to 
the welding shop.  They were using water to purge out a large tank truck 
like the ones we see delivering gas to gas stations.  That took a lot of 
water to purge out that big tank twice.

They were satisfied the thing was clean and started to weld.  When they 
struck the first weld it blew out the whole back end of the tank turning it 
into a big, heavy, missile that almost took the tractor off the front end. 
Unfortunately the driver (young guy in his 20's as I recall) was standing 
between the tank and the tractor.  He lived about five minutes.

My dad said the explosion was so loud that most of them were still deaf 
after the driver was gone.

However a propane tank that has been in use is not quite the same.  There is 
no Oxygen in there so it's unlikely to blow, but were something to rupture 
the tank with the liquefied gas in there it'd be quite a fireball.

Roger Halstead (K8RI and ARRL 40 year Life Member)
N833R - World's oldest Debonair CD-2

>> Why would you think that the end would blow out before the side would?
>> 73 Gary  K4FMX
> He said that was the weakest point -- most prone
> to catastrophic failure.
> I dunno -- they paid him to know those things!
> -- 
> Thanks! & 73, doc kd4e  http://bibleseven.com
> Ham Links: http://bibleseven.com/hl.html
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