DIY /Technosir sphere recharging.

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Kevin B
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DIY /Technosir sphere recharging.

Post by Kevin B »

Hello all,

I am keen to try regassing my own spheres. I intend to use Argon instead of Nitrogen.
My thinking being that Argon is a bigger Molecule when compared to Nitrogen, this I hope will reduce the ability of the pressurised gas to migrate though the rubber membrane. Plus I have a cylinder of Argon.
I also have a brand new 0-40 Bar Nitrogen regulator.

However I am struggling to find a tecnosir sphere recharging setup or similar, does anyone have such an animal, or can anyone tell me where I may be able to locate one from.

Incidently I notice that Citroen made / make? an alternative screw in end cap for spheres to allow regassing, any comments ?

Thanks in anticipation.

Kevin B

tom
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Post by tom »

Sell the argon. Buy new spheres.

M

Post by M »

I'm wondering whether it will affect the handling too -- When the Metro got recharged with air rather than Nitrogen it made the handling go all to buggery.

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Way2go
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Post by Way2go »

Marty wrote:I'm wondering whether it will affect the handling too -- When the Metro got recharged with air rather than Nitrogen it made the handling go all to buggery.
Presumably Nitrogen is used because it is dry and unlike air it wont create dampness in the sphere. (Dampness in air effect can be quickly seen in condensation on the outside of a cold glass of beer)
Argon is inert so probably would be OK but wouldnt be chosen as a production gas due to its higher cost.
However for the cost of an Amtex replacement is it worth the messing around?
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prm
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Post by prm »

Kevin

Sorry, I’m inclined to agree with Tom.

Delved into this exercise some time ago and the cost of the equipment would require a large throughput of spheres.

However, if its a business venture, I will delve into my stock of equipment if its of any help.
Somewhere ?? I did have Nitrogen storage bank adaptors, filters and ultra high pressure regulators, 100-170bar output.
Air Products I seem to remember carry a better range than BOC.

Don’t forget to wear full body amour. Seriously – Safety comes first when dealing with these pressures.

Check out the BX site in Japan and Valprex.
http://www.mars.dti.ne.jp/~ynar/bxorg_a ... /t03e.html

adamskibx
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Post by adamskibx »

Id get them re-gassed with Nitrogen if you have a local specialist. My local specialist had to check if he had any gas left when I asked him whether he could do my CX ones. When he said no, I asked him when his next delivery was and he said he didnt plan to get any in again as I was the first person to ask in a year. In my opinion, if you catche them before the diaphram has been damaged by the sphere wall, regassing is far better. Its cheaper, environmentally friendly, and they will be gassed to the correct pressure. Non Citroen originals give a far lumpier ride (Amtex), and I dont beleive for one second that they ever arrive with the correct pressure. Add to this the really rough construction of the sprung damping bypass plate and swarf often found round the damping holes (poor drilling), and it really makes me wonder whether they are any good new. When I got my last lot from GSF I said I wasnt going to buy any unlerss they could get me some with a 2007 date on them while I was on the phone and guarrentee that I would get those ones. They run down faster on the shelf than on a car too. Even the new ones I got for the CX are at a low pressure and over damped. The hole is smaller than the originals, and the BX is far softer to push down, with far more travel than my CX.

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AndersDK
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Post by AndersDK »

Not seen the recharge valves as separate parts on PR-net. Dont think they sell them ?
Spheres can be ordered as re-chargeable types with the valve fitted instead of the cap. Donno but would anticipate the cost is some £15-20 more each sphere.

Argon used to be filled in domestic light bulbs to protect the filament. But I dont like the thought of having argon filled spheres for some reason. I seem to remember that argon is poisoning in larger densities ?
C U / Anders - '90red16riBreak - '91GrisDolment16meteor - Project'88red19trsBreak
dead cars : '89white 16RS - '89antrasitTRDturboEst - '90white19triBreak

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Way2go
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Post by Way2go »

Wikipedia wrote: There are several different reasons why argon is used in particular applications:

A very inert gas is required, particularly where diatomic nitrogen is not sufficiently inert.
Low thermal conductivity is required.
The electronic properties (ionization and/or the emission spectrum) are needed.
Other noble gases would probably work as well in most of these applications, but argon is by far the cheapest. Argon is inexpensive since it is a byproduct of the production of liquid oxygen and liquid nitrogen, both of which are used on a large industrial scale. The other noble gases (except helium) are produced this way as well, but argon is the most plentiful since it has the highest concentration in the atmosphere
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Post by jeremy »

Argon of course chemically belongs to the family of inert gasses - with helium, Krypton and neon. My understanding (admittedly rather ancient now) was that providing you were no where near the condensation point - all gasses could be considered to behave like an ideal gas and so their behaviour under compression etc were identical which for the purposes of engineering and physics makes life easy.

Nitrogen makes up 75% or so of the atmosphere - inert gasses like argon - fractions of 1%. They cannot be produced chemically as they are inert and so have no chemistry - but can be produced as a by product of atomic physics - which I believe is why the Americans were able to use Helium for airships in the 1930's and the Germans were stuck with hydrogen - hence the problems with the Hindenberg. (It may simply be that their distillation was good enough to be able to extract it then - their first MIG welding was known as heli-arc and I think used helium as the shield.)

I'm sure the reason why spheres are originally filled with hydrogen is simply a question of cost and convenience. Its possible the Citroen (or whoever makes their spheres - which I believe is unknown) even distills their own nitrogen form the atmosphere as I don't imagine the process is that difficult. How pure the nitrogen used is I don't know - but providing the water vapour and oxygen are removed I don't imagine that a bit of carbon dioxide and a trace of inert gas would make any difference.

So - I can't see why filling your spheres with argon should make any difference to their behaviour or chemistry - but would just say - is it worth the bother - especially when you take into account the precautions necessary to handle gas at the pressures required safely.

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Post by AlanS »

The rule of thumb for regassing spheres is that if they are 50% pressure or more, they should regas alright. If under 30% better than even chance they won't regas successfully.

My main concern would be if there might be any form of reaction from the argon to the membrane that is in the sphere.
As regards the gear you have, if your gauge only goes to 40 bar you're already in strife because IIRC, even the accumulator runs 45 and I'm certain some BX spheres go around 55 bar.
Don't forget to replace the "o" ring under the plug if you regas the original ones without fitting the fancy valves.


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Kevin B
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Post by Kevin B »

I agree that Nitrogen will be the first choice of a commercial regassing operation, as its far cheaper than Argon.

Nitrogen consists on 79% of the atmosphere compared to >0.1% for Argon.

However cost of gas is not a primary concern for me, I am more interested in the longer sphere life expectancy if Argon is used, due to the bigger molecule size not being able to permiate the membrane so quickly.

There may be difference in handling however these will be minimal for the very reasons that Jeremy has given in his post.
Its not a business venture, but having a large fleet of BX's and a very large pile of flat spheres I am keen to try it for the following reasons:

I forsee a time when AMTEX spheres will be the only available option if new spheres are to be fittted to a BX, having first hand experience of these they do not last as long as the genuine article. For reasons already highlighted on this thread.

As excellent a company as Pliaedes are on product quality, service and free advice. When postal costs of core units are considered (your core item may not even qualify for a credit) it is an expensive option.


Being for soley for my own use I would not be too concerned if I had a premature failure due to membrane damage from fitting a sphere that had prevoiusly being run flat, as it would only be wasted gas and time to change the sphere again.

I have looked at the Japanese site, most interesting but cannot find a supplier for the Valprex equipment either.

Although Argon is an asphixiant gas as AndersDK has identified, its no worse than Nitrogen in this repect.

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AndersDK
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Post by AndersDK »

Kevin B wrote:Although Argon is an asphixiant gas as AndersDK has identified, its no worse than Nitrogen in this repect.
Yes thats right - no more "dangerous" than Nitrogen in that aspect :oops:

Have you asked if GSF or Pleiades still stock the Valprex filler valves ?
Somewhere on the shelves they may still have a dusty bunch floating around.
If you find the right guy within GSF (a certain Mr J. W. ??) he may know exactly where to try source the valves from. Otherwise I'm sure Pleiades would also know.

I just tried my old bookmark on the Spanish "Buromeca" company site, but the site is no longer existing. They used to have the complete range of filler equipment including the valves.

PS : Submitting a Q on your local CCC forum may give fine results.
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dead cars : '89white 16RS - '89antrasitTRDturboEst - '90white19triBreak

Kevin B
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Post by Kevin B »

Thanks to all who responded to this post. I have being in contact with Technosir, they dont have any agents in the UK. However they will happily sell to me direct.

The cost of the equipment and charging valves is a lot less than you would expect.

After recharging 2 Bx cars, ie 10 spheres the Technosir equipment would just have paid for itself when compared to the cost of new AMTEK spheres from GSF (not counting the Technosir delivery cost from Italy as I dont have a figure for it yet).

For all you Citroen gurus out there, this leads me nicely onto my next question: Where would I have to look for information on BX sphere charging pressures and how a particular orifice restriction size correlates to specific BX model.

I will let you know how I progress with my Argon experiments in due course, when I have some Argon charged spheres on a BX.

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AndersDK
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Post by AndersDK »

Search the forum for sphere specifications (vary the search criteria for more results)

You should get loads. I know I have submitted quite a few posts on this issue including websites with sphere ref tables and specs.
C U / Anders - '90red16riBreak - '91GrisDolment16meteor - Project'88red19trsBreak
dead cars : '89white 16RS - '89antrasitTRDturboEst - '90white19triBreak