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Arnie

Airsoft Innovations Propane Adapter

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Fantastic review Arnie!

 

When I first saw that adaptor and the lab tests, and realized that Green gas was propane I got really mad (actually, I am still miffed about it). :angry:

 

I feel like my life was endangered by manufacturers of the green gas lying on the tin! What if I had been smoking a cigarette and my mag decided to do the big whoosh thing? :flamed:

 

Not to mention the unsafe can design! It is just a matter of time before DOT (US dept of transportation) and US Customs finds out about this, and all green gas cans -- unsafe propane cans -- will be banned from import here in the States as they are not of proper specification to transport propane into or within the USA. It is, in fact, illegal to drive in the US with one of those green gas cans in your car. That should tell you something about the safety factor.

 

So, cheers to the makers of this adaptor, for providing a safe way for those of you who wish to use propane in your gun to store and transport it.

 

Me? I have gone 134a all the way, just like the Japanese, who probably knew all this already. <_<

 

-WMH

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Agreed, a great review, and having got my own adapter, I whole heartedly agree with the contents of your review. At first the saving didn't seem too dramatic - 5.50 compared to gas which goes on a rough average of £7-8, but after a few cans of the stuff you've already paid for the cost of the adapter. Definitely a viable alternative for green gas users like me looking to stick to a type budget.

 

The only thing that does worry is the reference to the news of propane going off 'like a frag grenade' I knew that this was a possibility, but the thought of it is quite funny, as I tend to like to leave stuff in my car boot where I don't have to worry about it. Does anyone know what sort of heat the container has to be exposed to for this to become a real possibility?

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The stories of propane containers going 'frag grenade' refer to the unsafe thin metal 'green gas' cans -- as you have switched to the much safer (and cheaper) real propane containers, it is not really as much of an issue as they have a safety overpressure valve.

 

That said, most propane info I have read indicates store at under 125 f. Or room temperature.

 

National Propane Gas Association:

http://www.npga.org

 

Who has a lot of documentation:

http://www.npga.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=578

 

Indicates the flash point of Propane at 156 F.

 

And says in the Data Sheet:

http://www.npga.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=898

 

'Pressure in a container can build up due to heat and container may rupture if pressure relief devices fail to function. Propane released from a properly functioning release valve from an overheated container can also become ignited'

 

 

 

So, the car boot is not really a great place in hot weather... At the least, you may lose some of your propane due to overpressure leakage. And it could ignite.

 

-WMH

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Many thanks for the linkage WMH. I just realised that of all the adjectives to describe having a propane canister exploding within the boot of your car, 'funny' is one of the least appropriate. Not sure what I was thinking (or drinking) when I thought of that...:|

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Many thanks for the linkage WMH. I just realised that of all the adjectives to describe having a propane canister exploding within the boot of your car, 'funny' is one of the least appropriate. Not sure what I was thinking (or drinking) when I thought of that...:|

 

You are quite welcome. :) Wouldn't want you or your car to get hurt!

 

Also, keep in mind when you put propane into a GBB mag (or the like) that mag is now a propane container too.

 

-WMH

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Thanks for a well photographed and well researched review Arnie!

 

Good range of guns tested on the chrony too. I'm impressed with the consistency of the KSC USP.

 

As to exploding cans, proper propane cans are a very safe design. Instead of exploding, their relief valve farts out a bit of propane. It's better not to overheat a tank in the first place, but a leak is certainly safer than an outright explosion.

 

If I remember right tank valves are set to relieve when the tank exceeds 250psi (corresponds to about 125F or 52C). This pressure is called the "test pressure".

 

If you're interested in reading more about the regulations applied to the design of Coleman and Bernomatic (rated DOT-39) cylinders:

 

http://www.setonresourcecenter.com/49CFR/D...0a/wcd00aee.asp

 

Possibly the most pertinent bit from that document is a about failure testing:

 

(2) One cylinder taken from the beginning of each lot, and one from each 1,000 or less successively produced within the lot thereafter, must be hydrostatically tested to destruction. The entire lot must be rejected (see paragraph (h) of this section) if:

 

(i) A failure occurs at a gage pressure less than 2.0 times the test pressure;

 

(ii) A failure initiates in a braze or a weld or the heat affected zone thereof;

 

(iii) A failure is other than in the sidewall of a cylinder longitudinal with its long axis; or

 

(iv) In a sphere, a failure occurs in any opening, reinforcement, or at a point of attachment.

 

If I read the specs on my can right, the test pressure on it is rated at 250psi which makes for a minimum burst pressure of 500psi. This corresponds to a temperature well over 160F/70C (my propane data table only goes to 160F).

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Ah, thanks for that Madmax. Most reassuring to hear that. I've got a little experience with the larger canisters (the joys of having been dragged around Europe in a caravan), but I didn't realise the smaller disposable canisters were secure. I feel a little more reassured now...:)

 

Oh, and thanks for inventing the adapter. And for sending me mine so quickly - arrived about a fortnight back, not too long at all after I'd ordered. ^_^

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Indeed. Thank you also to AI for informing us about the improperly labeled 'green gas' propane cans and the lab tests to prove it! You deserve all the success in the world for increasing the safety level for airsofters. Good move on getting Guarder products on your site too, they are awesome. ;)

 

I have thought about this a while, and I think there are lessons to be learned:

 

1) If you use propane in your airsoft, get one of these adaptors and proper cans of propane. The thin metal 'green gas' cans do not have a pressure release valve, and are not safe.

 

2) If you are an airsoft retailer and you sell those cans of improperly labeled propane, stop now. It is irresponsible for you to sell this product as it is not safe. Instead, consider broadening your selection of 134a (please!), and start selling the adaptor and regular (safe) propane cans.

 

-WMH

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I think it's a bit of a jump to say that the cans of 22 sold at local suppliers are unsafe. Take for example a can of hair spray or Lynx deodorant, a lot of them use a flammable gas (butane I think) as a propellant and their cans are the same style as green gas cans.

 

Sure more people need to be educated so that they are aware that green gas is flammable and therefore some simple safety tips, but as for the entire lineup being dangerous? I think that's a stretch at the moment.

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I have a V2. I really like it, aside from the fact I feel like I'm going to constantly lose the pin/valve part of it. I would gladly buy a v4 if it had some sort of retainer device.

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@WMH

As Arnie stated, the green gas canisters are quite safe when stored and handled in an appropriate manner. I work in a factory that, among other things, manufactures aerosol sprays. These sprays use a propane/butane mix as propellant. And the canisters we use are exactly the same as the ones used for green gas. In fact most sprays, from hair spray to shaving-foam sprays, use propane/butane as propellant. Just take one of the spray cans in your house and read the label. Besides the propellant used in the can you will also find precautions for storage and handling. The precautions are all the same: Keep the can away from direct sunlight and store below 50°C (122°F). Follow these precautions and you should be safe.

 

Just for fun I checked my house and found 12 spray cans that use propane/butane as propellant. Beside these I also own 5 green gas gans and 3 HFc134a cans. So actually my greatest fear is to die from an explosion of shaving-foam, airfresh spray and insect repellents (which contain toxic substances by the way).

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Well, it is nice to know the world is full of these really safe containers. :blink:

 

Perhaps it is a stretch to call the mislabeled thin metal 'green gas' cans unsafe. But, I still don't understand parts of this whole thing, something does not fit together.

 

I am left with a question: Why would Coleman bother with those expensive 500 psi containers for propane if it were not required by law?

 

-WMH

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Well, it is nice to know the world is full of these really safe containers.  :blink:

 

Perhaps it is a stretch to call the mislabeled thin metal 'green gas' cans unsafe.  But, I still don't understand parts of this whole thing, something does not fit together. 

 

I am left with a question: Why would Coleman bother with those expensive 500 psi containers for propane if it were not required by law?

 

-WMH

 

Regulations require that pressure vessels be overengineered for the contents that they store for a few reasons:

 

-containers should handle some degree of forseeable abuse (dropping onto sharp cornered objects, slight crushing)

-containers should not overpressurize and explode under plausable circumstances (e.g. forgotten in/on a car on a hot summer day)

 

Coleman IS required to provide significantly overengineered pressure vessels because they are consumer items which are widely distributed. Consumer goods are expected to not be a threat to the public in case of shipping accidents or plausible common abuse.

 

If items can be made affordably failsafe they should be.

 

Propane butane blend exerts around 50psi (compared to 125psig for pure propane). So you can't really justify the use of impact extruded aluminum for pure propane storage. I have seen one disposable rolled steel can which is DOT recognized for propane storage. It is stronger than an impact extruded can and has a blowout failsafe mark on the bottom identical to this can of airbrush propellant (it's actually R22 sold before the ban on aerosol R22)

 

http://www.pbase.com/airsoft_innovations/image/30701421

 

I don't know if impact extruded aluminum cans (2 piece) are more common in the UK, but it seems that rolled and seam welded steel cans are a lot more popular in North America. I think they fail in a schrapnel free manner because the crimp on top is designed to leak before the can sides blow out.

 

CO2 caplets (12g type) are failsafe. If you throw them in a fire, the braze on puncture disc on the top comes off before the contents heat and explode the caplet sides. You probably get a really noisy shrieking bottle rocket, but at least it's a hemispherical blunt one that doesn't move as fast as a steel fragment.

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Wow. :o

 

Excellent post, MadMax.

 

Clears it up for me!

 

Propane/Butane Blend = 50psi

 

'Green Gas' cans meet the requirements for that mixture, not propane.

 

That is why Coleman goes to all the trouble and expense of making the special containers with the high burst pressure and the fancy release valve. It's not like they are doing it for the fun of it. ;)

 

I think my intial two conclusions were correct.

 

Further investigation indicates that selling the out-of-spec 'green gas' propane cans in a store (in the USA with employees) may be in violation of the regulations of no less than three (USA) government entities; DOT (Department of Transportation), EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). Shippers like UPS, Fedex, and USPS also have rules about transporting things in proper containers.

 

I am a business owner (not in the airsoft industry), and I hate to see fellow business owners mess up. It is best to be cautious. We must watch out for the consumer and care for them. If we get them hurt or killed, who will buy our products? :D

 

Get it off the shelves, before it gets you. :flamed: And order me some of that Marui 134a, ok? Cheers!

 

-WMH

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Hey, just thought I'd add a little plug for AI's other product... a blowback valve to make 22/Propane no shatter a stock WA slide! They've got a great video of stress-testing the thing with a 1911 hooked up to an external propane tank and pulling the trigger with a motor... pretty cool stuff, worth a look!

 

Nothing's stopping it from blowing out the magazine's seals, but they sell replacements for those from Guarder on their site too...

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You'll probably need the flow restrictor to protect the slide if you intend to use Propane on a regular basis.

 

Cheers.

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