It seems that another Stako tank blew up in the UK on Sunday. Does anyone know why it happened? Nope. Does anyone know what’s to blame? Nope. Does that prevent anyone from wildly speculating about why it happened and whose to blame? Hell no. That’s what this sport is about. And I try to follow that tradition.
Speculation time. First, someone put oil in their air nipple (hehe, nipple) which then gets blow into the bottle, and the subsequent pressure makes it go boom. Right. Now I’m no chemist, my chemistry knowledge comes from high school and a semester of it a year ago, but here’s what I see would happen.
I’m not sure the amount of pressure it would take for oil to ignite, but let’s just say it will at however much the tank is being filled up at for the sake of this.
But once it reaches the amount of pressure for it to combust, it tries to explode. The amount of oil present is probably pretty low, I think something like 10-100 microliters. A very small amount. In order to combust, it needs the presence of Oxygen. If you fill up with straight up Nitrogen, which is kinda rare, it shouldn’t be able to combust or at least not to the full extent, but most fill stations use regular air (mostly Nitrogen btw).
Anyways, the amount of pressure change that the really small explosion creates shouldn’t be the one to two thousand psi in 68 ci needed to blow the tank, since most tanks are supposed to be able to hold 6000-7000 psi, just not for extended times. I also thought there should be some sort pressure disk that will go out if the pressure it too high, but whatever. I just don’t think the combustion of a really small amount of oil will cause some huge explosion.
The other explanation is that Stako tanks just blow up. They are the main difference between tanks that have exploded compared to tanks that have not exploded. They were also banned by the Millennium Series for some time. When they first were coming out, people kept thinking they would explode. They have some weird expanding tube that causes “bubbling”.
And my personal favorite, the heat from the flash fill melts the aluminum of the reg. I you’re wondering, the melting point of Aluminum is about 900 Kelvin. As in 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. If the tank’s temperature rose to that degree, I’m pretty sure there’s no way I would be holding it or even be within any sort of close distance to it. Now yes, aluminum isn’t good with heat, but I don’t think it’s going to be melting during a fill. (And note, they don’t use pure aluminum, it’s an aluminum alloy, though that might be with a metal with a lower melting point than aluminum, like zinc).
But my hypothesis is Smart Parts did it. It’s always their fault somehow.