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    Thread: Test Report: Nitrogen vs Normal Air in Tyres

    1. #21
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      Time for a much delayed update!
      Had an opportunity to drive from BLR to COK with family and used the opportunity to do some data-logging.

      Drive Details: 3 adults, 1 kid & ~40 kgs of luggage. Started at ~5:30 AM, Reached 4-Lane highway within next 10 mins. This was more or less a FE conscious drive (for some other data logging) with speeds kept between 100-120 as far as possible with just two bursts to 155 kmph to lose one nagging Scorpio..


      Start @ 5:30AM (Vehicle parked overnight in the basement)
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      After 5 minutes of drive (Interior roads)
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      After 15 mins of drive (reached 4-lane expressway)
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      After 1 hr 15 minutes of drive
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      At 4hr 15 mins and ~350 Kms from start
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      Anything else that you guys thinks needs logging in this experiment?
      It has been more than 1 month since we started this log. Will follow up with long term updates anyways!
      Last edited by Digital Vampire; 13th Sep 2011 at 13:22.
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    2. #22

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      Thanks for the updates and the concept. I've one question though. There are 2-3 myths relating to this -
      1. Nitrogen filled tyres run at lower temps than air filled ones - busted! With help of your temp gauge.
      2. Air expands more than Nitrogen therefore on highspeed runs air filled tyres have higher risk of tyre bursts - so with the pressure gauge you're trying to prove this point? I agree that increase in internal pressure can cause bursting of tyres. But is it directly related to the properties of the two elements - air and nitrogen?
      3. Nitrogen being inert tends to escape from the tyres less than air - So your pressure gauge readings are justifying this? Right?

      So my question remains, does air expand more than nitrogen? Recently, there was an accident on Mumbai-Pune EWay, where Mr. Ashish (Fortune cars) was traveling with family from Mumbai to Pune. One of the tyres burst and caused fatal accident. His daughter and mother lost their lives. He and his wife are still in coma after about 10 days. My prayers are with him and family. God bless the souls that were lost.

    3. #23
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      look at the cold pressures in the front tires Digital Vampire. when you started, the fronts were 32.6 psi @ 22 degrees C. a month later, Tire 1 [nitrogen filled] is at 31.9 and Tire 2 [air filled] is at 31.5 at 21 degrees C. I know its small but not negligible.

      keep at it though. even longer term observations should be even more interesting.

    4. #24

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      Even I was never convinced with all the tyre dealers pushing me to fill up Nitrogen in the tyres. Why Nitrogen? Will we be driving at speeds in excess of 250kmph?? I don't think so. Normal air is perfectly fine with the kind of driving 99.99% of us do 99.99% of the time.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Squid View Post
      So my question remains, does air expand more than nitrogen? Recently, there was an accident on Mumbai-Pune EWay, where Mr. Ashish (Fortune cars) was traveling with family from Mumbai to Pune. One of the tyres burst and caused fatal accident. His daughter and mother lost their lives. He and his wife are still in coma after about 10 days. My prayers are with him and family. God bless the souls that were lost.
      Are you saying that the tyres burst because they were filled with air and not nitrogen? Because as far as I know, there are more reasons for a tyre burst than just what they are filled with.
      Competition setup going active soon ;)

    6. #26
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      Well I actually I dont believe it depends on the tyres as well of the car, Mostly I have heard tyres burst when they have steel thread inside them. Well Even Nitrogen pumps are very less as compared to air filling pumps. Can you be more specific.
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    7. #27
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      Quote Originally Posted by Linea-Lover View Post
      Even I was never convinced with all the tyre dealers pushing me to fill up Nitrogen in the tyres. Why Nitrogen? Will we be driving at speeds in excess of 250kmph?? I don't think so. Normal air is perfectly fine with the kind of driving 99.99% of us do 99.99% of the time.
      to each his own dude. why do you use silicone for your AIR while any smooth piece of plastic will suffice?

      one doesnt have to travel at 250 to perceive benefits. read this link about the degradation of vulcanized rubber: Untitled Document

      if you convert 70 percent nitrogen + 20 odd percent oxygen to 95 percent + nitrogen and minimal oxygen, you are eliminating a significant factor of tire degradation. it is not for nothing that nitrogen gas is used in every industry as a preservative. the shopkeepers might be giving you BS based on their extremely limited knowledge and their overwhelming desire to make more money, but dont base all your decisions on what they say.

      tires exploding because they were filled with air and not nitrogen is pure hogwash. it all depends on the overall internal pressure of the tire and how the rubber manages to hold that pressure. a freak occurrence cannot be pinned on something as generic as the medium of inflation.

    8. #28
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      Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
      look at the cold pressures in the front tires Digital Vampire . when you started, the fronts were 32.6 psi @ 22 degrees C. a month later, Tire 1 [nitrogen filled] is at 31.9 and Tire 2 [air filled] is at 31.5 at 21 degrees C. I know its small but not negligible.
      IMHO, its a bit too early to read into a small difference. Tyre 3 (Nitrogen) pressure has also deteriorated as much as a Tyre 2 (Normal Air) and also Tyre-4 (Normal Air) seems to have lost pressure by the same margin. Tyre-1 [Nitrogen] seems to have lost relatively lesser though. Longer term results should give us a better picture.

      Posting below the 2 cold pressure readings spaced by ~1month gap for side by side comparison.

      ------------------------ August [Week-1] --------------------------------------------------September [Week-2]---------------------------

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      Difference in pressures.

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      Last edited by Digital Vampire; 13th Sep 2011 at 14:56.
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    9. #29

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      Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
      to each his own dude. why do you use silicone for your AIR while any smooth piece of plastic will suffice?
      Absolutely. My point is that considering the way most of us drive, will Nitrogen really improve the performance or tyre life? My OHC has been running on Michelins for the past 5 odd years and around 50k odd kms with still quite a bit of tread on it.

      Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
      if you convert 70 percent nitrogen + 20 odd percent oxygen to 95 percent + nitrogen and minimal oxygen, you are eliminating a significant factor of tire degradation. it is not for nothing that nitrogen gas is used in every industry as a preservative.
      So if we fill normal air our tyres will start rotting by bacteria and fungus . Just kiddin' dude.

      Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
      tires exploding because they were filled with air and not nitrogen is pure hogwash. it all depends on the overall internal pressure of the tire and how the rubber manages to hold that pressure. a freak occurrence cannot be pinned on something as generic as the medium of inflation.
      My point exactly. Just because a tyre is burst one cannot conclude that 'IF' it was filled with Nitrogen the mishap would've been avoided. Some tiem back a family here in Ahmedabad died as the tyre of their Scorpio burst. People started questioning the stability of Tubeless tyres as Tubeless tyres are not supposed to burst in case of a puncture blah blah blah.
      Competition setup going active soon ;)

    10. #30
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      Quote Originally Posted by Digital Vampire View Post
      IMHO, its a bit too early to read into a small d. ifference. Tyre 3 (Nitrogen) pressure has also deteriorated as much as a Tyre 2 (Normal Air) and also Tyre-4 (Normal Air) seems to have lost pressure by the same margin. Tyre-1 [Nitrogen] seems to have lost relatively lesser though. Longer term results should give us a better picture.

      Posting below the 2 cold pressure readings spaced by ~1month gap for side by side comparison.

      ------------------------ August [Week-1] --------------------------------------------------September [Week-2]---------------------------

      Name:  TPMS_Idle_Vehicle_12PM_First_Start.jpg
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Size:  136.2 KBName:  TPMS_BLR_COK_START.jpg
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      consider the relative pressure difference between left and right tires Digital Vampire. up front, the difference was 0. now it is 0.4 with the nitrogen filled tire being closer to the original pressure.
      behind, the difference was 0.4 with the air filled tire being higher at week 1. the difference is still the same. it implies not that nitrogen has escaped from the rear tire but rather that both the rear tires are holding steady - maybe because of the absence of a lot of weight on them when compared to the front.

      but yeah, a long term report would put the differences in clearer focus.


      Quote Originally Posted by Linea-Lover View Post
      Absolutely. My point is that considering the way most of us drive, will Nitrogen really improve the performance or tyre life? My OHC has been running on Michelins for the past 5 odd years and around 50k odd kms with still quite a bit of tread on it.
      that is a difficult question to answer with certainty. I have always maintained that N2 cannot hurt anything and isnt that expensive. whether it provides tangible benefits or not and is worth the money is highly debatable, but so is stuff like premium petrol, synthetic engine oil, etc. if you feel good with it, go for it. if not, no harm done either way. what I hate is idiot shopkeepers turning off people so badly that they people cannot separate the product from the merchant. the best way to go is research - assumption - experimentation - conclusion, all done preferably by the individual himself.
      Last edited by 007; 13th Sep 2011 at 15:06.

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