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A warning about latex tubing

Post about things you have launched or thought about launching. Also post about various materials used for building cannons. No posts about explosive projectiles!
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A warning about latex tubing

Unread postAuthor: btrettel » Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:52 pm

I did something stupid and I think I should tell others about it so they avoid potentially going deaf.

Latex tubing can be used as a simple constant pressure source. I was doing some tests yesterday to determine how quickly the tubing fatigues when I did something stupid.

Important things to note: I was doing the tests against a wall in my bedroom with the door closed right and I did not have hearing protection.

On the second fill of a tube I started hearing some tearing. I vented the tube. I considered stopping there, but I wanted to see how the tube would perform now that it was damaged.

The tube burst nearly immediately after I started filling it, and the burst was extremely loud. It was as loud if not louder than some guns. My ear immediately started ringing and everything sounded muffled.

I had burst latex tubing before with water, and it wasn't loud at all. The air does hold a lot more energy and it should not be underestimated.

I was stupid. If any test involves the possibility of something bursting, do that test outside and wear earplugs.

I already had poor hearing and tinnitus. I think my hearing's a little worse off now, though, not too significantly. I'll visit an audiologist to see precisely what happened. Incidentally, I visited an audiologist about a week ago as I was curious about my hearing, so a direct comparison between my hearing right before and right after can be made.
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Unread postAuthor: SpudBlaster15 » Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:03 pm

Good advice. Any time there is a significant possibility of high pressure gas being released, hearing protection should be worn. I doubt any hearing damage resulted from one incident, but it's a lesson learned.

I've done a lot of stuff like this in the past, and it does eventually take a toll on your hearing. After years of explosions and gunfire, I have no clinically significant hearing loss, but I do have mild tinnitus. It sucks, so wear hearing protection even when you think the risk is minimal.
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Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:10 pm

Wow, I can imagine how loud it was because I let a kid use my air hose to pump up his bike tire and he popped it. Sounded like a shot gun going off right beside me, and yes I told him to be carefull...
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Unread postAuthor: POLAND_SPUD » Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:51 pm

yeap this is why it isn't the best idea to dry fire your high pressure guns in the basement (and generally indoors)... I learned this the hard way
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Unread postAuthor: btrettel » Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:48 pm

Well, I'm worried because I already had poor hearing. My father figures my hearing loss is genetic because he had equally bad hearing at his age. I did some testing and he told me the results were basically identical to his at my age.

I don't think I suffered any significant hearing loss from this incident, but I'll get it checked just in case as I want to keep what I have.

jrrdw, yeah, it was basically that loud. I expected some noise, but I didn't really expect it to be that loud. It was surprising, but in retrospect, I knew better.

I'll sum it up...

Indoor testing = BAD NEWS
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Unread postAuthor: Ranger » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:09 pm

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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:10 pm

We did this as a prank at work, door handle connected to one of the air supply ball valves with a piece of string, a short length of latex tubing over the male fitting secured with a cable tie at one end and similarly sealed on the other.

Couple of seconds after the morning shift comes in, tremendous explosion - they were not amused. Everyone else was though.

These days we just use latex gloves, more tolerable :)
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Unread postAuthor: nibbler125 » Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:18 am

whyle on the subject may I add that you should not fill a 2L bottle with 125 psi. Only when this blew up I was holding it at my side and it left my whole side bruised. also all my hearing was gone for A few minutes. for a week it felt like there was water in my ear. the next day my friend found A 4X4 inch hunk of shrapnel 40 yards from the area it blew up from. I consider myself lucky
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Unread postAuthor: mark.f » Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:39 am

A lot of people don't realize how important their hearing is until they lose it. Half the people I work with don't wear ear plugs with 31cc engines roaring right next to their ears. :roll:

Good point, though. One time I blew the piston and pumping rod off a cheap basketball pump and it put a nice ding in my door (crushed the hardboard sheathing over the frame).
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Unread postAuthor: Gun Freak » Sun Jun 27, 2010 6:07 pm

Haha... reminds me of when my old bike tire popped when me and my brother both rode it at the same time... it was freaking loud lol :D
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