Calcium CArbide

Post questions and info about combustion (flammable vapor) powered launchers here. This includes discussion about fuels, ratios, ignition systems and anything else relevant to launchers powered by igniting things like hairspray or propane.

Postby natanddiane » Sun Dec 03, 2006 9:53 am

Folks, remember those bangsite cannons? (They have a web page, please feel free to search) ANyhow, They use carbide as fuel. The stuff comes in little 1/4 inch rocks, add water, they fuzz(releasing acyetlene gas ) and BOOM! Tater goes like HELL! There is serious recoil in a hand held cannon, and the grill lighter works wonderfully. CArbide is not explosive until water hits it. You only need one rock for a hand cannon, and it is easy to carry and store. (just keep it dry). Feel free to email me with nay more questions
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Postby Los Frijoles » Sun Dec 03, 2006 10:52 am

Rule 3: Discussion of <b>solid propellants</b>, explosive devices or incendiary projectiles is prohibited, and may result in a permanent banning of your account

If this isn't a solid propellant, someone tell me.
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Postby Mr.Plow » Sun Dec 03, 2006 11:06 am

Not technically a solid fuel because it isn't the carbide that's burning, its the acetylene gas that is released when it hits water.

Nat- acetylene is not a suitable fuel for a PVC launcher. This has come up several times in the past, and the general consensus agrees that the risk it poses is not worth the gains in power over propane.
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Postby Navigator7 » Sun Dec 03, 2006 11:30 am

I know, I know!
Use the ...what is it...CACO2??? (Edit...CAC2) as fuel for a flashlight.

Friggen flashlights are getting so poor these days it just might be worth it to go back 100 years???
;-)
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Postby jimmy » Sun Dec 03, 2006 11:41 am

I agree with Mr.Plow, Bangsite in a PVC gun is asking for a trip to the ER.

Acetylene has a very high probability of transitioning from deflagration to detonation. In detonation the pressure spike is much higher and the specific impule (basically the power of the shock wave) is also much higher. PVC, especially with a DWV cleanout plug, is a bad idea with Bangsite.
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Postby natanddiane » Sun Dec 03, 2006 11:49 am

I learned all the carbide stuff from a 78 year old gentleman that has heard of using Propane gas, and thinks folks are nuts for using something so flammable. Imagine a line leak, and a spark in the right place. With CACO2, there is no more gas once ignited. I am not saying to put a whole dang pound in your chamber, just one 1/4x1/4 inch rock, and less than 1/4oz H20. Take a look at the Big Bang cannon website, and read their safety statement.. Granted, they are not firing taters, or any other projectiles, but the fuel source is relatively safe. I am sorry if I offended anyone with my choice in fuel, but hey. I'm in this for the information exchange. Also realise the gas released is not the refined acetylene you would buy in a tank. Nor is it filtered. Pretty dirty, as there is much carbon left behing after the burn, as well as hydrated lime
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Postby Navigator7 » Sun Dec 03, 2006 11:56 am

I think the point is....Your gas is good for a "bang" Not a propellent.
Kinda like using fast burning pistol powder in a rifle.....or artillery piece.
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Postby natanddiane » Sun Dec 03, 2006 12:36 pm

As far as a propellant goes, oh, mna. I can fire a tater hundreds of yards. I have not actually measured the balistics YET. The one thing I did do though, is with a motorcycle helmet ( full face, with face shield) and a "ballistics" coat and pants ( kevlar reinforced impact areas) shot a tater straight into the air. It came down 22 feet away from me. I hit the stopwatch at the same time as I hit the igniter, to check the "hang time". That tater stayed up for 16.3 seconds. The only constant I know is the acceleration of a falling body. I do not know a tater's terminal velocity.. but I do know a 16.3 sec hangtime is a damn long while to wonder where the spud went!
Granted, I am a little chicken when firing this thing, as I do put on all my riding gear when I fire it.. (does take some of the fun out, but I ride this way too, and know that pain HURTS, and do not wish to experience any undue or preventable injuries. From what I have seen in here, there is a whole lot of folks wanting to have the fun, but don't take the cautions I do. Well, ok. Just don't "dis" me for using an old-man method to fire my spuds. It works!
Coming soon... empty caulking gun vs carbide gas detonated remotely
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Postby TurboSuper » Sun Dec 03, 2006 12:59 pm

If it works fine for you, then by all means use it.

The problem is that if someone less experienced/smart as you does this, and blow off his kidney after reading about acetylene here, then he can easily sue Joel and the forums for damages.

If you do have an accident though, don't say you werne't warned.
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Postby jimmy » Sun Dec 03, 2006 1:16 pm

natanddiane: Your inexperience and lack of knowledge is showing. Hopefully, this won't lead to a big chunk of your innards showing as well.

<i>I am not saying to put a whole dang pound in your chamber, just one 1/4x1/4 inch rock, and less than 1/4oz H20.</i>
With more experience you'll learn that over fueling a spud gun is rarely a safety problem. Too much fuel won't cause a gun to "grenade", instead it won't fire at all. The gun is most dangerous when it has the correct amount of fuel. A gun is safer with more or less than the optimal amount of fuel.

<i>Take a look at the Big Bang cannon website, and read their safety statement..</i>
Exactly, take a look at their web site. You'll notice that they say to <b>NEVER</b> put anything in the barrel. Even with a <u>cast iron chamber</u> they are concerned with the chamber failing.

"<i>...the fuel source is relatively safe.</i>"
Wrong, it is not safe in a sealed chamber. A bangsite cannon is not sealed and has a very large vent hole (the barrel).

We will "diss" you for using an "<i>old man method to fire (your) gun</i>", not because is is "old man" but because it is (1) unsafe (2) it is not reproducible and (3) you don't know what you are doing.

I've been playing around with Bangsite for about 40 years and I would never use it in a spudgun.

BTW, I'll bet your "<i>78 year old gentleman</i>" friend has natural gas lines in his house and a Benzomatic torch in his garage.
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