Tyres and CO2
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Thread: Tyres and CO2

  1. #1
    bollocks Array thrilla's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    08 Albino 848

    Tyres and CO2

    Is there any adverse effects of running pure CO2 in the tyres? From fish keeping I know that silicone tubing is permeable to CO2, other than that, CO2 seems to be a mostly inert gas. I'm asking because I've got a 20lb tank of CO2 sitting in my bedroom, trying to figure out what it can be used for besides feeding aquatic plants.

    Some advantages of running CO2:
    - no moisture, consistent temp/pressure change
    - easy road-side refill (on trips)

    - won't be able to use it as a breathing apparatus, as seen in die hard

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  3. #2
    Registered User Array
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    Jun 2009
    Hate to burst you diehard dream bubble, but mythbusters actually debunked the whole breathing from a tire thing

    As for CO2, I was under the impression that there are shops that offer tire fills using it for a fee.
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  4. #3
    Ik ben een piloot. Array Altimeter's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    1993 Suzuki RF600
    The alternate gas shops are using is pure nitrogen, as opposed to compressed atmosphere which is 78% nitrogen anyway. This is denoted by a green cap on the tire valve. Don't know about what using CO2 would be like though.
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  5. #4
    +1 Array schmii's Avatar
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    2005 Hondabago

    No difference between N2, CO2, and plain old air. They all work equally well, assuming you get the water vapor out of them. CO2 becomes non-ideal at higher pressures and lower temperatures, but that happens well out of the range of operation for normal car tires.
    Any touted difference in diffusion rates is unsubstantiated. N2 and O2 molecules are almost the same size, and air is 80% N2 anyway. The only plausible benefit to using pure N2 is that you might reduce the oxidation of the rubber inside the tire. But, I would think that you would wear out the tire tread long before rubber oxidation would become a problem, unless you are a car collector and wish to keep your prized possession for decades.

    As far as CO2, probably the same arguments apply. I haven't researched the diffusion rates and corrosivity of CO2, but I am skeptical. Again, the type of gas you use will have no bearing on the daily expansion and contraction of your tire. However, if you do choose to use CO2, you need to be aware that CO2 will combine with water to form carbonic acid, which is much more corrosive than the O2 within the air. Thus, you should try to use extremely dry CO2, and to displace most of the moisture (in the air originally in the tire) by filling/exhausting each tire several times.
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  6. #5
    Insultant Array cuski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thrilla View Post
    Is there any adverse effects of running pure CO2 in the tyres? From fish keeping I know that silicone tubing is permeable to CO2
    It is. Fill it up with CO2. Leave over night. Observe results in the morning.

    I use CO2 cartridges to fix bicycle flats. If I don't fill tubes with air when I get home, they'll usually be flat again by morning.
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  7. #6
    Registered User Array
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    Jun 2008
    Just coming over the bridge
    2005 RC51
    I think I posted this up before.

    When we were running a streamliner at Bonneville, I had a long chat with an engineer at Goodyear, about running Nitrogen in our tires.
    On a street machine and on most race machines there is no point. It is used in NASCAR racing as they adjust their tire pressures about 1/4 psi at a time looking for that last little bit of grip, and if there is any moisture in the gas filling the tire, as with normal air, at the elevated temperatures it can boil, become steam and change the pressure by a slight amount.

    So my guess
    Nascar, F!, Motogo gp andthat type of racing is the only place that warrants it.

    Otherwise, just hype.

    As for CO2, i just use it for welding gas!

    And by the way, we were running at between 90 and 110 psi, which was not critical, and for about 3-4 minutes max!

  8. #7
    Registered User Array bandito's Avatar
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  9. #8
    You'd be surprised Array G Hats's Avatar
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    I know that people use pure nitrogen in car tires because it doesn't change pressure as it heats up, so you have consistent tire pressure whether cold or warm. It is also a bigger atom in size and therefore doesn't leak out as quickly as normal air (although so small anyway). Not sure what CO2 would do though...

    But in reality, unless you are racing, normal air is perfectly fine

  10. #9
    Registered User Array SpideRider's Avatar
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    Jul 2002
    Fraser Valley
    I especially like how the shops will charge me "only" $10 more per tire to fill them up with nitrogen.
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  11. #10
    Cat Herder Array nickridiculous's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    2004 SV650
    I only put Shell gas with Nitrogen in my tires. Is that bad?

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