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Old May 7th, 2012, 23:40   #1
tdiclubfan
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Default Diesel less volatile than petrol

Does it mean a diesel car will less likely result in a fire in the event of a catastrophic crash?
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Old May 8th, 2012, 00:08   #2
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Yes it is true. Diesel is a lot safer in a crash although once ignited it does have more heat energy than the same volume of gasoline.

The "flash point" of a chemical is the lowest temperature where enough fluid can evaporate to form a combustible concentration of gas. (evaporated or gaseous liquid)
The flash point is an indication of how easy a chemical may burn. Materials with higher flash points are less flammable or hazardous than chemicals with lower flash points.

Gasoline Flash point = minus 45F.
D2Diesel Flash Point = Plus 125F.
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Old May 8th, 2012, 07:29   #3
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There's got to be a you-tube video in this. I'll have to make one this summer sometime.
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Old May 8th, 2012, 14:24   #4
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Originally Posted by Powder Hound View Post
There's got to be a you-tube video in this. I'll have to make one this summer sometime.
Here you go:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LeRSPuA5Z4

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Old May 8th, 2012, 15:24   #5
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Look at that! By our very own compu_85.
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Old May 8th, 2012, 15:36   #6
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Ha, I saw the title of this thread and was going to post that!

IMO it does make things much safer. Diesel can still burn, but it takes more heat to get it going initially.

-J
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Old May 8th, 2012, 15:56   #7
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75/25 diesel gas mix is excellent for getting the brush pile going!
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Old May 8th, 2012, 17:54   #8
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I thought they are going to set both cars on fire and see which one will blow up first.
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Old May 9th, 2012, 05:17   #9
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I do feel much safer in my TDI, from a fuel fire standpoint.

I know gasoline is more dangerous, but when I was a teenager I dropped a lit cigarette into a cup filled with gasoline and to my suprise, it extinguished the cigarette and never caught fire.

If you ever watch a severe impact of a diesel-fueled vehicle, sometimes the fuel will burn. Severe locomotive crashes fit this category. What I think happens is that the impact atomizes the fuel as the fuel tank is compressed and the fuel sprays out in a fine mist and this creates a greater surface area and it lights off.

Flour and wood dust can ignite explosively as well. You ever see a grain elevator explosion? Brutal.

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Old May 9th, 2012, 06:11   #10
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Not to mention that in a locomotive, the fuel pump is capable of supplying over 1 gallon every 20 seconds for consumption, and still have fuel left over for return cooling. The turbos are a lot larger, as are the manifolds, and they sit on the top of the engine. I would think that a ruptured external high-pressure fuel line (like in a GE) would certainly atomize the fuel enough to cause ignition. But, by comparison to car crashes, I think it's apples and oranges. If you get into a bad enough impact that a locomotive rolls over, that's where the danger is. I've never seen a locomotive burn from impact alone.

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Old May 9th, 2012, 06:43   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenskeeper View Post
75/25 diesel gas mix is excellent for getting the brush pile going!
Yep, works great! Way safer than just gas, which can go wooof!! when its warm out and the diesel burns slow enough to get the brush started good. When its below 0F, you need to increase the mix to about 50/50 to get it to light.
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Old May 9th, 2012, 06:48   #12
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Gasoline engines dont have problems with runaways like diesels do...so although diesel is not as volitle, the engines will run on "other than diesel" and will continue to run until that fuel is eliminated.
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Old May 9th, 2012, 11:16   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n1das View Post
Here you go
Dang, just as my pyrotechnic mania started to get excited...
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Old May 9th, 2012, 15:32   #14
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Gasoline engines dont have problems with runaways like diesels do...so although diesel is not as volitle, the engines will run on "other than diesel" and will continue to run until that fuel is eliminated.
What safety mechanism is there to prevent this from happening?
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Old May 9th, 2012, 17:12   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdiclubfan View Post
What safety mechanism is there to prevent this from happening?
From catastrophic turbo failure, none. Otherwise keep your pipes and intercooler reasonably clean and this should not happen
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