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Safety First

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Safety First

Post by Admin on Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:12 pm

CO2 and Pressure
CO2 is a gas at temperatures above -69.9 degrees F and 60.4 psig (pounds per square inch gauge). It is a very complex compound with the ability to sublimate (change directly from a solid to a gas without becoming a liquid) as just one of its unique properties.

At 70 degrees F, CO2 obtains a gas pressure of 852.8 psi when confined in a vessel. If there is more CO2 in the vessel, it will be have to be in liquid form. So, the state of CO2 in a pressure vessel, such as a powerlet at room temperature, is a pressurized gas above a liquid. If the gas is released, such as through the operation of an airgun valve, some of the remaining liquid flashes to gas until the pressure is equalized for that temperature.

It's important to understand that CO2 pressure is determined by temperature, not by mechanical compression. If you were to compress gaseous CO2 by mechanical means, it would turn into liquid when the right pressure was reached. The pressure in a 12-gram powerlet remains constant until all the liquid is gone. A powerlet has the same internal pressure as a 10-oz. bulk CO2 tank when both are at the same temperature. Therefore, CO2 guns do not lose velocity as you shoot them until all the liquid is gone and they start to run out of gas.

Also, keep in mind that CO2 is a refrigerant gas. That means it cools when it expands by flashing from liquid to gas. Therefore, when you shoot a CO2 gun rapidly, the gas will cool the gun parts considerably. Because CO2 pressure is based on temperature, the pressure in a CO2 gun will drop if a series of shots are fired in rapid succession. In practical testing, I've seen velocities decrease by more than 100 f.p.s. over a long string of shots. That will affect where the pellet strikes the target unless it's very close to the shooter. So, if you want to shoot accurately with a CO2 gun, do not shoot rapid-fire. With a target pistol, I like to allow at least 15 seconds between shots so the gun's temperature can cycle back to where it was before the shot. But, if you're just plinking, you can shoot faster than that.

DOT regulations require the use of a burst disk in pressure vessels larger than two inches in diameter. The brass nut with the hole in the side contains the burst disk in this bulk CO2 tank. If pressure inside the tank rises above the safety level, the disk ruptures, releasing all the gas inside. That keeps the entire bulk tank from exploding with the force of a bomb.
On a very hot day, CO2 pressure will climb rapidly into the danger region. Where that danger region is, depends on how much liquid is in the pressure vessel. Larger CO2 tanks have pressure-relief devices for safety; so, instead of the whole tank blowing apart like a hand grenade, the burst disk will rupture and exhaust all the gas. When this happens, it's very startling to anyone nearby, and the tank has to be repaired before it will hold CO2 again. Obviously, it's unsafe to leave a CO2 gun or a tank in a closed car on a hot day.

Source: www.pyramydair.com/article/What_About_CO2_December_2003/6

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