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Thread: Nitrogen filled tyres

  1. #1
    Regular Member Ste's Avatar
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    Vehicle : Jaguar XF 3.0D V6

    Trim : Black

    Engine : 3.0D V6

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    Default Nitrogen filled tyres

    I remember reading a post a while ago about filling the tyres with nitrogen instead of normal air.

    Whilst driving around recently I have been thinking about this and pondered the difference between nitrogen and air filled tyres. I have to think of something to pass the time I am in the car to work and back everyday.
    So here are my thoughts.

    I reckon that each tyre will hold approx 42 litres of air at 1 bar.

    Tyre size 215/55R16, therefore volume is ((((215x0.55)x2)+((16x25.4))/2)^2)-(((16x25.4)/2)^2)x PIx215 /1,000,000 = 42 litres.

    If the pressure inside the tyre is about 30 PSI (2.1 Bar) then total volume of gas going into the tyre would be about 85 litres.

    Bearing in mind that the air is about 80% nitrogen, so difference of 17 litres is Oxygen, etc.


    Can any one tell me why this would make any difference to anything???

    Avogadros constant would define how many molecules would be present in the tyre, so the difference in mass would be purely related to atomic number, as both gases exist as a 2 atom molecule. ie O2 and N2. So N2 would be 14 and O2 would be 16. And both could be considered ideal gases at the temperature and pressures, then P1xV1 / T1 = P2xV2 / T2. So no differences here.

    The total mass difference of the gas would be less than 3%. And the difference in wheel / tyre mass would be negligible. So unsprung mass would be practically the same, so no change in handling performance and suspension performance.

    So please explain why people think it makes a difference, enough to pay the extra to fill with nitrogen?


    (Obviously this calculation is strictly not totally accurate, as deflection of the tyre takes place, pressure increases with temp, tyre walls are not straight and have thickness. But is shows the principle)


    Yes I am sad. Just thought I would share my mad ramblings with you all.
    Please put me out of my misery.

  2. #2
    Ex Vec-C Admin & Founder Bainie's Avatar
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    I think the theory is that the gas doesn`t leak out through the tyre wall & valve the same as air does, therefore keeping the pressures correct.

    I could be wrong though ...

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    I thought it was something to do with the moisture content of air v the lack of moisture in pure N2. As no moisture is present in the N2 you get a more stable and predictable tyre pressures. If an unknown amount of water was added to a tyre using normal air, you wouldn't know by how much the water vapour would expand by and hence you wouldn't know the tyre pressure at operating temperatures.

    I would have said it was only really important in a motorsport arena but......

    Moral is make sure you fill your tyres on a day with v low humidity.

    Andy

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    This is a question for 'Phatty' I reckon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ste
    Whilst driving around recently I have been thinking about this and pondered the difference between nitrogen and air filled tyres. I have to think of something to pass the time I am in the car to work and back everyday.
    dear god!
    how long do you drive for??

    but anyways, when i was given the sales training for this i was told that it is to do with the Nitrogen keeping a constant pressure throughout varying temps, due to it being an inert gas.
    thats the main benefit anyway - (noticed more by people in motorsport)

    Edit: for anybody interested in a better explanation check here
    Thats a piece of literature i used to keep to hand for those 'know it all' customers
    Last edited by Phatty; 12th January 2006 at 15:13.

  6. #6
    Regular Member nutron's Avatar
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    We either use Nitrogen or NATO dry air in our aircraft wheels but only nitrogen in accumulators. So I suspect that it won't make sufficient diffrence in an every day car to be worth while if an aircraft doesn't need Nitrogen filled tyres.

  7. #7
    Regular Member Doug-SRidirect's Avatar
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    I use the air from the whispered breath of a nymph to inflate my tyres. Harder to get hold of then Nitrogen (in Hemel Hempstead), but not as difficult to find as virgin’s breath.

    Anything else just won’t do.

    Doug

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    LOL, where can you get that from, sounds good!

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug-SRidirect
    I use the air from the whispered breath of a nymph to inflate my tyres. Harder to get hold of then Nitrogen (in Hemel Hempstead), but not as difficult to find as virgin’s breath.

    Anything else just won’t do.

    Doug

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    Quote Originally Posted by nutron
    So I suspect that it won't make sufficient diffrence in an every day car to be worth while if an aircraft doesn't need Nitrogen filled tyres.
    your quite right in saying it doesn't make much of a difference.
    for road users the main benefit is really the fact that it doesn't 'leak' through the seals, valves etc.
    meaning you don't have to top-up your tyre's as much.

    the main reason for using it in car tyre's is for motorsport where the heat can get to a tyre very quickly. using normal air the heat increases the pressure and can create tyre problems (i.e. less grip etc)
    whereas nitrogen doesn't fluctuate in pressure when under heat.
    thats why nitrogen has gotten a lot mor popular with the race guys

  10. #10
    Regular Member Jamie's Avatar
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    Nitrogen is used in aircraft tyres (all airliners etc...) as it is inert and does not suffer from extremes of temperature, also it is non flammable, where as normal air would fuel a fire due to oxygen content.

    Just a useless bit of trivia I learnt on Discovery Channel that I thought I'd share!!!!!

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