This page has been robot translated, sorry for typos if any. Original content here.

Filling tires with helium gas (myths and description)

Evenly all the rich motorists of the capital began to switch to gas together. First, this winter "technology from Formula 1" massively powdered brains and the average Kiev motorist. Changing summer tires for winter, almost everyone did not regret 20-140 hryvnia (depending on the "brand" of the product) and also filled the tires with wonder gas.

"The introduction of helium instead of ordinary air will give a gain of two to three grams of weight on the wheel"

Harsh auto magazines prefer to skip the slippery gas issue for tires. Say, research on this topic was not conducted - so great hello! The least severe publish sensational materialchiki, where, for example, they write that "nitrogen pumped wheels, this is a unique gas that does not change the pressure when heated." there is no other information, and the people have to believe to the basemen of tire workers and marketing campaign posters, currently hanging on all the service stations.

- And what is incomprehensible? Here, briefly, the molecules of a "tire" gas are larger than air molecules, the grimy professionals explain, because the tire is not so lively lowered.

Judging by the annotations, nitrogen, argon, neon, helium and other useful gases are a part of a wondrous "tire" gas. The abstract is written intelligibly and clearly, as culinary recipes: nitrogen is taken so that the tire does not oxidize, neon and helium - for a smooth ride, also to improve wheel damping and maintain constant pressure. Argon is added to the finished "dish" so that the gas mixture does not fly out through the damage to the tire and the loose places of the tire and disk.

So, the first advantage of know-how we have already comprehended with you: “fat” molecules get stuck in microcracks, like dead cockroaches, and the tire holds the pressure better. The second superiority of supergas is less dense than air. This means that the wheel becomes much lighter (some tire technicians say that a whole half a kilo), and the tire is softer. 3rd plus of the newest product - when the tire is warming up (and in the summer at high speeds it can heat up to eighty degrees), the pressure in it remains former. For example, on the website of one of the largest Kiev service centers, we read: "Corporate gas provides constant tire pressure independently of driving speed and ambient temperature."

- Did you teach physics? - professionals are blowing. “Gas is inert, in the sense that it’s all a bimbo. That does not expand.

The super gas still has a lot of necessary parameters: it improves the handling, stability of the car, reduces the braking distance and noise from the contact of tires with the road surface. However, as it turns out, even the know-how dealers themselves could not answer.

The case sincerely smacks of aferism, but you still don't want to believe in it. After all, advertising of supergas was hung not only by the most famous Kiev service centers, but also by supermarket chains. These are not small swindlers selling at the District Buttered Oil, but extremely decent companies. In search of truth, I turned to experts.

“The life of a rubber is absolutely incomparable with its corrosion resistance, ” says Mark Boroday, an autotechnical expert at KNIISE (Kiev Scientific Research Institute of Forensic Examination). - Traditionally, the tire serves two to three years. If we rode on it for about 100 years - indeed, during this time oxygen in the air would eat rubber. Unlike inert gas. But note that, apart from the internal action on rubber, there is still a more brutal air outside. Now, on the pretext of the so-called softness of gas: all gases, with extremely rare exceptions (there is no such gas in nature), have a similar hardness. They transfer the load on themselves, it is an absolutely compressible substance. Therefore, it is impossible to talk that one gas is softer and the other is tougher. Yes, the introduction of helium instead of ordinary air will give a gain of two to three grams of weight on the wheel. This is probably the main thing when it comes to setting the latest speed record. Even for Formula 1, the effect of the use of inert gases is negligible. They rub off 50 grams of rubber in one ring!

Even more categorical dean of the Faculty of Physics of the Kiev State Institute. Shevchenko Dr. Leonid Bulavin. After reading a bunch of marketing announcements and explanations, the corresponding member of the State Academy of Sciences said:

- The whole story with the injection of tires with inert gases is sucked from the finger and cannot give a real effect or benefit to the ordinary car. The profit can be calculated in some hundredths of a percent ... "Net profit from the sale of supergas - from 500 to 3000 percent"

Alexander Pyatnichko, the deputy head of science at the Gas Institute of the State Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, was surprised by the appearance of the following:

- It's all a continuous deception! To begin with, rubber is a rubber with carbon. In general, carbon is permeable to all types of gases. This means that even through an intact tire there is an insignificant leak of gas, which it is pumped. But, if you fill the tires with pure nitrogen, the leak will only increase! Apart from the pressure difference, a nonequilibrium nitrogen concentration factor will be added to the inside of the tire and outside. Helium and other gases flow from the tire even faster than nitrogen. In principle, the size of the molecules affects the rate of leakage, but the size of the molecules in the listed gases differs very slightly. Now about maintaining constant pressure. With increasing temperature, it will grow in the same way in all gases. The compressibility factor of all the listed gases is approximately the same. In nitrogen and air, it is generally similar. The only benefit from inert gas is to slow down the corrosion of rubber. The fact is that in the production of inert gases are subjected to the actions of the deepest drying. And there is no water - no corrosion. But exactly the same result can be achieved if you put a dehydration on an ordinary compressor pumping air. Oxygen without water will not oxidize. I allow that insignificant benefit from inert gas wheels can be on Formula One. An inert gas in tires will not bring any tangible benefit to the ordinary car and its owner.

Meanwhile, the sale of gas for tires has already turned into a harsh business. As the owner of the metropolitan network of tire stations confessed to me, all the "tire" gas we sell is in the main nitrogen. It is purchased at oxygen factories for nothing - 38 hryvnia per bottle, which is enough to refuel 50 wheels. And for swapping the 1st wheel on the tire take 5 to 35 hryvnia (previously taken, and 50 hryvnia). Net profit - from 500 to 3 thousand percent!

- But we are not swindlers, - the owner of the network grieved (by the way, a physicist by training). - After all, the "tire" gas is harmless. If he did worse, that would have been a scam!

The company of my newest acquaintance also gives to other service stations and tire sets English and Italian installations (about 3 thousand dollars) for the production of nitrogen from the air. Why buy cylinders from dealers, when you can and “make up” the supergas yourself?

“It's true, to say how nitrogen goes unspotted in these plants is extremely difficult,” the merchant admitted. - Besides, it is necessary to change the filters often, otherwise installations will quickly pump the same air into the wheels.

Some savvy tire technicians have long since realized that there really is no use of gas. Inquisitive motorists have already seen the "master rationalizers" pumping ordinary air under the guise of supergas. Lukavtsy staged a shield for pumping in such a way that the hose with a gas "mixture" goes somewhere inside the tire building. if you closely follow where it ends, it turns out that the hose is connected to the pipe coming from the compressor that pumps ... ordinary air. I think it is extremely funny to look at the inhabitants of our planet who buy air for you at 20 hryvnia per wheel ...

“But what a scam that is,” the network owner smiled, “if almost all people after gas pumping feel an improvement.” In addition, they get on the wheels colored caps.

The most wonderful thing about this story is that almost all motorists have taken the side of the "gas-workers". They sincerely argue that the machine and the truth began to drive softer. But to understand this paradox is not obliged to physicists or vehicles, but rather psychologists. People are prone to suggestion, often turning into self-suggestion. And the master, and the director of the SRT claim: "We pumped gas - and the machine began to drive softer." Softer, softer, softer ... A man sits in the car, and it seems to him that the suspension really behaves softer. But remember how the machine suddenly becomes faster and sportier when you get behind the wheel in high spirits. And how barely drags the engine when you're out of sorts ...