Nitrogen in Aircraft Tires | How does Nitrogen Help Planes land?
How does Nitrogen Help Planes land?
At Abdullah Hashim Industrial Gases & Equipment, one of our standard products is Nitrogen. Some facts about Nitrogen:
- Nitrogen (N₂) is a molecule that constitutes 78% of the air we breathe.
- Nitrogen has a boiling point of -195.8°C, at atmospheric pressure, and a melting point of -210°C. Also, if Nitrogen is compressed, it can turn into a solid without cooling.
- It is a colorless, odorless, and inert gas.
- Nitrogen is valued both as a gas for its inert properties and a liquid for cooling and freezing.
Virtually any industry can benefit from its unique properties, and this article highlights how nitrogen is used to inflate aircraft tires.
The process of separating Nitrogen directly from the air:
- Nitrogen can be produced industrially by the fractional distillation of air in a cryogenic air separation unit.
- This process separates liquid Nitrogen directly from the air, as the process makes use of the different temperatures that allow nitrogen to turn into a liquid and separate from the air.
- Using the same method, Argon and Oxygen are also produced.
The Usage of AHG’s Nitrogen in Aircraft Tires:
Air transport is one of the fastest modes of public transport which connects international boundaries. Many people rely on this mode of transport and place their trust in the aircraft to get them to their destination safely. AHG plays a role in ensuring the safety of all passengers by supplying the Nitrogen used to inflate the tires.
Some relevant facts about Aircrafts:
- During normal operation, aircraft’s tires are subjected to extreme forces.
- The average weight of a commercial passenger airplane is 85,000 kilograms (187,000 pounds).
- The average speed of an airplane mid-flight is 830 kilometers per hour (515 miles per hour).
- Mid-flight, airplane tires are exposed to temperatures of around negative 50 degrees Celsius.
- During take-off and landings, airplane tire temperatures can reach almost 200 degrees Celsius.
The advantages of using Nitrogen in Airplane Tires:
- When landing, the strong friction of the runway and the brakes mean that the tires undergo extreme temperatures. Even during taxi and take-off, the material load is enormous due to the weight and high speeds. The tires are filled with nitrogen to prevent fires from the extreme heat and pressure.
- Air is humid, therefore it contains water. At heights of several thousand meters, the temperatures drop to around negative 50 degrees Celsius. Tires filled with air would freeze at this height. At high altitudes, however, nitrogen does not change as it only changes from a gas state to a liquid state at around negative 170 degrees Celsius.
- Oxygen diffuses through rubber much faster than nitrogen. This means that tires filled with 95% nitrogen (the standard percentage of nitrogen gas for inflation purposes) will maintain pressure longer. This leads to less maintenance, which lowers costs.
- At elevated temperatures, oxygen can react with rubber. Oxidized rubber is weaker than non-oxidized rubber, and weaker tires are not preferred. Therefore, nitrogen can further decrease maintenance costs.
- Tires operating with correct pressure are less prone to premature wear and less heat generation, which means lower operating costs during ground operations. Higher tire temperatures increase the risk of tire tread delamination or blowout. Apart from the safety concerns, tire fragments can cause damage to the aircraft structure, get sucked into the engine, and almost definitely cause stress on the landing gear due to uneven loading.
For almost 70 years, Abdullah Hashim Industrial Gases & Equipment has been supplying the Saudi Arabian market with Industrial and Medical gases. AHG have a large fleet of over two hundred vehicles that transport our products across the Kingdom, and our continuously expanding list of branches are scattered across the Kingdom to ensure maximum coverage within the country. However, some of our customers require a fit-for-purpose solution to match their specific requirement or to overcome logistical hurdles that can impact their supply. This is where AHG and AirProducts, our international partners, can proudly say that we have extensive experience in providing our customers with customized solutions that provide their business with their exact requirements.