File:Petromax Gas Mantle dubaiescortss.info - Wikimedia Commons
Join Date: Apr ; Location: Chino Hills, CA; Posts: 1, I pre-burned the mantle by lighting it with a burning match all the way around. Most European and US-made mantles that I'm aware of are not radioactive. I see vintage mantles on the bay, and wonder which (if any) were treated likely as the Thorium decay chain includes several highly radioactive I have some of the old Auer Berlin and Petromax mantles. An incandescent gas mantle, gas mantle or Welsbach mantle is a device for generating bright Thorium dioxide was commonly a major component; being radioactive, it has led to concerns about the safety of those involved . Thorium is radioactive and produces the radioactive gas radon as one of its decay products.
This in turn pressurised the paraffin container to force the fuel to the lamp. The "white sock" is the mantle on which the vapour burned, as yet unused. The mantle is a roughly pear -shaped fabric bag, made from silk, ramie -based artificial silk, or rayon. The fibers are impregnated with rare-earth metallic salts; when the mantle is heated in a flame, the fibers burn away, and the metallic salts convert to solid oxides, forming a brittle ceramic shell in the shape of the original fabric.
A mantle glows brightly in the visible spectrum while emitting little infrared radiation. The rare-earth oxides cerium and actinide thorium in the mantle have a low emissivity in the infrared in comparison with an ideal black body but have high emissivity in the visible spectrum.
There is also some evidence that the emission is enhanced by candoluminescencethe emission of light from the combustion products before they reach thermal equilibrium. The mantle aids the combustion process by keeping the flame small and contained inside itself at higher fuel flow rates than in a simple lamp. This concentration of combustion inside the mantle improves the transfer of heat from the flame to the mantle. The mantle shrinks after all the fabric material has burned away and becomes very fragile after its first use.
History[ edit ] For centuries, artificial light has been generated using open flames. Limelight was invented in the s, but the temperature required to produce visible light through black-body radiation alone was too high to be practical for small lights.
In the late 19th century several inventors tried to develop an effective alternative based on heating a material to a lower temperature but using the emission of discrete spectral lines to simulate white light. Many early attempts used platinum - iridium gauze soaked in metal nitratesbut these were not successful because of the high cost of these materials and their poor reliability.
The first effective mantle was the Clamond basket innamed after its inventor. This device was made from a cleverly produced matrix of magnesium oxidewhich did not need to be supported by a platinum wire cage, and was exhibited in the Crystal Palace exhibition of The modern gas mantle was one of the many inventions of Carl Auer von Welsbacha chemist who studied rare-earth elements in the s and who had been Robert Bunsen 's student.
Ignaz Kreidl worked with him on his early experiments to create the Welsbach mantle. These original mantles gave off a green-tinted light and were not very successful. Carl Auer von Welsbach's first company established a factory in Atzgersdorf inbut it failed in InWelsbach received his first patent mentioning thorium, March 5,US patentAfter introducing this new mantle commercially init quickly spread throughout Europe.
The gas mantle remained an important part of street lighting until the widespread introduction of electric lighting in the early s. As the heating continues, the nitrites finally decompose into a fragile mesh of solid oxides of very high melting point. Sat, 21 Jul I just put it on my list of things to buy. A couple of tips. The chinese do no post-machining cleanup. You'll find chips, cutting oil and probably a random fortune cookie in the fuel tank.
Be SURE to flush the tank until what you pour out is clear.
Therefore you have to take the pump plunger out and soak the leather diaphragm in light machine oil for a couple of days before it will work. If you get the tire valve adapter, you won't have to worry too much about that.
I keep my pump plunger in a baggie soaking in oil just in case. There is a screw clamp that holds the air mixer to the head assembly that gets loose several times before everything finally beds in. When it gets loose, it lets the burner assembly flop around and break mantles.
That is what I mentioned before. You need to stay right on top of that screw for the first dozen firings or so. I got in a habit of lifting the lid and checking the screw each time I lit the lantern until I found it tight several times in a row. It's tight and secure. Binding mine tightly to the rig with the hook at the top and the strong magnet at the bottom completely eliminated mantle breakage.
I initially fixed up this stowage method with the colemans because even with the good mantles, a sharp impact would break them. Has anyone shelled out the bucks for a "Petromax" lantern?
Fri, 16 Nov I have several and love 'em. No need to pay the inflated prices at petromax. The name and design has been licensed to a red chinese company that makes them under several names. The lantern comes with the reflector shade at no extra cost. Their web site is: The shraeder valve adapter replaces the fairly ineffective piston pump with a shraeder valve so that the lantern can be pumped up with a tire pump I use a small bicycle pump.
When burning kerosene or other heavy oil, it takes quite a bit of air for the starting burner. The built-in pump will wear you out.
Three or 4 strokes on the tire pump while starting does the trick. The stainless steel mantle holder replaces the stock ceramic unit. The ceramic unit slowly sheds powder until it finally fails.
Gas mantle - Wikipedia
The stainless holders in my lanterns look like new after over a year's regular, every-weekend use. It is important to put some high temperature nickel based anti-seize compound on the holder before screwing it to the mixer tube.
The heat shield is a piece of sheet stainless steel that sits at the bottom of the globe housing and reflects heat away from the tank and valve assembly. Also keep mantle debris away from the valve. The reduced heat makes the valve packing last much longer plus the tank never gets much more than warm to the touch. I recommend buying lots of mantles and globes.
The mantle usually fails by getting a hole in one side. If you don't catch it very quickly, the jet of flame from the hole will quickly devitrify the globe where it contacts the flame.
File:Petromax Gas Mantle Unused.JPG
As the globe cools, it cracks through the devit area. The globe is not a stressed member as on a Coleman so it takes only a second to change it. Mon, 19 Nov Almost bought one 'cuz it was so cute.
Almost looks like a toy. The mantle is significantly smaller than the so I'd expect much less light. The tank is quite small too. As my main lantern sI'd certainly stay with the s but the might be nifty for a spot filler or if you're tight of space or need a very portable unit. I use them at home during power outages, and occassionally camping.
My only caution about the Petromax is that since lighting it is more involved, it might not be the best choice for casual use. Even with coleman fuel, the warm-up burner must be burned for a bit before lighting the mantle burner. If you don't mind the extra steps, the lantern will work fine for this application. One other thing to consider.
Neither the Colemans that I had previously nor the Petromax units particularly like being toted around in a vehicle. It's just a given for me that I'm going to lose a mantle on each trip - if I don't, I consider myself lucky. I mount my lanterns in my motorhome via a hook to hold the bail and a NIB super magnet to securely hold the body against the MH body.
Actively seeking thorium mantles
This has greatly reduced the incidence of mantle breakage but not eliminated it. This requires a sock-type mantle with a hole in each end.
I don't know if the mantle will fit the petromax or not. The Primus might end up being a better lantern for off-road use. They are identical and all parts interchange with one exception. Both are made by the same chinese company. The petromax has a brass tank while the Santrax has a chrome plated steel one. I prefer the steel because I can use the super magnet to hold the lantern in place in my RV. Did I just not look hard enough?
Their web site has a tiny fraction of the stuff they sell. They have acres of stuff. Just get their phone number off the web site and give 'em a call. Fri, 19 Apr They were produced in the same chinese factory. Getting in on this late George, you're absolutely correct.
I have a very old Petromax real german one lantern. I have disassembled both down as far as they can be disassembled, mainly to see if the BS on the Britelyt web site have any validity. I can find absolutely no difference in any of the parts between the two except that the Santrax has a steel tank. I prefer the steel tank because it lets me hold the lantern steady against the wall of my motorhome using a couple of magnets.
Neither can I tell any difference in operation between the two lanterns. My BS alarm going full tilt, I searched around and found the Chinese factory that makes all of these. They have a web site. Subject to negotiation, of course.
A tidy profit for Britelyt, wouldn't you say? Here's a page that describes the history of Petromax and the current status of the trademark, etc. BTW2, Mill and Mine sells mantles in 3-packs for less than a dollar. If you really want a genuine Petromax lantern, here's an outfit that sells WWII vintage mil surplus lanterns for about what Sam's gets: Since the Wenzel is identical to all the other Petromax lanterns, it is also a multi-fuel unit.
The only thing I can figure is Sam's lawyers insisted it be described as a single fuel unit for liability considerations. A very real consideration is that the average idiot isn't capable of tuning the lantern to each fuel so they just set it to kerosene and label it as such. It will if you tune it by adjusting the air shutter. Just to see if it would actually work, I've run everything from cotton seed fryer oil to nitromethane DON'T try this!
NM will detonate inside the tank if heated sufficiently and found everything that would flow through the plumbing would make light. I did have to heat the generator with a handheld butane torch before the heavy oil would work.
That's easy to fix. Go to your friendly local Co-op or Tractor Supply and get some milkstone remover. Degrease it fully using a volatile solvent like MEK or acetone. Fill the tank with a near-boiling mix of about Let it soak for several hours, keeping it hot with a hot plate or equiv.
Rinse with baking soda and then clean water. The phosphoric will remove all the rust and will passify the steel with a phosphate coating. The reaction is self-limiting so you can't harm the thing by leaving it in there too long. The Santrax units come filled with rust and manufacturing spooge so I give each one this treatment before ever firing it off for the first time. I've either sold or given away probably 2 dozen lanterns so I know this procedure to work well. I hate paying too much.
Even given that they probably clean out all the spooge, the price is still way too rich for what you get.Shed Science, Thorium mantles, Radium dials and uranium glass.
I have little patience for ignorant people. More on this in a minute. And frankly, even if there were Einsteins involved, ferchristsake, it's just a friggin' lantern! This ain't rocket science! I wouldn't be that harsh on the quality.
FWIW, my old one doesn't look any better. The only real complaint I have about the chinese ones is the spooge in the tank. If they bothered to clean the tank before assembly, I'd be happy as a clam.
I hate radioactive stuff. Do you hate yourself? You're vastly more radioactive than the mantles. As is much of the food you eat compliments of C14 and K Hope you don't burn any campfires.
Trees concentrate a variety of natural and man-made isotopes. Burning the wood concentrates them more. I enjoy doing a little demonstration where I stick a GM probe down into a bucket of ashes and startle the observer with the activity. No one can "disclose" risks that exist solely within your mind so there is no fault here.
If you'd like to discuss your fear of radioactivity, as a retired nuclear engineer with a health-physics specialty, I'd be happy to accommodate.
But I don't deal with phobias. I have proven to my satisfaction via testing in my lab that the yttrium mantles are NOT equivalent to the thorium ones. I consider the thoriated mantles a plus. BTW, the mantles that Britelyte currently sells are still slightly radioactive.
Probably trace impurities since all those elements have similar chemical properties. My main complaint with both the Britelyte and the Santrax mantles is that they are very much more fragile than either the coleman or the Primus mantles. I discovered that by using a Primus mantle available from Sears on my Santrax lanterns, I can get almost a whole season on one mantle. I'm lucky to get more than a couple of trips on the stock mantles. Here's some more fuel for the flames.
I've bought several accessories from Britelyte. The tire valve adapter is a godsend but after the first one, I simply bought a metal valve stem from my friendly local tire store and made my own.
The heat shield that goes in the bottom of the lantern works well and IMHO, should be standard equipment.