Special Ops Paintball: Powder Coating CO2 Tanks??? - Special Ops Paintball

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Powder Coating CO2 Tanks??? Can It Be done??? Is It Safe??? Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Open Sights LLC 

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 10:56 AM

Hello, Folks--

I have several very used CO2 tanks around that are starting to look pretty rough; the factory paint on them is all beat up and the lables are all warning off. I was looking for a good way to clean them up and make them look good again. I was also looking for a sharp-looking way of personalizing them.

So, I was thinking about powder coating them. I was planning on buying a powder coating gun and doing them myself. I do know that I would have to remove the valves first, of course, before curing the powder coating paint at the 400 degress F for 20 minutes that is required. That would not be a problem.

But, before I went too far with my plan, I thought I would run it by you folks on the forum to see what your thoughts were.

So, here's the question. I have several steel and several aluminum CO2 tanks. Can they be powder coated safely??? Would the heat needed to cure the powder coating (400 degrees F for 20 minutes) hurt the strength of the tanks themselves??? I do not want to do it if it will be dangerous in any way.

Thanks in advance for any feedback you can give me.
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#2 User is offline   C9H13NO3 

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 11:05 AM

Many places will not fill or hydro painted/coated/reanodized tanks. It is considered unsafe.
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#3 User is offline   slinkyaroo 

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 11:10 AM

View PostC9H13NO3, on May 24 2008, 02:05 PM, said:

Many places will not fill or hydro painted/coated/reanodized tanks. It is considered unsafe.



True - we must be able to see the markings stamped into the tank .... or tough luck .... Safety first.

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#4 User is offline   C9H13NO3 

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 11:12 AM

The air nazi!
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#5 User is offline   Open Sights LLC 

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 11:51 AM

Thanks, as always, for the feedback of other members.

But, let me better explain the direction of my question. I do appreciate what you two are saying. That is certainly a practical response . . . if I cannot get them hydro tested or worse yet refilled after powder coating my CO2 tanks, that would be pretty unfortunate, to say the least.

But for me, that is not a specific issue, as I have my own small paintball business. So, I can refill my own CO2 tanks. I have two fill stations with 3, 50 lb and 3 20 lb bulk tanks. So fears of not being able to get them refilled is not a major issue UNLESS I were to go play on a pulbic field, which I do not do, virtually at all. I have my own rental field, of sorts.

But anyhow . . .

What I am really asking is "is it unsafe???" "It is unwise???" And, maybe it is. That is what I would love feedback about.

As far as hydro testing . . . that is something that I cannot do, personally. I do not even know where to go locally to have that done. But, I would definitely consider getting that done to my well over 100 CO2 tanks if I should need to, as I do respect safety.

As far being able to read the stamped letters / numbers . . . if I were to completely strip off the old paint (which I would) and then powder coat the tanks (which I only will if it is safe), then you would still be able to read all of the markings, easily.

But, perhaps that is not the point, IF it is still unsafe . . . which is the question.

The safety lables all say slightly different things. But, for the most part, they say that you should not allow the FILLED tank to get over 130 degrees F. And, you should not allow the tank, itself, to get over 350 degrees F, and if you do, you should have it hydro tested afterwards BEFORE refilling. So, my thought was, if I powder coat them at between 350 and 400 degress F, then I could just take them somewhere and have them hydro tested for safety's sake. (Some of my tanks say that after 600 degress F, they should be hydro tested, but some say after 250 degrees F they should be hydro tested. So, they vary some on that point, per company.)

Thanks again so much for your replies. I welcome more, please.
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#6 User is offline   slinkyaroo 

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 12:08 PM

True tanks that were in a fire are usually condemned on the spot. Rehydro is king. If it passes rehydro then you are good. This is how the industry determines a tank's structural integrity. I imagine you will leave the valves alone. Also I hope we are talking steel. Aluninum tanks will warp much easier.

Anno is plating. I don't believe there's any great heat range involved.

Bare in mind that sandblasting is usually involved so Rehydro should always be considered.


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This post has been edited by slinkyaroo: 24 May 2008 - 12:09 PM

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#7 User is offline   Evil Fingers 

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 01:28 PM

Paint your Co2 tanks yourself, its cheaper and safer, but make sure the Stampings and the Lables are not painted over, because if the dates and the info can not be seen, the Rehydro Shop will refuse to do any work...for their Safety.
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#8 User is offline   Piller 

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 02:57 PM

How old are the tanks to begin with? Usually if they're looking beat up they're pretty old. If they're 5 years or older, it's mandatory to get a hydrotesting or it's illegal to refill them.

If you powder coat them, you will definitely need to hydrotest test them afterwards before refilling. Depending on where you get your hydrostatic test, it usually costs at least $20 a tank and in a lot of places it's around $50.

It's generally cheaper to just buy entirely new tanks than it is to get a hydrotest. That would save you from powder coating and hydrotesting. 9oz tanks are $12 and 20oz tanks are $15. Depending on how many you need, you might even to get them cheaper by purchasing in bulk.

Simple paint would be the cheapest route, but it may not look as good as you intended it to, and you do need to stay away from the stamped portion at the top of the tank.

This post has been edited by Piller: 24 May 2008 - 02:59 PM

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#9 User is offline   Open Sights LLC 

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 04:01 PM

Thanks, Folks.

That's all good stuff. For example, I did not know it costs that much to hydro test a tanks. Wow!!!

Thanks again.
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#10 User is offline   ProX 

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 03:35 PM

It is true that is is usually more expensive to re-hydro than to by new when dealing with CO2 tanks.

To your question.. My only concern is centered around the pin valve seal. The high heat could damage that. My suggestion would be this: If you are properly equipped to do so, remove the valve prior to blast and p-coating and re-install afterwards, then re-hydro. It is my opinion that the (relatively speaking) low heat would not be sufficient to damage the tanks.

So, to sum it up - really, if you have a field and mean to do a bunch of tanks, it may be wise to contact a distributer and try to get a deal on new tanks. I would reserve p-coating for a tank that I wanted to do some special color scheme to.
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#11 User is offline   Open Sights LLC 

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 04:02 PM

View PostProX, on May 25 2008, 06:35 PM, said:

It is true that is is usually more expensive to re-hydro than to by new when dealing with CO2 tanks.

To your question.. My only concern is centered around the pin valve seal. The high heat could damage that. My suggestion would be this: If you are properly equipped to do so, remove the valve prior to blast and p-coating and re-install afterwards, then re-hydro. It is my opinion that the (relatively speaking) low heat would not be sufficient to damage the tanks.

So, to sum it up - really, if you have a field and mean to do a bunch of tanks, it may be wise to contact a distributer and try to get a deal on new tanks. I would reserve p-coating for a tank that I wanted to do some special color scheme to.



Thanks, ProX . . . sound advice.

I do have a dealer account with a couple of distributors through my small business. So, maybe I SHOULD just check into replacing the tanks, after all. I will need to think it through a little more . . . in light of the advice I got from the forum.

Thanks, everyone.
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#12 User is offline   UWANNAGO 

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 04:27 PM

www.hydrotester.com

I would email them...they actually know what there talking about and can give you a more educated answer than most ppl here could most likely.

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#13 User is offline   slinkyaroo 

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 04:49 PM

I thought you wanted to do something funky to a few tanks. Like color code to your kit or something. As these guys said there's no economics in paying to recondition a CO2 tank.



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#14 User is offline   sartek 

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 08:02 AM

If you are powdercoating the tank at 400*, then the tank is going to be required to be disposed of. The "safe limit" for 3AL aluminum tanks is around 130*F I believe.

Annodizing, however, just requires a hydrotest afterwords to verify the integrity of the tank.

If you're lucky, you can find a local tester that may give you a bulk rate on testing.
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#15 User is offline   ProX 

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Posted 29 May 2008 - 05:34 PM

View Postsartek, on May 28 2008, 10:02 AM, said:

If you are powdercoating the tank at 400*, then the tank is going to be required to be disposed of. The "safe limit" for 3AL aluminum tanks is around 130*F I believe.

Annodizing, however, just requires a hydrotest afterwords to verify the integrity of the tank.

If you're lucky, you can find a local tester that may give you a bulk rate on testing.

Then how is it that virtually all tanks are p-coated? 130* isn't really anything... They can get that hot just having them outside in the sun.
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