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Published on November 21, 2005

Mail Call, Nov. 21

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Opinion

Nitrogen has many benefits


I wish to comment on Peggy Fisher's column in the Oct. 10 issue, in which she talks at length about the problems that affect aluminum truck wheels in all types of service.


In that article, she mentions that moisture/corrosion are monsters and that these two ogres affect not only the wheels, but the valves and all other components that make up the complete wheel assembly.


Mine is not a complaint about what was said but about what she neglected to say.


All of the problems Ms. Fisher described—with the exception of rim flange wear—can be directly attributed to moisture/rust/corrosion, all of which can be removed from the equation, simply and effectively, through the use of nitrogen inflation.


I have read articles over the years by Ms. Fisher that have touched on nitrogen's benefits. Perhaps the time has come when she and your publication should devote some serious time to this subject. The jury is now in. More people, at every level, are recommending the use of nitrogen as an inflation gas.


If one or more of the problems on which Ms. Fisher touched can be corrected by the use of nitrogen, that would be a tremendous benefit and would add to the already proven fact of increased mileage and reduced down time, which nitrogen users now enjoy.


Everard G. Scott


President


Harmony Hall Inc.,


Margate, Fla.


Editor's Note: We asked Peggy Fisher to comment on Mr. Scott's letter. Here's what she had to say:


“Inflating tires with nitrogen will certainly eliminate the moisture carried in air inside the tire, which can corrode wheels and valve hardware. However, nitrogen is not a panacea that replaces other good maintenance practices. For example, water left inside a tire will still rust a wheel even if nitrogen is used. Salt and chloride compounds will still attack wheels, too. So it's important, no matter what inflation medium is used, to perform good maintenance practices that eliminate or protect against all sources of corrosion. And while nitrogen does not permeate the tire liner as fast as air does, tires should be checked regularly to discover if they've lost pressure due to things such as punctures, cuts and leaking wheels and valve stems. I hope to write again about using nitrogen for truck tire inflation. As soon as data are in from fleets that are evaluating its use, you'll read about it in Tire Business.”

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