Torching on an AMFO truck?

We've got this truck in the shop because the suspension is basically falling out from under it. I'm rebuilding the drive axles and
suspension away from the truck itself, but once I'm done with them I'll need to cut a lift axle off, rebuild it, and weld it back in. Well, the truck is kind of full of ammonium nitrate and fuel. Plus it has a bunch of oil, dust, dirt, hydraulic fluid, road grime, grease, dead deer, and probably ammonium nitrate dust crusted all over it. So, how dangerous is that crap? I have the option of putting the drive axles back in and telling the owners to leave, empty the truck, then return for the rest of the job. Or, once it's mobile again, just steam clean the holy hell out of it and go back to work. What would you do?
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    Call homeland security? :-) (Unless you know that they have a *good* reason for such a load.)
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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On Sun, 17 Dec 2006 23:06:54 -0600, "B.B."

Personally..Id have it emptied and steam cleaned.
ANFO is pretty stable..but also pretty flammable. And once you get it burning..its pretty nasty stuff to put out.
Google "Texas City Disaster"
Now if you can weld on it without catching anything afire...shrug
Gunner
Political Correctness
A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical liberal minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.
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If you had to ask , you allready know. A good workman gives himself every advantage. I don't even wanna know what your fire marshall or OSHA would tell you. Yeah I know it's probably a mining vehicle but I 'd rather not see pieces of you on the 6 O clock news. B.B. wrote:

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The dangers of AMFO are both overrated and underrated.
1. There are two basic forms that ammonium nitrate is supplied in. One is fertilizers, which are not very good for use as an explosive, because the prills (pellets) are coated to prevent it from absorbing moisture. (this coating also prevents it from absorbing fuel.) The other is specifically designed for use as a cheap explosive and doesn't have this coating, and the prills are slightly different so as to contain about 20% empty space.
2. Ammonium nitrate is an oxidizer, and when transported is placarded as such, not as an explosive etc. Being an oxidizer means that under most conditions it must be mixed with a fuel to burn or explode. If large quantities are confined, it can decompose and explode, an example would be tons of it in a ships hole.
3. Diesel oil, fuel oil, and kerosene are the most common fuels mixed with it to make a cheap commercial explosive. But other things such as molasses, nitro methane, wax, etc can and have been used.
4. AMFO is usually about 92-93% ammonium nitrate with the rest being fuel. AMFO is very hard to detonate, especially with civilian type equipment. With civilian blasting caps a supplemental decanter (usually dynamite) is required. (And even then there are failures.)
5. As ammonium nitrate absorbs water vary easily, especially non-coated type used for explosives. Once it has absorbed moisture it is useless as an explosive.
If the ammonium nitrate and fuel have been mixed for any length of time then it is probably only a fire hazard. Emptying the truck and giving it a quick rinse inside and out with water should eliminate most of the problems.
However plan it this way. If worst comes to worse, (but you do survive), how will you explain this to the insurance company?
I would have the truck emptied and cleaned.
As it is about 4am here and I haven't been asleep yet, I don't know if this makes any sense or not.
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....follows an "expert" dissertation, probably cut'n'pasted from some web site, BECAUSE
it's A _N_ FO -- A(mmonium) N(itrate/) F(uel) O(il) explosive.
LLoyd
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On Wed, 20 Dec 2006 07:50:20 -0500, "Lloyd E. Sponenburgh"

The dissertation was quite good however.
Gunner
Rule #35 "That which does not kill you, has made a huge tactical error"
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What the hell? I said it was 4am and I hadn't been asleep yet. You knew what I meant but instead of pointing out a typographical error, you have to be an asshole about it. And to farther show what a dork you are you then accuse me of cut and paste plagiarism. It is obvious that as you don't have any knowledge of your own, you can't accept that anyone else may know what they are talking about, so you pathetically attempt to reduce them to your level.
By the way do the letters F.O. mean anything to you?
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On Sun, 17 Dec 2006 23:06:54 -0600, B.B.

My first thought is to call or visit your fire department and ask, they probably have some experienced guys who would have some common sense.
i
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They probably have a few guys with common sense and a lot of guys who are anal about regulations they do not understand and some whose authority exceeds their intelligence. Be careful who you talk to ;)
Free men own guns - www.geocities/CapitolHill/5357/ (add .com after geocities)
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B.B. wrote:

Ammonium nitrate is not very dangerous. Fuel oil is not very dangerous. But the mixture of the two is dangerous and becomes more sensitive as it ages. From what you wrote, it sounds as if the two are not mixed. But any ammonium nitrate dust crusted on it should be removed.
Dan
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Nah, not really. ANFO must be detonated by a pretty strong RDX or TNT booster to explode with any violence. The only other thing that can set it off is mass confinement of a burning zone of it with very large quantities of overburdening ANFO.
Still, it's probably quite flammable, if ammonium nitrate and fuel oil or lubricating oil are mixed together.
It's wise to clean the material off - at least grossly - before proceeding to accidentally ignite it in-situ.
LLoyd
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B.B. wrote:

Does ANFO even require a TDG placard?
Pressure wash the area and get'r'done.
If the truck was loaded with cardboard scraps, would you be concerned with lighting them? If so, perhaps the mixture should be removed for the job.
Cheers Trevor Jones
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Check with your local fire inspector. I'm betting he has a stroke.
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Trevor Jones wrote:

AMFO is a class 3 blasting agent. Once it starts burning in large quantities, it may explode, especially in a confined container.
John
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I had an interesting adventure several years ago. I was MIG welding, and a stray spark landed about 10 feet away on what I thought was a 50lb bag of limestone. It wasn't as I soon found out when it started burning like crazy. It was on the bottom shelf of a metal shelving unit. I ran and grabbed a 75 lb dry powder extinguiser. Soon it was empty and the fire was still going. Wound up dragging the whole shelving unit out a bay door. Later I found out the owner who had a green house had stored a 50 Lb. bag of bat guano - mainly ammonium nitrate and some organics.
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On Sun, 17 Dec 2006 23:06:54 -0600, "B.B."

My suggestion? Make sure the tanks are empty, and then clean up the underside of the truck best you can with a pressure washer.
Then make sure everyone in the building knows what's up - on the off chance something Very Bad Starts To Happen they know if you holler RUN! or hit that boater's hand-held air-horn that you have sitting near the exit door that This is Not a Drill. Don't think, just go.
Then get a bunch of extinguishers and a garden hose or two handy. And have a few people hang out in the immediate vicinity on Fire Watch, ready to jump in and put it out ASAP. You'll most likely be too busy concentrating on the welding to see it start.
As others have said, AN and FO (and the two mixed) will burn, but it takes a bit more than just burning to get it to go BOOM! - you need a booster charge to kick it off.
Since you aren't going to be providing that booster charge, there's more hazard of lighting the undercoating, or some fuel vapors from a leaking tank on the vehicle.
--<< Bruce >>--
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