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The way my car was smashed last week, I wanted to know, if I had a bottle of NOS back there wouldn't it have exploded from the impact? Or are those bottles specially designed not to break or leak easliy.

NOS is usually located in trunk, my car's trunk was totally hit hard. Amps, wiring, whatever I had back there stripped off bolts and flew to other side of trunk.
 

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A puncture in a NOS bottle wouldn't necessarily cause an explosion. If the bottle were impacted and a hole driven into it, the NOS would escape at high pressure, in a manner similar to opening the valve. N2O itself isn't flammable.

There are some concerns though:

1) Although N2O isn't flammable, it is fairly easily dissociated into N2 and O, freeing large amounts of oxygen which is just looking for something to oxidize. For example, if a fire follows the crash, the escaping N2O can make the fire alot hotter and more intense until the N2O is depleted. This can have secondary effects like igniting the interior of the car(s), causing a spread of the fire etc.

2) Although a small puncture probably won't cause an "explosion", a serious enough hit could rupture the tank badly enough that it would catastrophically fail, perhaps bursting and blowing an end-cap off. This would likely cause what looked like an explosion (like that link to the Maxima that suffered a bursted N2O bottle due to overheating...). Look carefully at that picture and note that nothing is burned, just blown away due to the overpressure.

3) If a fire does ensue but the bottle is intact, it may overheat and present a bursting hazard. Firefighter and police safety may be jeopardized if they don't know it's there.

These (and others) are the reasons why, in some areas, it's illegal to mount a pressurized bottle like N2O in the car without permits and external markings (like those diamond-shaped signs on trucks carrying tanks).
 

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so N2O itself isn't flammable? I bet a lot of people got the wrong impression about it after seeing the fast and the furious.
 

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You all need to remember, hollywood will "exaggerate" things to make them more exciting/entertaining for the viewers, otherwise you would not watch the movie, and become bored with it, which is why the tank exploded in the movie. would you think the sequence was exciting if the tank didnt blow up, and all you saw was a bunch of gas leaking out of a tank, or would it be more exciting if VA-BOOM! a car blows up and flips over because of the explosion with people dying and blood flying everywhere, and an arm lands on someone elses car hood with a shower of blood and other assorted giblets? i think number #2 would be more exciting for me!

how about you?

just remember... hollywood is out to entertain, not to present everyday real facts.

-meaty
 
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