1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber
    firefighterMV's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Bellingham, WA, USA
    Posts
    45

    Default Compressed gas struts

    So I had received some training in the past and it involved actually cutting the compressed gas struts, but I cannot remember the positioning and location of the cuts to be safe. Anyone have any insight? I have personally done it with no injury and virtually no violent gas release. I believe the idea was to leave the struts attached and cut the actual gas chamber and that would pinch it enough to slowly release pressure without being a big enough opening to shoot the rod. This is obviously more for extrication than car fire scenarios.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    77

    Default

    Hi

    I would not advise cutting the gas strut/chamber whilst under pressure. There is a real risk of serious injury from flying projectiles.

    Most gas struts are fitted with a retaining clip at each end, this just needs to be removed with a small screw driver etc and the strut can safely be removed in one bit.

    If the strut is extended so there is no pressure in the chamber i would cut the steel rod and not the chamber.

    Why cut through a pressurised strut when there is no need, you will be putting yourself and others at an un acceptable risk.

    If you have no other option, but to cut it you will have to put into place safety measures to prevent injury.

    Hope this helps

    John

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Ft Worth, Tx
    Posts
    397

    Default

    I highly discourage cutting any gas strut; this is a very dangerous practice. I have seen what you are talking about, they cut just deep enough to cause it to start leaking and allow it to bleed out but, who knows how far is too far, when the hydraulics is doing the cutting. I personally can not dream of a situation were we would be forced to cut the cylinder end. The only way this could be none is for the door to be in the open position and if you had to cut the strut the solid shaft end would be totally exposed. I do know that some vans such as the 1989 Chrysler mini van has both ends bolted rather than the normal nylon ball & socket but, you can still cut the shaft end and leave the cylinder hanging.

    I have been working about three months on a situation that was sent to me from Canada were a gas strut actually exploded on a 2007 Pruis hatch door for no apparent reason. The man was simply backing out of his garage. The strut exploded so violently it broke the back glass, made a hole in the metal door frame, bent the side of the hatch door, bent the roof of the car, then exited out between the hatch door frame and quarter panel, hitting the garage door hard enough to bent a steel bracket on the door frame, stopping the door from operating.
    I have pretty well found what happened we are now trying to pen point why it happened. I talked with Ron Moore this week about it. We are going to try to recreate this and see what caused this.
    I will post it on this thread as soon as we find out.

    If these struts can do that much damage and I have the pictures to prove that it did, then I would not want to be around when some one cut one, just to say that they could.
    As most know I have dealt with these very extensively when involved in fire. They are very dangerous and should be treated with caution.
    Last edited by LeeJunkins; 08-27-2009 at 09:53 PM.
    http://www.midsouthrescue.org
    Is it time to change our training yet ?

  4. #4
    MembersZone Subscriber
    rmoore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1998
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    815

    Default

    OK. Here's the deal. It is NOT recommended, advised, encouraged, or otherwise promoted for rescue personnel to intentionally cut through a pressurized strut-type unit on a vehicle. That's the bottom line. If you do this at an incident or in training and something goes wrong, then you're negligent.

    So, with that understood, what do we do at a crash scene when let's say we're assigned to remove the roof and the vehicle is an SUV or a hatchback.

    The two tactics that work best involve either;

    1) opening the liftgate or hatchback and cutting the roof pillar beneath the now extended and "relaxed" strut or

    2) breaking out the rear glass and disconnecting one end of the closed strut so it expands normally. Then cut the roof pillar without cutting the strut.

    Where the confusion might come from when a fire officer or a vehicle rescue instructor says its' "OK" to cut a closed strut is the fact that the strut is two distinctly different parts; the cylinder and the solid rod. If the strut were taken off the vehicle and expanded, yes, our tools could cut through the solid metal rod end of the strut. I still however will not endorse ever advising or training firefightrs that it is "OK" to cut through the larger, fluid-filled and pressurized cylinder of the strut. Don't mess with the sleping giant! You might not like what happens when you do.
    Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
    www.universityofextrication.com

  5. #5
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    635

    Default

    Always peek before you pry or cut. Best advice...don't cut the struts.
    Developer and Sr. Presenter, Team Xtreme
    BIG RIG RESCUE

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    MetalMedic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    The Home of Smucker's Jelly
    Posts
    1,266

    Default

    Let me throw a wrinkle into the scenario... since an SUV is something that is likely to roll over, what if you find a patient is entangled with a pressurized strut? Is there a "safer" procedure to dismantle one that makes it less likely to create a worse problem?
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

  7. #7
    Forum Member
    MetalMedic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    The Home of Smucker's Jelly
    Posts
    1,266

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MetalMedic View Post
    Let me throw a wrinkle into the scenario... since an SUV is something that is likely to roll over, what if you find a patient is entangled with a pressurized strut? Is there a "safer" procedure to dismantle one that makes it less likely to create a worse problem?
    Oh my.... you mean no one has a solution to this one? Actually, I am amazed that no one on here has come across this situation.
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

  8. #8
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    77

    Default

    Hey

    A gas strut is a hazard, what do we do with hazards ? we manage them!!

    As i said open the tail gate remove the retaining clip and remove the whole strut safely in one piece, risk now gone

    I am surprised this issue is causing so many concerns.

    If you have to cut the tail gate and you can not get to or remove the struts then you can cover the ejection path with a sheet or strap down the metal to hold it in place so that it is not projected out under pressure after the cut is made.

    if the strut can be relaxed / extended there is no risk in cutting the exposed piston bit with either bolt croppers or hydraulics.

    Hope this helps

    john

  9. #9
    Forum Member
    MetalMedic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    The Home of Smucker's Jelly
    Posts
    1,266

    Default

    Maybe I didn't make my alleged scenario very clear. Imagine a SUV rollover with unsecured occupants. During the roll the rear door, with the gas strut, comes open and one of these struts entangles an occupant. Now, how do you make this thing as safe as possible to free this victim?
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

    "People don't care what you know... until they know that you care." - Scott Bolleter

  10. #10
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    77

    Default

    Hi

    Depending on the severity of the foot entanglement, is the strut extended?

    Remove the retaining clips at each end and simply remove the strut.

    If there are no retaining clips and the strut is extended cut the shiny piston with bolt croppers etc and remove, if you cut one end off the other can be levered off the other end with ease.

    Hope this helps

    John

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Oxygen vs. Compressed Air
    By Engine6SAFD in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 56
    Last Post: 08-27-2009, 11:14 PM
  2. Compressed Gas Struts
    By LeeJunkins in forum University of Extrication
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-15-2009, 12:48 AM
  3. compressed foam
    By oledriver in forum Apparatus Innovation
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-04-2004, 06:00 PM
  4. Compressed Air Foam
    By dghaney in forum Firefighters Forum
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-21-2002, 08:09 AM
  5. Compressed gas cylinders
    By mdetloff@auburnhills.org in forum University of Extrication
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-31-2001, 11:52 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Click here to log in or register