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#175968 - 07/10/09 07:53 PM Re: WetFire Tinder - Foil Packets Coming Apart [Re: Doug_Ritter]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
Doug,

I am seeing more than a trend here.

A retailer who shall remain nameless is a friend of mine. They just went back and pulled a sample of the UST WetFire Tinder from individual packs, and both the hard and soft side survival kits UST sells.

All of them had packaging failures.

One of the summer employees is a budding chemical engineer (Blast Jr maybe?), and he commented that is seems like the contents of the product were reacting adversely to the packaging (NO REALLY???).


Sounds like you might want to alienate the UST folks again.
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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#175969 - 07/10/09 08:03 PM Re: WetFire Tinder - Foil Packets Coming Apart [Re: Desperado]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3556
Loc: Spring, Texas
Quote:
he commented that is seems like the contents of the product were reacting adversely to the packaging


That was my first thought as I read this. The hydrocarbon/oil material is probably dissolving glue used to seal the foil packet. If it is mylar rather than aluminum foil a similar degradation is probably taking place. I think I have some of these stashed away. I'll take a look at them and see what I can figure out.

-Blast
_________________________
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Wild Edibles Blog
I miss OBG.

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#175971 - 07/10/09 08:27 PM Re: WetFire Tinder - Foil Packets Coming Apart [Re: Blast]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3556
Loc: Spring, Texas
Okay, I think this is UST's (Survival, Inc.) patent for WetFire. It is composed of 50% magnesium powder mixed with one or more themosetting plastics (cool, I use these same things in the lab!). Looking at the list of chemicals, nothing jumps out at me that would likely dissolve the glue.

I'm thinking they might have got a bad batch of glue or the glue they chose wasn't the proper one for sealing this foil (unlikely) rather than it is being decomposed by the chemicals...unless maybe the magnesium is reacting with the glue. That might be a possibility.

-Blast
_________________________
Blogging the Borderlands
Wild Edibles Blog
I miss OBG.

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#175972 - 07/10/09 08:47 PM Re: WetFire Tinder - Foil Packets Coming Apart [Re: Blast]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3556
Loc: Spring, Texas
Thinking more...they might have recieved a bad batch of themopolymer. The oily material might be unreacted monomer.

-Blast
_________________________
Blogging the Borderlands
Wild Edibles Blog
I miss OBG.

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#175973 - 07/10/09 08:53 PM Re: WetFire Tinder - Foil Packets Coming Apart [Re: cedfire]
falcon5000 Offline
Addict

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 662
Good catch cedfire and thanks for the heads up, I have unfortunately had beefed up my wet fire collection from a base camp sale and had supplied my BOB and PSK with many of them. I will go back and check the integrity of them and contemplate pulling them until a solution is resolved. I agree with what Blast said shocked that the glue is probably defective because I have had a wetfire packet in a handle of an old StrikeForce Fire Starter I had bought 10 years ago and I tried it and it lit right up after 10 years. I think there was some sort of bad batches or they have changed there packing procedure or something has changed.
_________________________
Failure is not an option!
USMC Jungle Environmental Survival Training PI 1985

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#175975 - 07/10/09 09:03 PM Re: WetFire Tinder - Foil Packets Coming Apart [Re: cedfire]
raptor Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 04/05/08
Posts: 284
Loc: Europe
Thatīs quite important information. I should check mine cube inside the Strike Force. I just left it there without any testing because itīs the only WF cube I have. I might actually replace it with something more reliable. I donīt like that WF changes itīs qualities once exposed to air. I knew it but I thought that it would still catch a spark and burn. I didnīt know that it would be possible for it to become totally useless.
Maybe I will go with combination of candle from high quality wax and/or fat wood plus one piece of TinderQuick.

Thanks for sharing the information about this.

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#175979 - 07/10/09 09:39 PM Re: WetFire Tinder - Foil Packets Coming Apart [Re: raptor]
JohnN Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 10/10/01
Posts: 966
Loc: Seattle, WA
I checked all mine. They are all in the gold foil and none of them were coming apart like noted in the original post.

I opened one from my *EDC* which is in my backpack, but packed in a a titanium bowl which means it is *semi* protected from crushing.







The opened packet shows some crumbling, but not tons.




I did a light test with a Firesteel Jr., which shows that lighting the solid cube takes some work, but it does light, and crushing a portion results in much easier lighting (which seems to be expected, IMO).

EDC cube + Firesteel Jr., partially crushed (.mov, 92MB)
EDC cube + Firesteel Jr., UNcrushed (.mov, 214MB!) Note at the end, I accidentally crushed part and then it lights. No need for snide comments about my technique! :-)

I went back and pulled a fresh (not carried) cube from the original packaging from the Rubbermaid box I keep supplies in and found the same results (work to light whole, not very difficult lighting a crushed portion).





"new" cube + Firesteel Jr., uncrushed vs crushed (.mov, 196MB!) Attempt to light for a while, then crush some and attempt again.

Note I don't have any way to determine the age of either of the cubes tested, but neither are "new" and all of my supply use the gold foil.

Takeaway:

1) In this limited sample, the gold foil doesn't seem to have a de-lamination issue.

2) Crush protecting the packets is probably a good idea.

3) In my limited sample, I did not see any large difficulties lighting my cubes.

4) Crush portion of cube when lighting.

[full gallery, larger size images]

-john


Edited by JohnN (07/10/09 10:23 PM)

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#175982 - 07/10/09 10:45 PM Re: WetFire Tinder - Foil Packets Coming Apart [Re: JohnN]
jaschenck Offline
Stranger

Registered: 05/31/09
Posts: 11
Loc: Alabama
I have come close to purchasing these a few times, but have always had 2nd thoughts and put them back on the hook at the store. Now I am sure I will never get any of them. From what I have seen tinder-quick has no way to fail they have always worked for me. But then I have used dryer lint or lint scraped off my pants more times then I can remember.
I once decided I needed a hi-tech lighter I got a Brunton that cost over $50.00 it quit in a couple days and I went back to a Zipo I have several they all work. I carry a small fuel bottle and spare flint in my gear.

Jim

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#175993 - 07/11/09 01:22 AM Re: WetFire Tinder - Foil Packets Coming Apart [Re: cedfire]
PureSurvival Offline
Member

Registered: 02/21/09
Posts: 149
Loc: UK
Without upsetting anyone, you guys must have money to burn!

I have never felt the need to buy tinder. A candle and a strip of old bicycle inner tube has done me fine for over twenty year and it is not effected by the environment.

Cotton wool soaked in petroleum jelly sounds more reliable than those fuel tabs.

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#175996 - 07/11/09 02:24 AM Re: WetFire Tinder - Foil Packets Coming Apart [Re: PureSurvival]
cedfire Offline
Addict

Registered: 07/10/03
Posts: 659
Loc: Orygun
Right now I have pulled all WetFire tinder from my kits. I am not comfortable with the seams coming apart and the oily residue on everything. Many thanks for you guys checking your individual collections, too. Hopefully we can learn more about what's going on.

I wonder if when US became UST they possibly changed the packaging for the tinder? From the gold packets to the gray packets?

The first batch I bought back in late 2008 came in a plastic cylinder container, with gray foil packets. The second batch I bought in early 2009 was the same packaging and gray foil packets. Then in spring 2009 a batch I bought was in plastic wrap with cardboard backing, same as the batch I picked up last week, both still with gray foil packets.

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