Cat Coolant flammable ?

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43,677
Location
'Stralia
Came across a reported incident recently, where some Cat powered rig apparently suffered a fire when a coolant hose to a water cooled turbo failed, and created a fire with coolant impingement on the turbine. Operator noticed, and stopped vehicle immediately, but had to depressurise the cooling system to stop feeding the fire... Is this for real ?
 
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14,816
Location
Central NY
.I never knew it either. The 1.6L escapes that were catching fire were because of coolant too, apparently. They would overheat and pop a freeze plug and spray right on the turbo. Also, I started a small fire when helping someone mount a tire. I used coolant as a bead live. When I used starting fluid and a lighter, the coolant on the ground also caught
 
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8,859
Location
Texas
Some things that you could dump on a campfire to put it out will "burn" at turbocharger temperatures. With all the organic compounds in modern coolants, I could certainly see the water flashing to steam and the remaining organic additive package burning on contact with a turbocharger turbine.
 
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14,816
Location
Central NY
Originally Posted By: 440Magnum
Some things that you could dump on a campfire to put it out will "burn" at turbocharger temperatures. With all the organic compounds in modern coolants, I could certainly see the water flashing to steam and the remaining organic additive package burning on contact with a turbocharger turbine.
I tried to put a camp fire out with a gallon of methyl-alcohol once! That ... was fun. Nearly lost my eyebrows. My dad reached in his truck and grabbed what he thought was a gallon of water. I never thought to sniff it and I dumped it on the coals.
 
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10,060
Location
Central Washington
So, I looked up the MSDS for Cat ELC coolant and for the concentrate the closed cup flash is only 127C (260F). Thats lower than any oil. It does not list flash for the 50/50 premix (it lists it as N/A) but like 440Magnum said at turbocharger turbine temperatures, the water probably flashed off really quickly leaving the coolant behind to burn. Im sure eventually the turbocharger will cool enough that it would put itself out, but then the question is, what else would catch on fire in the meantime.
 
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Shannow

Thread starter
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43,677
Location
'Stralia
All plausible... Colt45ws, depends what's around to set fire to as part of the risk assessment as to what to use. Sand mine versus OTR rig, versus forestry versus coal mine sort of applications.
 
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