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Gas mask hose needs tlc

Article about: I have just noticed the hose to my ww2 gas mask has gone very brittle in some parts (not all) and has started to tear. Any tips on making it more subtle, it currently wants to just lie strai

  1. #1

    Default Gas mask hose needs tlc

    I have just noticed the hose to my ww2 gas mask has gone very brittle in some parts (not all) and has started to tear. Any tips on making it more supple, it currently wants to just lie straight down looking a bit like an elephants trunk. If it has to stay in that position thats fine, I just want to remedy the brittleness and chance of the hose breaking off!
    Last edited by Captaincaveman; 02-13-2019 at 04:34 PM.

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  3. #2

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    that's a problem with 70 year old rubber....it kinda has a shelf life....and one I've not managed to reverse yet....keeping it the shape it's happiest with might be the best bet....though hopefully someone here might know better. If you don't have any luck after a few days re-post it as an Experimental WW2 German one and there'll be hundreds of replies :-)....post it as SS and they may even come round to touch your hose (so to speak!)

    Good luck
    Last edited by Composite; 02-13-2019 at 05:18 PM.

  4. #3

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    Without wishing to drag the tone of this thread any lower than it already has been (Compo). The rubber is drying out and perishing. I wonder if treating it with Vaseline would help? I am serious.

  5. #4

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    Its also making the fabric type covering tear and I cant see how to get in there to give it a good going over!

  6. #5

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    Ah, I see what you mean. Vaseline isn't going to do it then.

  7. #6

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    Rubber is a bitch...it's already degrading (inner tube bands) on some GW1 helmets.....it may end up crumbling inside the textile covering of the hose. I've yet to find a fix....same temperature, different temperature, dry, moisture, dark, light....I think its simply an age thing...fortunately they're not (yet) prohibitively priced but what else does one do with a respirator with a stiff hose....and once it's crumbled, a floppy hose.......

    ....won't be long now before the Asbestos scare mongers turn up.......

  8. #7

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    Quote by BlackCat1982 View Post
    Without wishing to drag the tone of this thread any lower than it already has been (Compo). The rubber is drying out and perishing. I wonder if treating it with Vaseline would help? I am serious.
    Vaseline rots rubber, steer clear and try something else.

  9. #8

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    If I may add to this, I've had a bit of 'trial and error' experience in the preservation of WWII gas masks. In my case, more of the latter than the former....

    The best thing to use on old rubber is, quite literally, nothing. Most remedies suggested here and elsewhere cause more harm than good over a long period of time. In the case of rubber that has already started to perish, the only feasible action you can take is to ensure it doesn't get any worse. There is no surefire method of reversing perishing, or at least not one that has been discovered yet.

    Keep the item out of direct sunlight - though even ambient light has an adverse effect in my experience with WWII respirators - and away from oxygenated air. Oxygen attacks the double bonds in the rubber and breaks them down. I keep all of mine in sealed boxes, packed away in cupboards or under the bed. No good for display of course, but I'd rather keep them intact. They can always be taken out occasionally to be inspected and shown off.

    In the case of military respirators with stockinette covered hoses, the outer fabric will generally remain intact long after the rubber inside has rotted away. It should be fine as long as you do not handle it too frequently, and display it in a way that does not put any weight or strain on the rubber parts.

    Really, the best solution is to find and purchase the best quality respirator you can in the first place. Masks that show signs of perishing are only going to get worse, as the double bonds in the rubber have already started to break down. In your case, I'd pack it away and preserve it as it is. At least that way, it won't fall apart completely.

    Regards, B.B.
    ''Everyday you think of living. We are born to die, but I appreciate life. We live day by day, and I always say: yesterday is history, today's reality, and tomorrow's a dream.' -- Henry Flescher, Holocaust Survivor -- March 14, 1924 - August 29, 2018

  10. #9

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    Good sound Advice Brodie B
    Regards James

  11. #10
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    Here is a scientific link for you guys who want to know more
    Degradation of Rubber

    Here is a copy and pasted segment.

    “Most elastomers will undergo significant changes over time when exposed to heat, light, or oxygen (ozone). These changes can have a dramatic effect on the service life and properties of the elastomers and can only be prevented or slowed down by the addition of UV stabilizers, antiozonates, and antioxidants.”

    I keep my only war time gas mask in box(no light) and since its in a box oxidation will occur slower. And since its in a room at of course room temperature there wont be any extreme temperature differences to speed up the degradation. So there only exists the method to prevent. As previously said!

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