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Titanium clubs a fire hazard?!

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http://motherboard.vice.com/read/climate-change-and-modern-clubs-turned-golfers-into-firestarters

 

Over the last few years, golfers have started a fairly surprising number of fires. Not by tossing their stogies into the bramble after nailing a birdie, either—they've actually started blazes from the sparks that fly when they swing their titanium clubs into rocks too near their off-fairway balls. The effect is like a less dramatic version of steel hitting flint; when it's hot and dry out, it's apparently a pretty serious fire hazard.

 

New science published in the journal Fire and Materials confirms the phenomenon. So does this video:

 

 

That means that in our warming, and drying, desertifying world, golfers stand to kickstart more blazes, at least as long as they're using titanium clubs.

io9's Jason Goldman explains that "Titanium is a pyrophoric metal, which means it can spontaneously ignite in the air when powderized or sliced into extremely small fragments. More and more golf clubs are being manufactured from a titanium alloy rather than from stainless steel, because they're forty percent lighter, making them easier to swing." Stainless steel clubs produced no sparks.

 

And sure enough, the researchers' findings reveal "that Ti alloy faceplates that extend to the sole of the club can produce a number of Ti alloy particles when abraded under swing conditions. The particles then combust for a sufficient duration to potentially ignite a neighboring fuel source such as dry foliage and grasses." 

 

In our 400 ppm world, there will be more dry foliage and combustible grasses for golfers to ignite. Some of the most recent climate science shows that global warming is worsening droughts around the world. Scientists have fingered a link between drought and wildfires, too. More climate change, more drought, and, ostensibly, more fire-starting golfers. 

 

In a paper published in Nature Climate Change last year, climatologist Aiguo Daiconcluded that the "observed global aridity changes up to 2010 are consistent with model predictions," and that we should expect to see "widespread droughts in the next 30–90 years over many land areas resulting from either decreased precipitation and/or increased evaporation."

 

To wit: In 2010, a golfer in Orange County started a 12-acre inferno that took 200 firefighters to put out. He was using titanium clubs. The next year, another golfer in the same area started another one. Good luck prevented it from becoming a full-blown blaze, but it reiterated the threat. And in 2013, California saw the driest year in its recorded history. Thankfully, no golf-related fires were reported then. 

 

Clearly, there are other, bigger concerns with climate change than how it stands to affect golfers and their propensity for starting small fires. But it's a detail worth internalizing; something as seemingly obscure and invisible as the concentration CO2 in the atmosphere is beginning to seep into our daily lives in increasingly tangible and demonstrable ways. It's not just going to melt the polar ice caps and amp up our heat waves. It's also going to change the way we install electrical equipment, where we decide to vacation, and which kind of golf club we swing. 

 

As climate change continues to dry out the golf-friendliest regions in the nation—Southern California, Florida, Arizona—don't be too surprised if discerning country clubs eventually start banning the titanium firestarters. If it happens, blame stuffy rulemakers for making you tote the heavier steel clubs—blame 150 years of industrial pollution.


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Damndest thing I have ever heard but true. I have seen sparks fly off metal woods down here because of the sandy soil at night. Thinking about it is like a grinding wheel or sandpaper it causes the same effect. I can see signs now in drought areas " No Titanium clubs use persimmon  only"


Driver Homna  G1- X Stock Homna Regular shaft

4 wood Adams Tight Lies 

20* Hybrid Adams Boxer Ozik Matrix R shaft

24* Hybrid Adams A 10-OS Pro Launch Red R

Irons 5 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts

SW- Macgregor LRA 56* S-400

Putter 1997 Santa Fe rusty as heck

 

 

 

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And sure enough, the researchers' findings reveal "that Ti alloy faceplates that extend to the sole of the club can produce a number of Ti alloy particles when abraded under swing conditions. The particles then combust for a sufficient duration to potentially ignite a neighboring fuel source such as dry foliage and grasses." 

 

The part I have trouble believing is the "sufficient duration" to cause a problem.  I have seen the sparks off Titanium drivers on many occasions.  Typically, at least when I have seen it, the ground contained significant amounts of moisture.  During the winter, in the mornings, and for some reason on the third tee box, I have seen it many times.  One reason is because one golfer in my group hits the ground.  A lot.  :lol:

 

But if this is enough to create a 200 acre fire, than they should also outlaw corduroy pants for people whose thighs rub together. :lol: 


 

Driver:      :mizuno-small:  ST190G on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Fairway:   :mizuno-small:  ST190TS 15° on Fujikura ATMOS Black

Hybrids     :mizuno-small:  CLK 22 & 25 (set to 20° & 23°) on Fujikura SPEEDER

Irons:     :mizuno-small:  MP5 5-P on True Temper Dynamic Gold

Wedges: :mizuno-small: MP-T5 52*, 56* & 60* on True Temper Dynamic Gold Wedge

Putter:    :cameron-small: 2018 Select Newport 2

Balls:      :titelist-small: Pro V1X

Shoes:     :footjoy-small:

Range Finder: Precision Pro  NX7 Pro

All grips are BestGrips Micro-Perforated

 

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But if this is enough to create a 200 acre fire, than they should also outlaw corduroy pants for people whose thighs rub together. :lol:

 

Good one! :D


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There's been times I've considered piling my clubs up and setting fire to the whole setup but this may be pushing it.


In Nick's Ogio Edge Stand Bag
Driver: Taylormade Rocketballz 9.5* Aldila Rip'd NV Stiff
Fairway: Tour Edge CB4 15* Rip Gamma Stiff
Hybrid: Adams Idea Pro A12 18* KBS Tour X
Irons: Mizuno MP-53 3-PW DG X100
Wedges: Mizuno MP R-12 52* & 56* DG Spinner
Putter: Taylormade Ghost Spider Si 38"

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There's been times I've considered piling my clubs up and setting fire to the whole setup but this may be pushing it.

Me too :)

Driver Homna  G1- X Stock Homna Regular shaft

4 wood Adams Tight Lies 

20* Hybrid Adams Boxer Ozik Matrix R shaft

24* Hybrid Adams A 10-OS Pro Launch Red R

Irons 5 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts

SW- Macgregor LRA 56* S-400

Putter 1997 Santa Fe rusty as heck

 

 

 

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gives new meaning to "I'm on fire" when playing golf.

hey Frank- you're on fire today, I know- no, I mean you're really on fire.


Lefties are always in their Right Mind

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gives new meaning to "I'm on fire" when playing golf.

hey Frank- you're on fire today, I know- no, I mean you're really on fire.

ROTFLMAO Don't wear ragged cuff blue jeans like we used to wear back in the day :)

Driver Homna  G1- X Stock Homna Regular shaft

4 wood Adams Tight Lies 

20* Hybrid Adams Boxer Ozik Matrix R shaft

24* Hybrid Adams A 10-OS Pro Launch Red R

Irons 5 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts

SW- Macgregor LRA 56* S-400

Putter 1997 Santa Fe rusty as heck

 

 

 

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Who wants to do the first review for a bag located extinguisher :)

 

Fairways & Greens My Friends,

Richard

Good idea RP I will build it you can market it. Now top rated classy courses like the one you are a member at will have them mounted on the carts already. Lower tier courses you will have to provide your own or risk burning up.

Driver Homna  G1- X Stock Homna Regular shaft

4 wood Adams Tight Lies 

20* Hybrid Adams Boxer Ozik Matrix R shaft

24* Hybrid Adams A 10-OS Pro Launch Red R

Irons 5 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts

SW- Macgregor LRA 56* S-400

Putter 1997 Santa Fe rusty as heck

 

 

 

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