Mantle Shelf Life

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Sierra_Roadrunner
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Mantle Shelf Life

#1

Post by Sierra_Roadrunner »

I was going through some of my Dads camping gear and found these old mantles. Most of them are still sealed in their original packages but there are a few that have been opened. Also, you can see in the photo there are a couple beat up packs.

Image

I'm guessing all of these date from the mid/late 80s to early 2000s. Through the years they were in and out of his truck on camping trips and/or stored in his barn. Overall they look to be in good shape but I am curious if mantles deteriorate or lose effectiveness from being stored in a truck or barn over the years.
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Leviticus_Tomethreus
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Re: Mantle Shelf Life

#2

Post by Leviticus_Tomethreus »

Nope. I’ve used mantles from the 40s that are aok
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D421
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Re: Mantle Shelf Life

#3

Post by D421 »

You should probably send them to me for proper disposal.

Use them they will be fine.
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Gunhippie
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Re: Mantle Shelf Life

#4

Post by Gunhippie »

I have some on one of my Quicklites that came in the Quicklite packaging--so '30s at the latest. They work just fine!

As long as they don't get wet, they seem to last forever. The salts that cause the mantles to glow are water soluble and can wash out if the mantles get wet. I've had to toss a few packs because of this, but if you just want heat, they put out some pretty good IR.
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Re: Mantle Shelf Life

#5

Post by Pancholoco1911 »

I can test them for you. 😉 pm me for address
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JimL
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Re: Mantle Shelf Life

#6

Post by JimL »

Those mantles look like they were stored properly and are healthy. I doubt you'll have any issues.

Save the Silk-lites for lanterns that run flawlessly so you don't waste them. The Gold Top came out after they did away with thorium and were advertised as stronger. I think that's just marketing fluff so it would appear that these were an upgrade since they had stopped using thorium. I have some Gold Tops, but haven't tried any myself.
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Whitegas Extraordinaire
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Re: Mantle Shelf Life

#7

Post by Whitegas Extraordinaire »

I’ve had mixed experiences with old silklites, some from the 20’s-30’s were fragilee! Most I’ve had good luck with.

Thank you!
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Re: Mantle Shelf Life

#8

Post by MYN927 »

Not all of them have indefinite shelf lives.
I've seen some that actually become pretty fragile(unburnt) despite being decently stored.
I guess its the chemicals used eventually degrade the fabric. As a result, they cannot be stretched much without tearing apart.
Having said that, they're still as good as they should be, if you could manage to tie them to the burner caps and get them burnt-in as usual.
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Re: Mantle Shelf Life

#9

Post by Chucker »

I agree with the above comments. Kevin and MYN hit it on the head IMO, some just become fragile. Often it's the string that becomes most fragile.

I had an open bag of newer Coleman mantles get wet from a leak in my garage roof. I let them air dry and they worked as advertised. Oh, the roof was repaired shortly afterwards.
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Re: Mantle Shelf Life

#10

Post by Sierra_Roadrunner »

Thanks for y'all input. Looks like I can light em' up and rest easy. It's interesting about what happens if they get wet - in that case they may or may not work, maybe depending on how long or how much water? And then some older mantles become brittle? Wonder if that is some kind of chemical reaction leaching into the mantles from the plastic packaging. Just guessing, maybe prolonged exposure to sunlight over the years perhaps.

Then the Gold Tops-
JimL wrote: Thu Feb 11, 2021 11:17 pm
Save the Silk-lites for lanterns that run flawlessly so you don't waste them. The Gold Top came out after they did away with thorium and were advertised as stronger. I think that's just marketing fluff so it would appear that these were an upgrade since they had stopped using thorium. I have some Gold Tops, but haven't tried any myself.
Image

I noticed that the oldest looking package says "4 Times Tougher" on the bottom then on the newer packages it doesn't say that. So maybe your right Jim and Coleman backed off. Comparing the weave of the fabric there doesn't appear to be any difference between the Silk Lites to the Gold Tops. In either case one would think they gotta be tougher then the new mantles that are on the market now.

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Re: Mantle Shelf Life

#11

Post by JimL »

>>In either case one would think they gotta be tougher then the new mantles that are on the market now.

I don't know about that. I have no issues with the newer ones whatsoever. I know some folks do, but can't understand why.
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Re: Mantle Shelf Life

#12

Post by Steve66 »

I've got a box from the late 40's and they work just fine.
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Re: Mantle Shelf Life

#13

Post by 25_502s »

I bought an old kero AGM model 3470 that had a coarse unfired mantle tied on. It probably has been there for decades. Dusty and didn’t look like it was going to make it. After the fettle I gently burned it in and it’s still on today. I don’t know what brand it was.
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Re: Mantle Shelf Life

#14

Post by Dmacp »

I've burned 80 year old mantles with no problem.
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Re: Mantle Shelf Life

#15

Post by Mister_Wilson »

I once picked up a lantern with a parts safe. When I removed the safe there was water inside. The pack of silkies inside was soaked and rust stained. Who knows how long they had been in there. I took them out and set them aside to dry. A couple of months later I decided to try them out. They burned in and filled out nice, but the color was yellow with brown spots from the dirt and rust stains, but the longer they ran they better they got. After a couple of hours of run time they were nice and white, still in service to this day.
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