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Old June 7, 2010, 05:23 PM   #1
RickE
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Tritium paint?

Is it possible to get tritium "paint" in a small quantity? I suspect not, but worth asking.
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Old June 7, 2010, 05:45 PM   #2
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Tritium is a gas, radium paint is what you want. Anyways, I've looked and looked and looked, and I haven't been able to find any available. It is illegal to sell/own/buy it now I supposed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radium_Girls
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Old June 7, 2010, 06:20 PM   #3
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There is luminescent paint available. It glows, but not for too long and not too brightly. Google it.
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Old June 7, 2010, 06:56 PM   #4
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None that emits it's own light. The only stuff available will glow when exposed to light.
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Old June 7, 2010, 09:14 PM   #5
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Radium paint turned out to be truly evil stuff.

The women who would paint watch dials and other equipment such as compasses would smooth the brushes in their mouths, ingesting small amounts of the paint.

Most of them died years later from a variety of very nasty cancers, primarily bone cancer.
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Old June 7, 2010, 09:39 PM   #6
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I suspected it was too good to be true. Mike, your comments are well taken. But I don't plan on putting it into my mouth. I do understand the issues with the radiation, but one or two drops for ...say... $20-30? What harm? Is it regulated by the government? Or just insurance companies and attorneys
(as typical)? And Mike, your "sub comment" smacks of the Donner party & the Andes mountain thing. I think I will pass on a dinner invite....(all in fun).
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Old June 7, 2010, 10:58 PM   #7
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FYI :

Tritium is regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission NRC and cannot be possessed in ampules alone without an NRC permit......and there are only 3 permits in the USA for secure facilities....yearly inspection and LOTS of paperwork !

Mounted in sights is OK

and it is a gas.
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Old June 8, 2010, 12:20 AM   #8
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+1 to all of the above. You can buy luminescent paint, but it's nowhere near tritium night sights.
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Old June 8, 2010, 12:35 AM   #9
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It's not just regulated by the government, it's banned for consumer use.
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Old June 8, 2010, 08:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
but one or two drops for ...say... $20-30? What harm?
I will first add that Marie Curie died from the side effects of radiation poisoning.

Listen to Mike, he's telling you straight. Radiation is cumulative. Every rad you have ever absorbed into your body, either from a chest X-ray, the sun, or a watch dial is still there, and will always be there. The half-life of some of these isotopes is hundreds of years.

It's on a much higher danger level than lead or DDT.
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Old June 8, 2010, 08:09 AM   #11
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Just buy some quality night sights. Cheap can be costly.
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Old June 8, 2010, 08:51 AM   #12
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Maybe buy an old watch or two and some solvent.
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Old June 8, 2010, 08:52 AM   #13
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as has been said, there is no such thing as a glow in the dark paint that you can whip out of your holster and have it shining brightly. You need high energy tritium capsules. Even radium watch dial paint wouldn't be bright enough. Will someone ever come up with an LCD technology that will replace tritium? Yep, I think so. right about the time that Tritium is banned.
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Old June 8, 2010, 10:19 AM   #14
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Tritium won't be banned. It is safe as long as it is in the plastic capsules. It gives off Alpha particles which your skin can block. Radium on the other hand gives off Gamma which will pass all the way through you and the walls of your house.
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Old June 8, 2010, 07:07 PM   #15
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I worked for a couple years in a chemical plant that used nuclear level controls on both it's concentration and reaction vessels. The Cesium 137 isotope contained in their sources shot gamma rays through the tanks to a receiver that opened valves electrically, until filled to a level when gamma rays diminished and the receivers closed the valves. That was almost 30 years ago, and I still worry what the effects are going to be.
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Old June 8, 2010, 08:33 PM   #16
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Can you build a micro very low power LED flashlight small enough for a gun sight? I was looking on line and some of the small led circuits would run for years on one lithium watch battery. Could they be cheaper than a tritium capsule?

This would not use an on-off switch but just run continuously for years.
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Old June 8, 2010, 11:49 PM   #17
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I suppose someone could build something along the lines of a CT lasergrip that illuminated sights instead of the target.

The LED's are incredibly small now, but the batteries still have to be housed somewhere, and then you have the problem of connecting the two with wiring.

It's an interesting idea, but I agree that the market has to change before a manufacturer is going to add battery powered illuminated sights. The tritium sights are a relatively low cost upgrade to existing pistol designs and their performance is proven. If they were banned, there might be a driving force to incorporate illuminated sights in a new design, which would probably include the batteries in the grips (like the CT grips) and embedded wiring in the slide. The challenge would be the reliability of the moving contacts for the slide / frame electrical connection...
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Old June 9, 2010, 02:05 AM   #18
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Quote:
It gives off Alpha particles which your skin can block.
I believe you mean beta radiation (high energy electrons) -- which is still quite weak (Wikipedia says beta particles won't penetrate the layer of dead cells on your skin). Alpha particles comprise 2 protons + 2 neutrons (i.e., Helium nuclei). Tritium comprises 1 proton and 2 neutrons, so it's impossible for tritium to emit alpha particles.
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Old June 9, 2010, 02:34 AM   #19
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This site may have what you could consider a half-way point... But it'd still need light to be reactive.

http://unitednuclear.com/index.php?m...ex&cPath=28_45

"Europium UltraGlow is a rare-Earth Europium based glow-in-the-dark paint. Based on our Europium UltraGlow powder, it is the brightest, longest lasting, non-toxic glow-in-the-dark paint known." (Quoted from their page)
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Old June 9, 2010, 03:24 AM   #20
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Good luck getting Tritium in any measurable quantity, a lot of our nations enemies wish they could too, hydrogen 3 is what you put in a nuclear bomb to make it a hydrogen bomb. I think its because it allows for fusion reaction, and not just fission. Its something like that. That little extra kick, that's the difference between a few kilotons, and ten megatons of power.

x2 on united nuclear, if tritium was available I would bet they would have it. Friends of mine have gotten all kinds of cool stuff from there.
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Old June 9, 2010, 08:50 AM   #21
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Yes JohnFLand, you are correct.
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Old June 9, 2010, 07:39 PM   #22
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Quote:
t's an interesting idea, but I agree that the market has to change before a manufacturer is going to add battery powered illuminated sights. The tritium sights are a relatively low cost upgrade to existing pistol designs and their performance is proven. If they were banned, there might be a driving force to incorporate illuminated sights in a new design, which would probably include the batteries in the grips (like the CT grips) and embedded wiring in the slide. The challenge would be the reliability of the moving contacts for the slide / frame electrical connection...
No wires, each part of the sight would have a battery, circuitry and LED. The question really is would a battery that small work for long enough, plus you would need a special much lower power LED. Standard ones are way to bright to use in a sight.
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Old June 10, 2010, 07:09 AM   #23
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The amount of tritium gas in your night sights is miniscule, however, if released it can combine with oxygen to form tritiated water (HTO), which is easily inhaled, injested, and absorbed through the skin. T has a half life just over 12 years, however, HTO has a biological half life of less than 14 days. From what I found, yearly global consumption of Tritium is no more than 500 grams. 400 according to Wikipedia.

Some info from Trijicon:
"..it would take the simultaneous rupture of 10,000 of these small glass capsules in a small room 10 foot by 10 foot to potentially constitute a radiation health hazard." http://www.trijicon.com/faq.cfm

The operation is very simple, much like a florescent light bulb. The isotope decays and emits electrons which excite a phosphor layer on the inside surface of the vial. Through some interesting particle physics which I won't go into here (not gun related), the phosphorous layer releases photons and glows.

And yes, T is a beta-emitter, not an alpha-emitter, as one posted commented. Regardless, while it might be blocked by skin, here's a photo of what just a trace of alpha-emitting material (in this case, Polonium-210) will do to you if it gets inside your body:



Dead after an agonizing 22 days. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Litvinenko)

Last edited by booker_t; June 10, 2010 at 07:18 AM.
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Old June 10, 2010, 09:26 AM   #24
RickE
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Nuff said.
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Old June 12, 2010, 09:18 PM   #25
gatopardo
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night sight paint

I found the mos efficient way to illuminate my pistols and rifles sights was a product called super phosphorescent from "glow-on.com".

Tritium was not an option since only some weapons can be equipped with it, the same for laser beams, plus it can be expensive if you have several pistols laying around.

Check my pictures and make your own conclusions, my two cents. Just have to be careful when you apply it, or big surprise! Your fingers glow in the dark when you go to bed
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File Type: jpg P1010076.JPG (25.3 KB, 541 views)
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