School Me on Hexamine

Discussion in 'Stove Forum' started by Canuman, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. severs1966

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    Note that ESBIT is a different substance to Hexamine
     
  2. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

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    @severs1966 I think it's safe to assume that the use of the term 'Hexamine' in cooking terms here follows the use of the term 'Hoover'.

    The question question should be is Hexamine still a product of the arms industry for HE for which it can also be used for feeding troops in simple stoves, or if it is it is no longer available for public purchase. Therefore other solid fuels have been produced to different recipes to enable continued use of this type of cooking?

    There must be a reasonable demand as there are a number of Green solid fuels available out there as well.
     
  3. Canuman

    Canuman Subscriber

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    I've been flogging around on the UK military site arrse.co.uk. It appears that at least from a military standpoint, the demise of issue hexamine is not particularly lamented. It's still readily available in the US, just not locally. I found that the 72 tablet lot by Coughlans is not particularly expensive compared to the Esbit tabs, which are a blend of hexamine and trioxane.

    The survivalist crew will copy the military any way they can, it appears, thus the continued existence of the product.

    It seems the UK military has something of a passion for Jetboil stoves. I have a Primus ETA Lite, which competes very favorably with the Jetboil, and is designed on much the same principle - a half liter (actually +/_ 700 ml) water boiler that gets the job done in about 3 minutes. I got it for half the price of the Jetboil. The canned butane/propane fuel is not particularly costly, especially when you consider the 440 gram cartridge can last two weeks or more in the field.

    Boiling water over an almost completely shielded blue flame that's difficult to see if you're looking directly at it has to be preferable to advertising yourself for eleven minutes with a yellow flame in a combat situation.

    That being said, if I were a real survivalist, I would get a MSR or Optimus Multi-fuel, so I could burn anything from butane to diesel. A gallon of gasoline is selling locally for around US $2.65, and a gallon would easily last a conservative user a month or more. It gives the advantage of a very hot stove, as well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
  4. Marc

    Marc Subscriber

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    Tried some hexamine today. Foul stuff.

    Explaining our adventure to my girlfriend upon returning to the house(polite/kind/patient enough not to roll her eyes), I summed it up as "slow, expensive, uncommon/relatively hard to find, and toxic." My buddy added "yeah, but at least it smells bad."

    I did get a kettle to boil, taking four blocks to do so. Won't bother with that again.
     
  5. Simes

    Simes Subscriber

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    @Marc What stove/burner did you use. Ignoring the black stuff on the pan I found on a stand/plate Hexy could be surprisingly effective, hence the hunt for the 5 minute recipes. Water boiling was reasonably quick as well.

    Used in the Lixada wood burner with the grate in it's normal position meant it was too low. The suggestion in the video I posted was to invert the grate to raise the fuel. A setting I have yet to try. The blocks need to be about an inch below the pot base, certainly seems to be that way in stoves designed to use it.
     
  6. Marc

    Marc Subscriber

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    Apologies for the late reply, @Simes . Used with the Lixada wood/alcohol/hexi burner, not the gassifier. The hexi blocks were on the lower wood burning level, definitely much farther than 1" from the pot.

    Far from an ideal setup, but a moot point now. They were so foul I burned off the rest of them in the outdoor fire pit and have no plans to buy or use more.
     
  7. jexy9 Australia

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    I have a heap of hexamine and want to turn it into solid fuel tablets. Does anyone know how to do this?
    Have tried meting it but it sublimes before it melts.
     
  8. cabriolet76

    cabriolet76 United Kingdom Subscriber

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    Hexamine was the reason so many Bluet s200 stoves were bought.
     
  9. frg7700

    frg7700 Subscriber

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    I've still got half a packing crate of French hexy, a little less of the British stuff (which is a whole lot better) and plenty of odds and ends from various nations ration packs. Very seldom used these days unless I actually want to show people what the stuff is like.
     
  10. Scrambler

    Scrambler Australia Subscriber

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    @jexy9

    No actual idea, but with what you say, how does cutting it with a heated wire go? But TBH it sounds like pretty unpleasant stuff to try to break down! Keep a suitable fire extinguisher handy.
     
  11. Greeley

    Greeley United States Subscriber

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    Re: soot blackening pots and then scrubbing it off, or the alternative soaping of the outside, I remember when I first read about painting pots black for better heat transfer--- what a Eureka moment! Never scrubbed a blackened pot again! Just store them in plastic sacks to keep the rest of the pack clean!
     
  12. BigScott

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    Smells terrible but burns fine. With some alcohol based hand sanitiser on it it lights pretty well. Works great in my Flexistove. Pans need wiped on grass, or seaweed up here to remove the muck. Found it better than Firedragon when the kids were younger trying to boil water for noodles (one stove each).