EN 417 – Normes Européennes 417 – The Lindal Valve

Briefs

EN 417 – Normes Européennes 417 – The Lindal Valve

EN 417 IS THE OFFICIAL ABBREVIATION FOR NORMES EUROPEENNES 417; a European standard for the manufacture of “non-refillable metallic gas cartridges for liquefied petroleum gases, with or without a valve, for use with portable appliances.” What EN 417 does is specify manufacturing guidelines for the small canisters of fuel you take camping. In North America the threaded valve commonly seen on the top of EN417 compliant canisters is often referred to as a “Lindal Valve.” Similar to the near ubiquitous use of the term Allen Key, Lindal Valve is the colloquial, incorrect, and more interesting name for the 7/16” – UNEF threaded valve on your resealable canister of camping fuel.

EN 417 – Normes Européennes 417 – The Lindal Valve

EN 417 IS THE OFFICIAL ABBREVIATION FOR NORMES EUROPEENNES 417; a European standard for the manufacture of “non-refillable metallic gas cartridges for liquefied petroleum gases, with or without a valve, for use with portable appliances.” What EN 417 does is specify manufacturing guidelines for the small canisters of fuel you take camping. In North America the threaded valve commonly seen on the top of EN417 compliant canisters is often referred to as a “Lindal Valve.” Similar to the near ubiquitous use of the term Allen Key, Lindal Valve is the colloquial, incorrect, and more interesting name for the 7/16” – UNEF threaded valve on your resealable canister of camping fuel.

 

Prior to the establishment of EN 417 the most common option for portable camping fuel was the French Bleuet design, manufactured by Campingaz and notable for its propensity to leak and explode. Founded in 1949 Campingaz sought to revolutionize camping by producing a small, cheap, and easy to use camping stove. A pressurized mix of propane and butane was stored in small metal canisters that were punctured by the attachment of the stove. This simple design was easier and more convenient than alternatives which required the user to manually fill the stove with either petrol or kerosene. Though it was and still is successful, the design has a small quirk: fuel is released if you remove the stove or damage the point of contact between it and the canister. This leaves users with a leaky canister of flammable gas to manage in between meals. Additionally, when used or stored in a confined space near an open flame, the escaped fuel can combust. Campingaz briefly discontinued the manufacture of Bleuet canisters after they were outlawed in several Scandinavian countries only to reintroduce them after adequate, and one imagines predominately French, demand. As a result Bleuet canisters are still available and in use throughout Europe. All hazards aside, the design was hugely successful and Campingaz is still around today, though currently as a subsidiary of Coleman.

 

Always keen to upstage their friends on the mainland the British improved on the design by adding a resealable valve. This improvement was pioneered by the firm Epigas (also now owned by Coleman) and would become the most commonly used camping fuel canister worldwide. The genius behind the design was the repurposing of preexisting technologies and components.

They didn’t change the fuel as Campingaz had; what they did was change how it was stored and released.”

Recall that the fuel in your EN 417 compliant canister is a mix of propane and butane, both commonly known for their combustibility. The true petroleum gas connoisseur knows that in addition to their utility as fuel, propane and butane moonlight as propellants. This is why you can find either gas being used as such in an aerosol can. In the case of hairspray or spray paint, the propellant evaporates immediately; with your camping stove, the propellent is ignited. Epigas realized that they could create resealable fuel canisters using preexisting aerosol valves, and this is why they turned to a German company named The Lindal Group.

 

The Lindal Group was established in 1959 as the European licensee for Newman Green Incorporated. The sole business purpose for both Newman Green Inc. and the Lindal group is the production and manufacture of aerosol valves. Their expertise in this field is what lead Epigas to incorporate Lindal’s aerosol valves in their fuel canister design and ultimately to the “Lindal Valve” nickname. But what most people recognize as a Lindal Valve is in fact a threaded mount for the stove that houses the valve.

 

This threaded mount is the most visually obvious change from the classic Bleuet design, but the elegance of the structure is how it combines this with Lindal’s aerosol valve. Both work together to offer a genuine improvement over other designs. With the Epigas canister and its threaded mount, it is both easier and safer to attach the stove. But without some way to reseal the fuel canister, you would still have to leave the stove attached. The Lindal Valve incorporates a series of gaskets that keep the pressurized gas contained aside from a brief release during attachment and removal.

It is the inclusion of the Lindal Valve that made it no longer necessary to physically punch through a canister of pressurized gas before preparing your coffee in the morning, and what allows you to remove and store your fuel safely.”

Epigas released its fuel canisters and licensed the design to other manufacturers whom adopted it widely. The broad acceptance of the new design kept Epigas themselves from becoming the nickname for the canister’s valve and threaded mount. With Lindal being the most widely known manufacturer of the valves they became the source of the unofficial nickname for the entire design. Given the lack of widespread interest in the subject it is understandable that most people would confuse the two. Nevertheless, if you find yourself nurturing your inner pedant on your next camping trip, be sure to inform your mates that it’s not a Lindal Valve but an EN 417 compliant aerosol valve and threaded mount.

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