STP1561: Another Dangerous Practice in the SCUBA Diving Community

    Ciscato, Walter
    Expert, Gentoo Divers Intl.,

    Binder, Christian
    Specialist, Working Group “Safe Handling of Oxygen,” Division 2.1, “Gases, Gas Plants,” BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Berlin,

    Hesse, Olaf
    Specialist, Working Group “Safe Handling of Oxygen,” Division 2.1, “Gases, Gas Plants,” BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Berlin,

    Lehné, Siegfried
    Specialist, Working Group “Safe Handling of Oxygen,” Division 2.1, “Gases, Gas Plants,” BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Berlin,

    Tillack, Thomas
    Specialist, Working Group “Safe Handling of Oxygen,” Division 2.1, “Gases, Gas Plants,” BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Berlin,

    Pages: 10    Published: Nov 2012


    Abstract

    The widely held incorrect belief in the self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) diving community, that oxygen-enriched gas mixtures, so-called NITROX, with an oxygen content of up to 40 vol. % can be considered as regular air, has already been refuted in many papers. Now, another dangerous practice has drawn the attention. In a market study, more than 60 representative SCUBA cylinder valves were examined. Sales offices claim that all of those valves can be used for oxygen-enriched gas mixtures. The fact is that some of these cylinder valves are for air use only. By exchanging the nonmetallic materials and applying additional cleaning procedures, these air valves become so-called “oxygen clean.” Then, the valves are on sale for oxygen-enriched service. This procedure is dangerous because the labeling pretends a pseudo-safety. All of the 60 SCUBA cylinder valves were tested applying the standardized oxygen pressure surge tester at BAM. As suspected, many of the cylinder valves are not burn-out safe. In addition, different test results were received for actual new valves, for so-called new but temporarily stored valves, and for used valves. This paper reveals another dangerous practice and wants to alert the SCUBA diving community.

    Keywords:

    SCUBA diving, pneumatic impact, burn-out safety, oxygen, NITROX, modified air valves, aging of diving valves, oxygen compatibility


    Paper ID: STP20120007

    Committee/Subcommittee: G04.01

    DOI: 10.1520/STP20120007


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