Want to see what's inside an SCBA bottle?

Forums Air Tanks, Pumps, & Compressors Want to see what's inside an SCBA bottle?

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    Tominco
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    Take a look with me as I cut one open to see what was inside and what the sidewalls of the bottle really look like!

    Have a great Memorial Day!
    Tom

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    Joekrooz
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    Cool!  Nice shirt!

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    Thurmond
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    That bottle failed internal visual inspection in my book. I condemn ANY and ALL bottles with corrosion internally.
    Doesn’t matter if it is 500 cc or 1 hour SCBA.

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    Tominco
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    Thurmond, I think I know why the corrosion is there. 
    That bottle is 20 years old and has also been sitting outside in the Colorado weather for at least 3 years. I was VERY surprised when I saw there was any air inside it! It had about 1500psi in it.
    Yeah, no way it would pass an inspection today. But, I bet it looked a lot better 10 years ago.
    Tom

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    Brian10956
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    In the Navy when we would do a visual inspection on the scuba tanks we would also do a swab test for PH and any that were too low(acid) had to be rejected. Most of the tanks were 72 cf steel, aluminum was just starting to come in . I don’t think aluminum was used that much as they would float when empty not a good Issa if someone is looking for you.

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    Michael
    Keymaster
    Keymaster

    Pretty neat. I never understood why they were so difficult to make or so expensive.

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    Thurmond
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    “Tominco”Thurmond, I think I know why the corrosion is there. 
    That bottle is 20 years old and has also been sitting outside in the Colorado weather for at least 3 years. I was VERY surprised when I saw there was any air inside it! It had about 1500psi in it.
    Yeah, no way it would pass an inspection today. But, I bet it looked a lot better 10 years ago.
    Tom

    
That explains a lot. The temp cycling repeatedly would squeeze out the moisture from the air then it would evaporate once again as the temp would rise. Now make a big wind chime / bell with the remainder. ;)

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    Centercut
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    Very cool. FYI, ever wonder what that REE (Rejection Elastic Expansion) number is in cc’s on your CFFC tank? When they hydro to 7500 psi every 5 years, that is the amount limit that the bottle can expand and still pass inspection. So they measure the volume of water at normal atmospheric pressure, and then measure the additional amount to get to 7500 psi. It is held at 7500 psi for one minute. If less than the REE number and of course no leaks, then it passes. If not, it gets the hole drilled. Also, the actual burst pressure in these CFFC tanks is 15,000 psi minimum. A certain percentage of each lot is pressurized to at least 15,000 psi, and then increased until it fails at some point above 15,000 psi. 

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by Centercut.
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    Kayakairgun
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    When I bought my tank from JoeB. they told me every tank made is tested to 15000 PSI. Then every couple dozen a bottle is pulled from the group and tested to burst pressure witch they said was around 30000 psi. If thats true its defiantly impressive to me that they can hold that much pressure.

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    Centercut
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    @kayakairgun, not true. Only a few from each lot are tested to 15,000 psi, held for 1 minute, then pressure raises until it bursts.

    https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/sites/phmsa.dot.gov/files/docs/technical-resources/55751/basic-requirements-fully-wrapped-carbon-fiber-reinforced-aluminum-lined-cylinders.pdf 

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    Kayakairgun
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    Nice read centercut, thanks for that!

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    Marks4runr
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    If you want to see and SCBA burst, watch the following video(jump to the 6:40 mark where it is close to rupture):

    SCBA’s can now be life extended past 15 years of use.  See following DOT link regarding this approval:

    https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/news/phmsas-new-cylinder-special-permit-maintains-safety-standards-while-offering-cost-savings-first

    SCBA’s are currently life extended via DOT SP-16320:

    https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/sites/phmsa.dot.gov/files/docs/news/17806/specialpermit16320.pdf

    • This reply was modified 1 week ago by Marks4runr.
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    Tominco
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    Thanks for the video and the information!
    However,
    I asked about getting my own SCBA bottle tested to be used past it’s 15 year lifespan and this is the answer I got…
    “At this time no.  We are in the process of launching some new life extended SCBA product lines.  We will evaluate providing that option in the future.ThanksMark”While the information is promising and interesting, we can’t take advantage of it at this time. And, by the sound of it, we won’t be able to for quite a long time.

    He did point me in the direction of Pyramid Air. They are selling “Life Extended” air tanks.
    https://www.pyramydair.com/s/a/Air_Venturi_LE_Carbon_Fiber_Air_Tank_4500_PSI_45_Cu_Ft_DOM_1998/7993
    Personally, I would have liked to see more savings on an old bottle like these. Also, PA states they are good for another 15 years but, you still have to get them hydro’d every 5. I can easily see the potential for being turned down for a refill when a filling shop sees this.
    Tom
     

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    FunGun
    Participant
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    Hey Tom,
    You won’t be able to get them Hydro tested after the have the MAE testing done.  They must continue to have the MAE testing done every 5 years to continue being eligible for the SP-16320 life extension. You are correct, some dive shops may refuse to fill them till they get use to seeing the life extension DOT (SP-16320).  DOT Hydro test facilities already should be aware of this when they record the new SP16320 in their systems, but like I said, dive shops and general filling station operators might be a little slower learning about it.  Hope this helps.

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    Tominco
    Participant
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    “FunGun”Hey Tom,
    You won’t be able to get them Hydro tested after the have the MAE testing done.  They must continue to have the MAE testing done every 5 years to continue being eligible for the SP-16320 life extension. 

    
Good info but I can’t get MAE to test my personal bottle, per their response to my email. Sucks because I JUST had a bottle go out of life. Looks like I’ll be cutting open another one! LOL
    Tom

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    Centercut
    Participant
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    That video with the tank explosion was intense. It also makes you think about what could happen to our tanks if mishandled or not maintained properly. However, unless you read the full description, you’d miss “the other part of the story”, or the actual detail and condition…

    ​If you click on the “SHOW MORE” under the video, this is what you see:
    ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    In this video we explain the use of Modal Acoustic Emission(MAE) testing and its application to a Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) cylinders. This specific video is regarding a SCBA that we intentionally notched the composite overwrap by 50%. Even with such a severe notch the SCBA nearly makes test pressure. This goes to show how overdesigned and safe these SCBA vessels are. Yes, the beginning is a bit dry as the MAE test procedure is explained. However you are rewarded at the end as we take this SCBA to failure. The video portion of the actual SCBA burst starts at around the 4:05 minute mark. The final catastrophic failure occurs at around the 6:05 minute mark as the SCBA fails at nearly 13,000 PSI!
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    ​So, here is a CFFC SCBA tank, with the composite overwrap notched (damaged) by a full 50%. And then, on the way to a test pressure of 15,000 psi, it catastrophically fails at nearly 13,000 psi. Like it says above, this shows just how overdesigned and safe these SCBA tanks really are…
    Mike

    • This reply was modified 1 week ago by Centercut.
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    FunGun
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    “FunGun”Hey Tom,
    You won’t be able to get them Hydro tested after the have the MAE testing done.  They must continue to have the MAE testing done every 5 years to continue being eligible for the SP-16320 life extension. 

    
Good info but I can’t get MAE to test my personal bottle, per their response to my email. Sucks because I JUST had a bottle go out of life. Looks like I’ll be cutting open another one! LOL
    Tom

    Hang on to it…I think you are going to see a change coming and prices dropping some to get them MAE tested.  You might have to go thru a retailer such as PA or a Hydro facility in order to get it sent to Digital Wave Corp in CO.  PM marks4runr, he might be able to help  you out.

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    Marks4runr
    Participant
    Member

    Tominco – you emailed in asking about this.  I updated a different thread with the following:

    Currently Digital Wave is looking at adding that option for airgun owners.  Life extension is a bit more complicated process than just a quick hydro test.  Also, how do they handle cylinders that might fail the test either on the CGA visual inspection or the actual MAE life extension?  Do they charge the customer either way?  Do they ship the useless failed cylinder back?  If not, what does Digital Wave do with that cylinder?  How do they handle hundreds if not thousands of individual orders for single cylinders that must be repackaged and sent back to many locations.  There is a lot of logistics here guys that needs to be put in place to have a successful offering.  You screw it up once and you can only imagine the posts you will see on this forum.  They want to do this right.

    As soon as the logistics set up to have a successful offering it will be announced.  Also look up and follow the digital wave Facebook page for updates.

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    FunGun
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    appreciate your reply Marks4runr.  We all know you guys will get it figured out in time.  Great job so far.  I wonder in time if it SCBA tanks will become more like the “Propane swap system”.  Something like you just rent your SCBA tank and every five years it gets sent in to be Hydro or MAE certified and DWC just sends you out another tank good for 5 years?  Sounds like a job for the marketing department? lol.

    • This reply was modified 1 week ago by FunGun.
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    Marks4runr
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    “FunGun”appreciate your reply Marks4runr.  We all know you guys will get it figured out in time.  Great job so far.  I wonder in time if it SCBA tanks will become more like the “Propane swap system”.  Something like you just rent your SCBA tank and every five years it gets sent in to be Hydro or MAE certified and DWC just sends you out another tank good for 5 years?  Sounds like a job for the marketing department? lol.

    
The trade in is a great idea.  We actually offer that on the fire SCBA side.  Departments though seem to want their own ones back we have found rather than a swap out.  But who knows in the future.  Our drive is to get the best product out and don’t want to rush anything.  Thanks again! 

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