|04-10-2006, 04:53 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jan 2003
Exploding scuba tanks
Found this on another forum. Just reiterates what many already know.
Exploding scuba tanks
Monday, 3 April 2006
Presenter: Irene Montefiore
What can happen to an alloy 6351 tanks manufactured prior to 1990.
Recently, an aluminum scuba tank that was being stored in a garden shed exploded, splitting the tank entirely in half and damaging the walls of the shed. Not good.
Fortunately no one was injured but it has highlighted the need for these old tanks to either be professionally tested and rated by a qualified person, or disposed of.
This incident has prompted a warning to consumers about scuba tanks made of aluminum that are fifteen to thirty years old.
Scuba tanks were once made of a material called aluminum alloy 6351, and this material is susceptible to sustained load cracking, (SLC), when it becomes aged and is stored containing compressed air.
Gary Wellstead started diving in 1978 and became a dive instructor in 1981 on the South Coast of Western Australia. "The problem is some of these cracks aren't easily detected and it's with this particular alloy which was used between 1975 and 1990."
It's not if but when these tanks fail or develop a neck crack, according to Mr Wellstead.
However, diving is not all about exploding scuba tanks and Mr Wellstead believes, "It's about seeing something that's not happening on land where we walk around and switching off what's on top. Very few people experience that weightlessness, the sense of quite and peace...it's a drug. "
Even in the cold waters off the South Coast of Western Australia, diving has a huge appeal. According to Mr Wellstead, "We've got a very diverse range of marine life, hard corals, soft corals, fish of all shapes, colors and size on show every day of the year."
Diving in Western Australia does sound fantastic but here's one more reminder about the exploding scuba tanks. Consumer Protection has been advised of at least twelve tanks rupturing in recent years throughout Australia, of these occasions five have caused injuries.
Alloy 6351 tanks have historically been manufactured by a number of cylinder manufacturers. SLC is not a manufacturing fault, but a metallurgical phenomenon that occurs in later years after manufacture of the product.
Anyone who owns alloy 6351 tanks manufactured prior to 1990, should contact your state based Consumer Protection's Product Safety Unit.
|Display Modes||Rate This Thread|