Prior to 1989 the majority of Aluminum SCUBA tanks were produced using an specific aluminum alloy. Unfortunately these tanks have been prone to developing cracks which can lead to structural failures. In the majority of cases these cracks are detected during your annual visual inspection. However, in an increasing number of cases these cracks are not detected and can lead to catastrophic failures during filling and storage, as evidenced by the recent incident in Rhode Island. Luckily, in this case, no one was seriously injured.
In order to help ensure the safety of our customers and employees will no longer fill any aluminum tank produced, by manufacturers other then Catalina, prior to 1989 when the new alloy was introduced. These tanks have given us 20 years of service, let’s retire them to avoid putting anyone else at risk.
The images below are from Pisces Diving in Tiverton, RI where a tank exploded on June 13, 2007. The Fill Station is made with a reinforced stainless steel tank. Tanks were placed in thick PVC Piping to hold them in place. This extra structure directed the primary force upward. As a result, the Fill Station operator standing three feet away was not hurt. Other operators have not been so lucky.
Undersea Divers Staff
This is the actual tank which was Produced in 1982 and last hydro/VIP was June 2006. Upon later inspection the tank was very clean inside. This tank exploded at an approximate fill pressure between 1500 and 2000 PSI. Well below the working pressure of 3000 PSI.
|Jan-98||Corlette, Australia||SLC*||No||CIG Gas Cylinders|
|Feb-98||Riviera Beach, Florida||SLC*||Yes||Walter Kidde|
|Aug-98||Tairua, New Zealand||SLC*||Yes||Luxfer|
|Dec-98||Tampa, Florida||Not determined||No||Luxfer|
|Mar-00||Key Largo, Florida||Not determined||Yes||Walter Kidde|
|Jun-00||Miyako Island, Japan||SLC*||No||CIG Gas Cylinders|
|Jul-04||Oahu, Hawaii||Not determined||Yes||Walter Kidde|
|Sep-04||Videlia, California||Not determined||No||Walter Kidde|
|Jan-05||Perth, Australia||SLC*||No||CIG Gas Cylinders|
* SUSTAINED-LOAD CRACKING (SLC)