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DOT/PHMSA Allows SCBA Bottle Life Extension Via SP 16320

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  • DOT/PHMSA Allows SCBA Bottle Life Extension Via SP 16320

    Just to update everyone, the DOT has finally approved SCBA bottle life extension. Below is the Public Notice link on the DOT web page:

    https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat/phm...onder-industry

    Below is the link to the actual SP that allows this life extension of the bottles:

    SP-16320

    More reading can be found at:

    www.DWComposites.com

    www.digitalwavecorp.com

  • #2
    Who warranties the bottle after re-certification? You know in case a catastrophic failure occurs past 15 years. I don't see the original cylinder manufacturer doing it, or the SCBA manufacturer. Also what is the cost and how often must they be re-certified??
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
    Maybe it's not too late
    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

    Comment


    • #3
      I would assume that like the increase from a 3 to 5 year test cycle, the extension would likely apply only to new cylinders. That would allow manufacturers to market extended life composite cylinders. As you say there is little incentive for manufacturers to re-certify bottles they have already sold.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
        Who warranties the bottle after re-certification? You know in case a catastrophic failure occurs past 15 years. I don't see the original cylinder manufacturer doing it, or the SCBA manufacturer. Also what is the cost and how often must they be re-certified??
        I'd think the warranty is a moot point, if you were going to toss a bottle at 15 years and buy a new one, you're not out a dime if you don't replace the bottle until it fails, which seems unlikely given this extension. Also, it seems the re-certification is the same as all previous years, the bottle must continue to pass all inspections and hydro's on the same scheduled basis as before?

        Comment


        • #5
          As I recall, the only two documented cases of an SCBA failing have been from mechanical damage by improper use, not age. One was a bottle that got ran over by an apparatus, and the other was a bottle loaned to a PD, and the officer that used it thought he'd be nice and cleaned it with a caustic cleaner that ate into the aluminum.
          So it would seem that age isn't so much of an issue. Seals and valves are almost always the problem with a bottle failure, and I think most other bottles with damage to the actual body are taken out of service before failure.

          Comment


          • #6
            Actually guys, I spoke to a cylinder manufacturer at FDIC and they make 2 grades of cylinders, a 15 year and a 30 year. According to the gentlemen at the booth there is a difference in the thickness of the aluminum cylinder and the carbon fiber wrap between a 15 and a 30 year cylinder. They expressed the opinion that they would not warranty any cylinder used past its designed life.

            You can argue whatever you want, but this is right from the horse's mouth.
            Crazy, but that's how it goes
            Millions of people living as foes
            Maybe it's not too late
            To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

            Comment


            • #7
              You are correct, there is no warranty from the original manufacturer. At the end of 15 years they want you to throw them out so that they can sell you a new one at inflated prices. All of these SCBA carbon fiber bottles made by multiple manufacturers were built to the "DOT CFFC" design requirements document. This DOT document originally provided for the ability to life extend bottles as the design requirements were so extreme. The bottles as they are can easily go 30 years and most likely far far beyond that.

              However, none of the manufacturers want to life extend. There is no benefit to them to do this. They just want you to throw them out. The DOT is the one that created the CFFC design document. The DOT is the one that has initiated the studies to determine the viability of life extension. And it is the DOT that has determined that the vessels are safe for life extension, hence issuing SP16320 to Digital Wave. Manufacturers of course are going to be playing this down, confuse the market with 15 and 30 year offerings and generally poo-poo life extension. Ultimately, it is the DOT that makes the decision, not the manufacturer. The DOT are the ones that regulate pressure vessels in transit. For more reading on CFFC and how this came about, go to the following Digital Wave Web page and click on the following document to read:

              "Review of History Behind Life Extension"

              www.digitalwavecorp.com

              Digital Wave is currently offering the life extension service. If the existing end of life bottle does not pass the life extension MAE test, they do not charge you. This service is a fraction the cost of buying a new one.

              I hope this helps to clarify. Feel free to contact me if you need more information.
              Digital Wave Corporation is a manufacturer of Ultrasonic Examination (UE) and Modal Acoustic Emission (MAE) testing equipment.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by digital wave View Post
                You are correct, there is no warranty from the original manufacturer. At the end of 15 years they want you to throw them out so that they can sell you a new one at inflated prices. All of these SCBA carbon fiber bottles made by multiple manufacturers were built to the "DOT CFFC" design requirements document. This DOT document originally provided for the ability to life extend bottles as the design requirements were so extreme. The bottles as they are can easily go 30 years and most likely far far beyond that.

                However, none of the manufacturers want to life extend. There is no benefit to them to do this. They just want you to throw them out. The DOT is the one that created the CFFC design document. The DOT is the one that has initiated the studies to determine the viability of life extension. And it is the DOT that has determined that the vessels are safe for life extension, hence issuing SP16320 to Digital Wave. Manufacturers of course are going to be playing this down, confuse the market with 15 and 30 year offerings and generally poo-poo life extension. Ultimately, it is the DOT that makes the decision, not the manufacturer. The DOT are the ones that regulate pressure vessels in transit. For more reading on CFFC and how this came about, go to the following Digital Wave Web page and click on the following document to read:

                "Review of History Behind Life Extension"

                www.digitalwavecorp.com

                Digital Wave is currently offering the life extension service. If the existing end of life bottle does not pass the life extension MAE test, they do not charge you. This service is a fraction the cost of buying a new one.

                I hope this helps to clarify. Feel free to contact me if you need more information.
                The simple fact is the manufacturers will not warranty the cylinder after their planned life expectancy. It does not matter that your company says the bottle is safe. The fact is if the cylinder catastrophically fails after your testing process the manufacturer will wash their hands of the problem. Is YOUR company going to offer a warranty for the cylinder for continued usage?

                What is the cost of the testing and is it on the same 5 year cycle?
                Crazy, but that's how it goes
                Millions of people living as foes
                Maybe it's not too late
                To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by FyredUp View Post

                  The simple fact is the manufacturers will not warranty the cylinder after their planned life expectancy. It does not matter that your company says the bottle is safe. The fact is if the cylinder catastrophically fails after your testing process the manufacturer will wash their hands of the problem. Is YOUR company going to offer a warranty for the cylinder for continued usage?

                  What is the cost of the testing and is it on the same 5 year cycle?
                  Dear 'Fyred Up' - I have been traveling and just getting back to respond to your post. The simple fact is that Digital Wave does warranty these vessels. Per the SP, they are the manufacturer. They actually warranty life extended vessels for 15 years, whereas Manufacturers only warranty them for 10 years. Feel free to look up their warranty statement and read it yourself.

                  The DOT has determined that these life extended SCBA vessels have the same level of safety as at time of original manufacture. Please feel free to read this statement on the DOT/PHMSA web page. I can provide that for you again if you wish.

                  On a final note, the price of the life extending vessels is a fraction of buying new ones. If you think it is best just to throw out your 15 year end of life SCBA vessels and spend your department's money on new SCBA vessels, you must have lots of spare tax payer money laying around. Digital Wave either life extends the vessels you currently have, or can provide for new purchase of life extended vessels. Whatever helps to save your department money so you can put these excess funds to better use.

                  If you have any other similar constructive comments, please let me know.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for adding nothing new, especially the cost factor.
                    Crazy, but that's how it goes
                    Millions of people living as foes
                    Maybe it's not too late
                    To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Digital Wave will provide pricing via direct quotation to the Department requesting it. It is based on volumes required and the associate return shipping required. In addition this life extension service includes rebuilt valves. Please feel free to contact them. They are currently providing this service on numerous SCBA vessels via this process.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yeah, no thanks.
                        Crazy, but that's how it goes
                        Millions of people living as foes
                        Maybe it's not too late
                        To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Out of curiosity, are they any historical cases where a cylinder failed, and the manufacturer covered all damage and consequences under warranty?
                          I would guess that if there was a catastrophic failure, their lawyers are going to jump up and down and prove six ways to Sunday that the cylinder was damaged due to misuse, or some other condition that is outside of warranty...
                          This is kind of like Scott saying that a user voids the SCBA warranty if you don't use a Scott cylinder with it (because a Luxfer cylinder with someone else's label on it is apparently not the same as the Luxfer cylinder with the Scott label on it?)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Guys, seriously, do what ever you want. It has zero effect on me. If you believe this is a great idea go for it.
                            Crazy, but that's how it goes
                            Millions of people living as foes
                            Maybe it's not too late
                            To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by FyredUp View Post
                              Yeah, no thanks.
                              Do you also dispose of hydraulic rescue tools on the day the warranty expires? Based on the logic you're applying here, you should. If someone gets hurt when it fails then who's going to cover the damages?

                              You're far more likely to be exposed to a high pressure injection injury from a ruptured line than you are a ruptured SCBA cylinder. For that matter, you're more likely to be struck by lightening than suffer an injury from a SCBA cylinder rupture.

                              And do you also send off all your 2.5 gallon water cans for hydro-static testing?

                              If you'd take time to read this document: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/d00b7...18c1259c6b.pdf .... then you'd have a much better understanding of the technology behind it and the robust over-engineering that goes into composite SCBA cylinder manufacturing.

                              And like the gentleman said, the OEM's are not behind it because they want to sell you new cylinders. Luxfer has a position on it: http://www.luxfercylinders.com/press...ning-life-exte And to quote them: Luxfer cannot accept responsibility or liability for use of Luxfer-manufactured cylinders beyond the 15-year service life for which they were designed, nor does the Luxfer cylinder warranty extend beyond 15 years.

                              Our Scott 5,500 psi cylinders are about $1,200 each, and Luxfer refuses to sell the 5,500 cylinders to anyone but Scott. RIT-PAKs are not NIOSH approved devices, so any cylinder is suitable for use in it.

                              Unless you're changing brands of SCBA, not extending cylinder life is a complete waste of taxpayer money.
                              The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened. --Norman Mattoon Thomas, 6 time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America

                              Comment

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