View Full Version : Nitrox Max/Contingency Depth Formula

traumadiver

March 10th, 2009, 11:35 PM

I am taking my nitrox course now and have a question for everyone.

In the maximum and contingency depth formula you are dividing two different numbers by your O2 percentage. Those numbers are 46.2 for Max (1.4 ATA) and 52.8 for Contingency (1.6 ATA) depths.

What do those numbers represent? It would make it a lot easier for me to remember those numbers if I knew what they meant.

Thanks

Kern

March 11th, 2009, 12:41 AM

I have no idea what those numbers mean, or where they come from

Sounds like your after your MOD (maximum operating depth) for the ppO2 of 1.4 & 1.6 ata.

Algebraically the formula looks like this. ppO2/ FO2=ambient pressure in ata. Then convert pressure to depth for MOD

For eg. for a ppO2 of 1.4ata & 1.6ata for an FO2 of 32% we would have

1.4ata/0.32=4.38 ata or approx. 34mts

1.6ata/0.32=5 ata or 40mts

Mr Carcharodon

March 11th, 2009, 12:49 AM

Possibly 46.2 and 52.8 are depth in meters. It sounds like an example where the fraction of O2 is 25%. Which is kind of an odd ball percentage. But then you are right it would be easier if they did not throw numbers out there without any associated units.

BTW metric depths to pressures are really easy. 10 meters of salt water (msw)=1 atmosphere absolute (ATA). Of course do not forget to add the 1 ATA for the ambient pressure at the surface. So 46.2 msw=5.62 ATA (46.2 meters/10 m/ATA +1 ATA); and 52.8 m=6.28 ATA). 1.4 ATA/5.62 ATA=.249; and 1.6 ATA/6.28 ATA=.254. Is the half percent difference significant? Probably not, but you would not want to be much farther off than that.

dannobee

March 11th, 2009, 01:05 AM

The numbers by themselves don't pass the sniff test if used as max and contingent.

46.2/1 (100% O2) is far deeper than any suggested depth for oxygen. The PO2 is actually 2.4 ATA.

52.8/1 gives a PO2 of 2.6.

Unless part of the formula calls for subtracting 1 from the result, then we'd end up with 1.4 and 1.6 respectively.

The "real" formula for partial pressure is (depth+33)/33 x O2%,

i.e. (20ft+33)/33 x .50 = 0.8ATA.

.

Kern

March 11th, 2009, 01:08 AM

Possibly 46.2 and 52.8 are depth in meters. It sounds like an example where the fraction of O2 is 25%. Which is kind of an odd ball percentage. But then you are right it would be easier if they did not throw numbers out there without any associated units.

BTW metric depths to pressures are really easy. 10 meters of salt water (msw)=1 atmosphere absolute (ATA). Of course do not forget to add the 1 ATA for the ambient pressure at the surface. So 46.2 msw=5.62 ATA (46.2 meters/10 m/ATA +1 ATA); and 52.8 m=6.28 ATA). 1.4 ATA/5.62 ATA=.249; and 1.6 ATA/6.28 ATA=.254. Is the half percent difference significant? Probably not, but you would not want to be much farther off than that.

That sounds good. However it means you're not looking for your MOD, but rather the best mix to use at a given depth. It also means that you're not dividing any numbers by your FO2%, but rather your ppO2 in ata by your ambient pressure in ata.

It may also mean that you may not have a grasp of the difference between ppO2 & FO2.

rstofer

March 11th, 2009, 01:37 AM

Just an ATA to depth conversion:

33 * 1.4 = 46.2

33 * 1.6 = 52.8

Richard

Kern

March 11th, 2009, 02:02 AM

Umm, I thought this stuff was simple & straight forward. Then I got lost in some imperial hell.

Please disregard everything I'v said to date.

Deefstes

March 11th, 2009, 02:53 AM

I really pity the unfortunate "not the rest of the world" who have still not awaken to the joys of metric measurements.

Kevrumbo

March 11th, 2009, 03:46 AM

I am taking my nitrox course now and have a question for everyone.

In the maximum and contingency depth formula you are dividing two different numbers by your O2 percentage. Those numbers are 46.2 for Max (1.4 ATA) and 52.8 for Contingency (1.6 ATA) depths.

What do those numbers represent? It would make it a lot easier for me to remember those numbers if I knew what they meant.

Thanks

Well . . .using the numbers given: 46.2% & 52.8% FO2 values of the Oxygen mixes; and the NOAA guideline PO2 limit levels of 1.4 ATA and 1.6 ATA --Max & Contingency . . .and solving for total pressure P in ATA by applying Dalton's Law of Partial Pressure:

1.4ATA/46.2% equals 3ATA or same as 20meters or 66feet.

1.6ATA/52.8% equals 3ATA or same as 20meters or 66feet.

Conclusion: for a dive to 20 meters or 66 feet, a 46.2% Nitrox mix will yield a Max PO2 value of 1.4ATA; while a 52.8% mix will result in a Contingency value of 1.6ATA (and better refer to your NOAA Table of Maximum Time of Exposure as well). I'm not exactly sure if this is the answer you're looking for to your exercise --this is a basic Nitrox Class, right??? If so, you should not be using these high FO2 mixes in actual practice. . .

Comment: I had a "hot" deco mix of 53% once, so I had to perform the six minute deco stop slightly shallower at around 19 to 20 meters, instead of the usual MOD of 21 meters for EANx 50 . . .which is why the above given value of "52.8" kind of reminded me of that experience.

traumadiver

March 11th, 2009, 09:45 AM

Just an ATA to depth conversion:

33 * 1.4 = 46.2

33 * 1.6 = 52.8

Richard

I think Mr. Richard gave me the answer I was looking for. It is an ATA to depth conversion. Now why in the world could PADI not have just put that in thier book for over analyzing brains like me?

Thank you everyone for you responses.

rstofer

March 11th, 2009, 10:06 AM

I think Mr. Richard gave me the answer I was looking for. It is an ATA to depth conversion. Now why in the world could PADI not have just put that in thier book for over analyzing brains like me?

Thank you everyone for you responses.

The only reason I knew what those 'magic numbers' represented is because, like you, I wanted to really understand the equations. All of the other equations were quite simple but when PADI decided to use 'magic' constants, I couldn't sit still until I knew where they came from.

It's an engineer thing, I guess.

Richard

Deefstes

March 11th, 2009, 10:07 AM

Now why in the world could PADI not have just put that in thier book for over analyzing brains like me?

They could... at an additional fee of $25. In fact, you might want to check if they don't have a speciality course on it.;)