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I play competitive paintball, and only now, as i am preparing for the Ambush Reflex Tournament, do i realize what paintball hpa tanks can do for scuba. How they work is that they have a thin (o.5cm) wall of aluminum on the inside, and the same thickness in tightly-wrapped carbon fibre. They can hold up to 5000 psi (the average scuba tank holds about 3000) and the are extremly light due to the materials they're made of. Because of this, you could have a light, small and easily portable tank that can hold a lot of air. The only drawback is the price; a 5000 psi 88ci tank is about 300 usd, but they include a high quality regulator, and im sure the price wouldnt increase that much as the size increases, becuase the materials are relativly cheap. any thoughts?
This has been talked about before - its a weight trade off. Your tank may be lighter but you'll need to weight down more somewhere else to make up for it. Also for about $300 you can get a 100cf steel and drop almost all the weight off your belt.
I don't have any numbers but I imagine that the bouyancy swing would be quite large. The only benifits to SCUBA that I can think of is that they are easy to haul around on land or boats. That isn't really a benifit when you consider how much extra weight you'll have to carry to offset the tank.
While these tanks are great for land use (firefighting, paintball, etc.) they are detrimental for usage in SCUBA. No thanks, I'll stick with steel and aluminum.
GOODBYE SCUBABOARD! what a bunch of intolerant out of touch, weekend warriors. Keep pounding those donuts, talking about how hardcore you are, and theatening the life of law-abiding spearfishermen. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
What about a manufacturer making a fiber-wrapped tank that has about the same amount of steel as a traditional tank, so you have the same buoyancy characteristics, but have a service pressure of more like 4500 psi?
Imagine having a tank the size of an LP 104 but a fill of over 177 cf at service pressure. Or fitting over 100 cf into a tank the size of the super tiny HP 80?
IN 2003 Luxfer introduced the Luxfer Limited 4350 PSI HoopWrapped Aluminum Cylinder. These things were / are great. They come in 2 sizes. 106 cuft and 85 cuft. The 106 is the same physical size as an aluminum 80 and the 85 is the same physical size as the alum 63.
I had/have the first batch that came out of the factory and was doing the water tests on them. They were/are outstanding tanks. The bouyancy of them is great and they are nicely balanced. Only one thing ...... if you want the rated volume you gotta have the 4350 psi pressure. If you can only fill them to 3000 psi then you have effectively an 80 and a 63.
The price on these retail is in the $325 range which put them in line with HP steel. The only problem from a marketing standpoint is that there are few dive centers set up to fill them. As a result they were a dud. At best I belive they sold a few hundred. But they are still available on a custom order basis.
These are a standard thick aluminum with what i like to call the "kevlar girdle" to help with the greater pressure.
Carbon Fiber wrap cylinders were used early in tech diving as experiements. These are very light and hold a lot of gas at 4500 psi but float like a cork --which makes them unattractive for diving.
The big market for carbon fiber wrap cylinders is the home-health care market for granny to tote her oxygen bottle around and not feel like she is lugging a bowling ball.
Paintballers also love them for weight and agility.