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oxygen tank death

Discussion in 'Accidents and Incidents' started by abnfrog, Oct 11, 2019.

  1. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    It's a small trade journal, not the NYT, journalists/columnists write their own headlines (titles), whether it is actually used by the editor is another story. At least that what a friend tells me who works on the local rag. And in any event, it's the same crowd, different jobs.

    chillyinCanada likes this.
  2. TrimixToo

    TrimixToo Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: New York State
    I don't agree the cap was likely in place, or at least fully screwed on, as all the ones I get from my local supplier are screwed down. They tell me it's illegal to transport a tank this size with no a cap installed, which if true I'd assume to be a DOT rule.

    I just measured a (spare) CGA246 valve stem one with a ruler, and its diameter is about an inch. There are *two* one-inch holes (or slots with similar surface area) in all in the caps for my small stable of T bottles in the garage, or about double the surface area of a removed valve, and more than enough threads to retain it on the tank if a valve were to fail or come off. The caps are not going to need to hold anything near the tank pressure even if a valve comes out, and if screwed on all the way it is difficult to imagine that one would just "pop off." The same caps are used on tanks rated 6000 PSI as the ones rated 2400 PSI, too, so apparently the DOT and CGA think they are strong enough, and retained well enough.

    But...there are at least two different threads used on the caps for DOT (or ICC)-rated cylinders. A cap with the larger one might fit over the threads of the smaller male thread without being screwed down. For sure, there would be nothing like full thread engagement. Having the wrong cap on and transport without a cap on, seem more likely to me, but what do I know?

    ...just my 2 PSI.

    Edit: I got curious enough to measure the wall thickness of a cap (with a blade micrometer), and of a handy piece of an LP steel scuba tank. The cap was .127" and the tank wall was .123" (both nominally 1/8", I suspect).
  3. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    I don't think that's an issue since, in the picture of the warehouse in the article (link below), I did not see a cap on any bottle.
    Cylinder Training Services. Oxygen cylinder disembowels driver

    Dan likes this.
  4. Dan

    Dan Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
  5. JackD342

    JackD342 Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Highland Park, IL
    I also doubt there was a cap in place. If there was, it would have required BOTH valve AND cap to tear off in order to have the result described. Certainly sounds like the valve threads failed. But if the driver was doing the "tilt and twist" to roll the cylinder on edge, he may have twisted the valve counter clockwise and loosened it. Tapered threads, right? If so, how much or how little loosening is needed to blow it out? May also indicate that along with no cap during transport, the valve was not installed tight enough?
    And, could be loosened valve PLUS bad threads?
  6. caydiver

    caydiver Manta Ray

    Many years ago when I was a kid I was at a bbq at a friends house. All us kids were having a grand old time in the lake and were not around when a 2 liter bottle of soda that had been sitting in the sun unopened popped and the plastic top took out my friends dads eye and did other damage. He was a surgeon who never drove again much less operated. Accidents happen. It is horrible for victims and their families but unless someone with forensic knowledge has first hand access to the scene and conditions at the time of the event, all the questions, answers and suppositions don’t mean anything. It was a big brand soda and the company settled with the victim before the lawyers got involved. The kids grew up just great and the mom and dad remained as charming and wonderful as they were before a freak accident changed their lives. This poor man died and hopefully those depending on him will be made as while as possible and they can reach a place where everyday does not revolve around “how”. Everyone can second guess as much as they want but I truly doubt anyone will find answers on a dive website. I do hope the family and loved ones get the answers they need to give them some peace.
  7. Bob DBF

    Bob DBF Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: NorCal
    I wonder if it's even in the US. I've been going into industrial gas outfits since I was a kid with my brandy new oxy-acetelyne torch. I expected to see bottles capped and in corrals or some kind of restraint. Also I noticed the bottles stacked horosontally in the truck, which Is not an approved method of transport in the US.

  8. kelemvor

    kelemvor Big Fleshy Monster ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Largo, FL USA
    Yes, that's what I would call a dolly. However, I've never seen one that could be tilted away from the operator. Hence my question. Those two bullet points came from the linked article.

    I bought a tank of shielding gas last weekend, so now i've had a good look at how those caps work on industrial tanks. It's kind of too bad threads like that aren't included on scuba tanks. Seems like a great way to protect the valve.
  9. rjack321

    rjack321 Captain

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Port Orchard, WA
    There is no way you are going to hand loosen a 3/4" NGT CGA 540 valve that is properly installed. The torque required is huge - like 600+ ft/lbs
    Pipe Thread Installation Torque Table Chart | Engineers Edge | www.engineersedge.com
    54 in/lbs * 12 = 648 ft/lbs (edit should be divide so 54 /12 = 4.5 but this source is incorrect)
    If its not properly torqued, its going to leak long before you move it.

    So it most likely broke off, or based on the pictures the cylinder threading corroded to the point of failure.
    ChuckP, 2TH DIVR and shoredivr like this.
  10. Wookie

    Wookie Secret Field Agent ScubaBoard Business Sponsor

    No. 54 in-lbs * 12 is 648 in-lbs. 54 in-lbs / 12 ft-lbs/in-lbs is 4.2 ft lbs. I don't know where that chart came from that you referenced, but I put most screw pipe at 1 star torque, that is, I tighten it until I see one star. Cylinder valves are at 2 star torque, that is, put the cylinder in a air operated cylinder vice and tighten it until you see 2 stars. Removing valves takes many stars. I can't find an actual torque spec for cylinder valves aside from handle torque.

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