What’s a dive tank?

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Scuba cylinders contain breathing gas for diving and come in different types, materials, and sizes. Valves connect tanks to regulators, and tanks are assigned pressure ratings and gas types. Maintenance and inspections are crucial for safety.

A scuba cylinder, also known as a scuba tank, contains the pressurized breathing gas for diving. Divers can choose from various types of tanks to suit their diving needs. Tanks must be well maintained and may require formal inspections.

Tanks are frequently made of aluminum or steel, with each material offering advantages and disadvantages. Aluminum tanks are generally less expensive than steel, although they may not last as long. Also, aluminum weighs less than steel, and lighter tanks may be easier on divers who are less strong. Steel tanks can be more affected by corrosion, especially from seawater; These tanks are often painted or coated to protect them.

Another important part of a scuba cylinder is the valve. A valve connects the tank to the diver’s regulator, or breathing apparatus, and regular and valve fittings must be compatible. The two most common types of valves are yoke and din.

A scuba cylinder can be designed to mount on the back of the diver’s buoyancy control device (BCD) or on the sides. The post mount style is the most common. Side-mount styles offer an advantage in that they can allow the diver to move through the water more easily.

Scuba tanks are assigned pressure ratings. A rating indicates the amount of gas the scuba cylinder can hold. Pressure ratings can also be related to tank size and how long a diver could expect to use the tank during a dive.

Tanks can also be classified according to the type of gas used. Compressed air is commonly used, but for different types of diving, other gases may be used, such as nitrox. Labels are placed on the tanks so that the types of gases are easily identifiable.

Diving cylinders come in a variety of dimensions. They will often be 17-30 inches (43.2-76.2 cm) tall and 6.9-8 inches (17.5-20.3 cm) in diameter. Divers can choose cylinders that fit their body size and diving style. For example, a small person may find a smaller cylinder to be more comfortable. Someone planning longer dives might prefer a larger tank.

Tanks are critical components of scuba equipment. They must be well maintained to ensure the safety of divers and operators who might fill or operate them. Many nations require inspections every year or every few years.

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