Are Scuba Tanks Dangerous?

Someone who has seen movies like Jaws or any other action film would know that the scuba tanks can be explosive and result in a terrifying situation. Whether it is a myth or a fact is still a debate. 

We all believe this to be true that these movies and films are all fictitious, and it has no connection with scientific reality. But someone interested in marine biology would always find this question crucial.

Are scuba tanks flammable? Yes, scuba tanks can be dangerous and can cause damage if mishandled incorrectly.

The one who is well-familiar with physics would clearly understand that when air gets compressed with high pressures, it may result in an explosion.

Why Are Scuba Tanks Dangerous?

Scuba tank explosions occur from either pure gas combustion or rapid release of pressurized air all at once.

The chance that these tanks can become unstable is rare. The majority of the cases are the result of malfunctioning tanks.

But what about those reports you find about people inflicting severe injury from an explosive failure. Does this mean scuba diving is risking your precious life?

Under proper maintenance and hydrostatic pressure test, these tanks are safe to use on a general level.

What happens is that before these tanks are sold, they undergo rigorous testing procedures. Each tank has its pressure rates examined 1.5 times the required rate. 

During the examination process, these tanks are pressurized beyond their usual capacity to check their optimal level of performance. If any of them break during the process, they are recycled.

Reasons for tank explosion?

There are several other possible causes of tank explosion

  • Punctured or dented cylinders rapidly lowers the air pressure and lead to a blast.
  • Over pressurized tanks or improper air filling- air filling beyond desired capacity can also cause an explosion
  • Too much exposure to heat- cause gases to expand inside, resulting in a blast.
  • Valve failure- most common cause of explosion where oxygen moves from the tank to diver tube
  • When open flames come in contact with cylinder gases.
  • Saltwater and moisture corrode the integrity of the wall of the cylinder, leading to an explosion.

You may have heard about the two common types of scuba tanks– a steel or aluminum scuba tank, but not yet sure which one can be your protective gear from an explosion? Here are some considerable pros and cons.

Steel or Aluminum tanks- Which one to get?

Steel tanks are lighter in weight, making the diving experience more enjoyableIt is a softer metal, but can quickly become a victim of dents and scratches.
It is stronger, durable and damage-resistant.Aluminum tanks are less expensive than steel tanks, making them ideal for recreational and budget-friendly diving.
Steel tanks are capable of holding high air pressures.They are negatively buoyant if it’s full but positively buoyant if the air is consumed.
It is more prone to corrosion, particularly when exposed to saltwater.They are corrosion-tolerant from saltwater.

Latest articles

Related articles