Ask any diver about his or her pet peeve, and inevitably they will answer with a list of things non-divers and newbies assume about their sport. One glaring point of frustration for seasoned divers is to see flailing or poor buoyancy control. Another is not knowing proper dive buddy etiquette. But one of the most frustrating things for a diver is to listen to someone talk about their ‘oxygen’ tank. Divers with experience know pure oxygen is almost never used exclusively in recreational diving. The proper way to describe it is ‘air tank,’ but that still misses the mark. Actually, they’re called cylinders, and here are some fun and interesting videos featuring them.
Making an aluminum scuba tank
If you have never seen a cylinder being made, then check out this informative video. The manufacturing process that goes into creating the tank is quite fascinating, especially considering the amount of pressure and temperature that is involved. It’s also interesting to note that the tank starts out as a solid piece of aluminum called a slug. It is during the extrusion procedure when the solid slug is formed into a hallow cylinder, a part of the process that you must see to believe.
What is done during a VIP Inspection
Because they are made of metal, and because metal can fatigue, it is essential that you have your tank visually inspected annually and pressure tested as required. In this video, we are shown the major aspects of a visual tank inspection, or VIP. The video is valuable in that it gives a diver a nice, overall concept of what is involved in a visual inspection, but, as the producer warns, never do a visual (or a hydrostatic) inspection yourself. Always let the trained professionals do that work for you. However, watching this video will arm you with the knowledge you need to ensure your tank is in proper working order.
Homemade SCUBA tank
There seem to be countless videos on the web on the dubious topic of fashioning your own DIY scuba tank. Let us be as frank and as direct as possible. DO NOT MAKE and USE THESE. Without proper scuba training, it is very dangerous to breathe compressed air at any depth. In training, you are taught how to properly breathe during ascent, and not knowing that can cause serious injury or death. With that said, it is interesting to see the different ways people have found to create their own scuba gear.
Shooting SCUBA tanks
Kids do the darndest things, don’t they? The first question you might be asking is why would anyone shoot at a perfectly good, and expensive scuba tank? Well, these might have not been able to pass inspection, so in that case they might as well. But the bigger goal, I think, is to experiment with and see exactly what happens when a tank is ruptured. In that case, this video, for all of its violence, is educational.