Posted on Jul 30th 2018
When Digital Wave began their tests to prove that cylinders could have a longer service life, they had a lot to prove. They developed the theories and math, and needed to verify them with test data. The testing, math and theory all aligned to prove the safety of LEx cylinders, and their longer service life.
Digital Wave applied math and testing methods already used for cylinders of other types, to the unique characteristics of carbon fiber SCBA cylinders. That math predicted the failure point of a cylinder, as well as the pressure and time it would fail. In the end, the proof was overwhelming: cylinders have a much longer service life than the previous 15 year limit. To make sure their math and theories were correct Digital Wave tested SCBA cylinders donated by fire departments all over the country. Today Digital Wave has tested about 1 million cylinders of various types that prove the math and theories they developed.
The new testing method is based on Modal Acoustic Emissions (MAE). The MAE testing process includes attaching the cylinder to machines that record the internal pressure and the response to a variety of frequencies. MAE is like seismology: the testing helps map out the cylinder and any imperfections that could be in the cylinder. Extending Digital Wave's MAE math to carbon fiber SCBA cylinders was verified by destructive tests when they measured hundreds of cylinders as they exploded. The math predicted the pressure, time and the exact location where each cylinder would explode. It all proved that a 30 year life was completely safe. The DOT agreed, and you can buy them now. You can extend the life of your old cylinder, or purchase a Life Extended cylinder.
This is how Digital Wave and MAE testing led to the development of LEx. For more information check out Dalmatian’s FAQ page on LEx as well as Digital Wave’s website. You can also watch an actual MAE test to the point of explosion: Watch Now.