CHAPTER 22 — Recompression Chamber Operation 22-1
CHAPTER 22
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22-1
INTRODUCTION
22-1.1
Purpose.
Recompression chambers are used for the treatment of decompression
sickness, for surface decompression, and for administering pressure tests to
prospective divers. Recompression chambers equipped for hyperbaric administra-
tion of oxygen are also used in medical facilities for hyperbaric treatment of
carbon monoxide poisoning, gangrenous tissue, and other diseases. Decompres-
sion surface-supplied diving operations to depths greater than 130 fsw require that
a chamber be available at the dive site.
22-1.2
Scope.
This chapter will familiarize personnel with the maintenance and opera-
tional requirements for recompression chambers.
22-2
DESCRIPTION
Most chamber-equipped U.S. Navy units will have one of five commonly
provided chambers. They are:
1.
Double-lock, 200-psig, 425-cubic-foot steel chamber (Figure 22-1).
2.
Double-lock, 100-psig, 201-cubic-foot aluminum chamber. Two-lock cham-
bers of approximately 205-cubic-foot capacity or smaller may be used as flya-
way or mobile chambers (Figure 22-2).
3.
Double-lock, 100-psig, 202-cubic-foot steel chamber (ARS 50 class) (Figure
22-3 and Figure 22-4).
4.
Transportable Recompression Chamber System (TRCS) (Figure 22-5).
5.
Fly Away Recompression Chamber (Figure 22-8, Figure 22-9, and Figure
22-10).
22-2.1
Basic Requirements.
Double-lock chambers are used because they permit
tending personnel and supplies to enter and leave the chamber during treatment.
Where stated:
On-site chamber is defined as a certified and ready chamber accessible
withing 30 minutes of the dive site by available transportation.
On-station chamber is defined as a certified and ready chamber at the dive
site.
Emergency chamber is defined as the closest recompression chamber
available. A non-certified chamber may be used if the diving supervisor is of
the opinion that it is safe to use.
22-2 U.S. Navy Diving Manual—Volume 5
Double-Lock Steel Recompression Chamber
1. Inner Lock
2. Outer Lock
3. Air Supply – Two-Valve
4. Air Supply – One-Valve
5. Main Lock Pressure Equalizin
g
Valve
6. Exhaust – Two-Valve
7. Exhaust – One-Valve
8. Oxy
g
en Manifold
9. Relief Ga
g
Valve (1 each lock)
10. Relief Valve – 110 psi
g
11. Medical Lock 18-Inch Diameter
12. View Port – Inner Lock (4)
13. View Port – Outer Lock (2)
14. Li
g
hts – Inner Lock 40 Watt (4)
15. Li
g
hts – Outer Lock 40 Watt
16. Transmitter/Receiver
17. Berth – 26
″ ×
66
18. Bench
19. Pressure Gau
g
e – Outside (2 each lock)
20. Pressure Gau
g
e – Inside (1 each lock)
Ori
g
inal Desi
g
n Pressure – 200 psi
g
Ori
g
inal Hydrostatic Test Pressure – 400 psi
g
Maximum Operatin
g
Pressure – 100 psi
g
Figure 22-1.
Double Lock Steel Recompression Chamber.
CHAPTER 22 — Recompression Chamber Operation 22-3
Double-Lock Aluminum Recompression Chamber
1. Inner Lock
2. Outer Lock
3. Air Supply Connection
4. Air Supply – Two-Valve
5. Air Supply – One-Valve
6. Inner Lock Pressure Equalizin
g
Valve
7. Exhaust – Two-Valve
8. Exhaust – One-Valve
9. Exhaust Outlet
10. Oxy
g
en Manifold
11. Relief Valve – 110 psi
g
11A. Ga
g
Valve
12. View Port – Inner Lock (4)
13. View Port – Outer Lock (2)
14. Transmitter/Receiver (2)
15. Li
g
hts – Inner Lock 40 Watt (4)
16. Li
g
hts – Outer Lock 40 Watt
17. Pressure Gau
g
e – Outside (2 each lock)
18. Pressure Gau
g
e – Inside (1 each lock)
19. Power Distribution Panel
20. Clock (optional)
21. Door Do
g
s
Desi
g
n Pressure – 100 psi
g
Ori
g
inal Hydrostatic Test Pressure – 200 psi
g
Volume Inner Lock = 136 cubic feet
Outer Lock = 65 cubic feet
Total = 201 cubic feet
Principal locations – Repair/salva
g
e ships and most shore-based facilities.
Figure 22-2.
Double-Lock Aluminum Recompression Chamber.
22-4 U.S. Navy Diving Manual—Volume 5
ARS 50 Class Double-Lock Recompression Chamber
1. Inner Lock
2. Outer Lock
3. Air Supply Connection
4. Air Supply – Inner Lock
5. Air Supply – Outer Lock
6. Exhaust – Inner Lock
7. Exhaust – Outer Lock
8. BIBS Supply – Inner Lock
9. BIBS Supply – Outer Lock
10. BIBS Exhaust – Inner Lock
11. BIBS Exhaust – Outer Lock
12. Oxy
g
en Analyzer
13. Communications
14. Sound-Powered Phones
15. External Depth Gau
g
es – Inner Lock (2)
16. External Depth Gau
g
es – Outer Lock (2)
17. Telethermometer
18. Ground Fault Interrupter
19. Pipe Li
g
ht Assembly
20. Chiller and Scrubber Panel
23. Inner Lock Comm Panel
24. Outer Lock Comm Panel
25. Bunk Main
26. Bunk Extension
27. View Ports – Inner Lock (4)
28. View Ports – Outer Lock (2)
29. Stron
g
back
30. Relief Valve – 100 psi
g
30A.Ga
g
Valve
31. Pipe Li
g
ht Controls
32. Chiller/Scrubber Penetrator
Desi
g
n Pressure – 100 psi
g
Ori
g
inal Hydrostatic Pressure – 150 psi
g
Principal Locations – ARS-50 Class Salva
g
e Ships
Volume Inner Lock = 134 cubic feet
Outer Lock = 68 cubic feet
Total = 202 cubic feet
Figure 22-3.
ARS 50 Class Double Lock Recompression Chamber.
CHAPTER 22 — Recompression Chamber Operation 22-5
Fleet Modernized Double-Lock Recompression Chamber
1. Inner Lock
2. Outer Lock
3. Gas Supply – Inner Lock
4. Gas Supply – Outer Lock
5. Gas Exhaust
6. O
2
Analyzer
7. CO
2
Analyzer
8. Inner-Lock Depth Gau
g
es (2)
9. Outer-Lock Depth Gau
g
es (2)
10. Communications Panel
11. Sound-Powered Phone
12. Pipe Li
g
ht Control Panel
13. Ground Fault Interrupter
14. View Ports (5)
15. Flowmeter
16. Stopwatch/Timer
17. Telethermometer
18. CO
2
Scrubber
19. Fire Extin
g
uisher
20. Chiller/Conditioner Unit
21. Ga
g
Valve
22. Relief Valve – 110 psi
g
23. BIBS Overboard Dump Re
g
ulator – Outer Lock
Figure 22-4.
Fleet Modernized Double-Lock Recompression Chamber.
22-6 U.S. Navy Diving Manual—Volume 5
22-2.1.1
Chamber Volume.
Navy chambers rated at the same pressure do not all have the
same physical dimensions, with the exception of the aluminum chambers, ARS 50
class chambers, TRCS, and FARCC. Consequently, internal volumes of steel
chambers are not standard and must be calculated for each chamber. Chamber
volume is normally provided with the chamber.
The basic components of a recompression chamber are much the same from one
model to another. They must be able to impose and maintain a pressure equivalent
to a depth of 165 fsw (6 atmospheres absolute). The piping and valving on some
chambers is arranged to permit control of the air supply and the exhaust from
either the inside or the outside of the chamber. Controls on the outside must be
able to override the inside controls in the event of a problem inside the chamber.
The usual method for providing this dual-control capability is through the use of
two separate systems. The first, consisting of a supply line and an exhaust line, can
only be controlled by valves that are outside of the chamber. The second air
supply/exhaust system has a double set of valves, one inside and one outside the
chamber. This arrangement permits the tender to regulate descent or ascent from
within the chamber, but always subject to final control by outside personnel.
22-2.2
Modernized Chamber.
Modernized chambers (Figure 22-4) have carbon dioxide
and oxygen monitors, a CO
2
scrubber system, a Built-In Breathing System
(BIBS), and an oxygen dump system which together reduce the ventilation
requirements. These chambers also include a chamber environment control system
that regulates humidity and temperature.
22-2.3
Transportable Recompression Chamber System (TRCS).
In addition to the
chambers described above, a Transportable Recompression Chamber System
(TRCS) is currently in fleet use (Figure 22-5). The TRCS consists of two pressure
chambers. One is a conical-shaped chamber (Figure 22-6) called the Transportable
Recompression Chamber, and the other is a cylindrical shaped vessel (Figure
22-7) called the Transfer Lock (TL). The two chambers are capable of being
connected by means of a freely rotating NATO female flange coupling.
When a recompression chamber is required on site per Figure 6-14, or surface
decompression dives are planned, the full TRCS system (including both TRC and
TL) shall be on site.
When a recompression chamber is not required on site per Figure 6-14, the inner
lock (TRC) may be used for emergency recompression treatment.
22-2.4
Fly Away Recompression Chamber (FARCC).
This chamber system consists of
a 60-inch double lock modernized chamber in a 20’ x 8’ x 8’ milvan (Figure 22-8
and Figure 22-9). The Fly Away Recompression Chamber (FARCC) also includes
a life support skid (Figure 22-10). In addition, a stand-alone generator is provided
for remote site power requirements.
CHAPTER 22 — Recompression Chamber Operation 22-7
22-2.5
Standard Features.
Recompression chambers must be equipped with a means for
delivering breathing oxygen to the personnel in the chamber. The inner lock
should be provided with connections for demand-type oxygen inhalators. Oxygen
can be furnished through a high-pressure manifold connected with supply cylin-
ders outside the chamber.
Figure 22-5.
Transportable Recompression Chamber System (TRCS).
Height
52
with wheel, 48
without wheels
Width
50.7
Weight
1,268 lbs.
Internal Volume
45 cu. ft.
Door Opening
26
View Ports
3 @ 6
dia. Clear Opening
Medical Lock
5.75
dia. x 11.8
long
Mating Flange
Male per NATO STANG 1079
Life Support Scrubber
Air driven, replaceable scrubber, canister
fits in Med Lock
BIBS
2 masks – oxygen and air supply (with
capability for N
2
O
2
or HeO
2
) – overboard
dump
Design Pressure
110 psig
Atmospheric Monitoring
Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide Analyzer
Design Temperature
0-125°F
Gas Supply
Primary and secondary air and O
2
Length
95.7
Communications
Battery-powered speaker/headset phone
Furnishing
Patient litter, attendants seat
Figure 22-6.
Transportable Recompression Chamber (TRC).
22-8 U.S. Navy Diving Manual—Volume 5
22-2.5.1
Labeling.
All lines should be identified and labeled to indicate function, content
and direction of flow. The color coding in Table 22-1 should be used.
Height
52.9
Width
54.8
Weight
1,367 lbs.
Internal Volume
45.5 cu. ft.
Door Opening
2 doors – 26
View Ports
2 @ 6
dia. Clear Opening
Mating Flange
Rotating Female per NATO STANG
1079
Life Support Scrubber
Air-driven, replaceable scrubber,
canister fits in TRC Med Lock
BIBS
2 masks – oxygen and air supply
overboard dump
Design Pressure
110 psig
Atmospheric Monitoring
Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide Analyzer
Design Temperature
0-125°F
Gas Supply
Primary and secondary air and O
2
Length
69.9
Communications
Sound-powered phone
Figure 22-7.
Transfer Lock (TL).
Table 22-1. Recompression Chamber Line Guide.
Function Designation Color Code
Helium HE Buff
Oxygen OX Green
Helium-Oxygen Mix HE-OX Buff & Green
Nitrogen N Light Gray
Nitrogen Oxygen Mix N-OX Light Gray & Green
Exhaust E Silver
Air (Low Pressure) ALP Black
Air (High Pressure) AHP Black
Chilled Water CW Blue & White
Hot Water HW Red & White
Potable Water PW Blue
Fire Fighting Material FP Red
CHAPTER 22 — Recompression Chamber Operation 22-9
22-2.5.2
Inlet and Exhaust Ports.
Optimum chamber ventilation requires separation of the
inlet and exhaust ports within the chamber. Exhaust ports must be provided with a
guard device to prevent accidental injury when they are open.
22-2.5.3
Pressure Gauges.
Chambers must be fitted with appropriate pressure gauges.
These gauges, marked to read in feet of seawater (fsw), must be calibrated or
compared as described in the applicable Planned Maintenance System (PMS) to
ensure accuracy in accordance with the instructions in Chapter 4.
22-2.5.4
Relief Valves.
Recompression chambers should be equipped with pressure relief
valves in each manned lock. Chambers that do not have latches (dogs) on the
doors are not required to have a relief valve on the outer lock. The relief valves
shall be set in accordance with PMS. In addition, all chambers shall be equipped
with a gag valve, located between the chamber pressure hull and each relief valve.
This gag valve shall be a quick acting, ball-type valve, sized to be compatible with
the relief valve and its supply piping. The gag valve shall be safety wired in the
open position
22-2.5.5
Communications System.
Chamber communications are provided through a
diver’s intercommunication system, with the dual microphone/speaker unit in the
chamber and the surface unit outside. The communication system should be
arranged so that personnel inside the chamber need not interrupt their activities to
operate the system. The backup communications system may be provided by a set
of standard sound-powered telephones. The press-to-talk button on the set inside
the chamber can be taped down, thus keeping the circuit open.
22-2.5.6
Lighting Fixtures.
Consideration should be given to installation of a low-level
lighting fixture (on a separate circuit), which can be used to relieve the patient of
Figure 22-8.
Fly Away Recompression Chamber (FARCC).
22-10 U.S. Navy Diving Manual—Volume 5
the heat and glare of the main lights. Emergency lights for both locks and an
external control station are mandatory. No electrical equipment, other than that
authorized within the scope of certification or as listed in the NAVSEA Autho-
rized for Navy Use (ANU) List, is allowed inside the chamber. Because of the
possibility of fire or explosion when working in an oxygen or compressed air
atmosphere, all electrical wiring and equipment used in a chamber shall meet
required specifications.
22-3
STATE OF READINESS
Since a recompression chamber is emergency equipment, it must be kept in a state
of readiness. The chamber shall be well maintained and equipped with all neces-
sary accessory equipment. A chamber is not to be used as a storage compartment.
The chamber and the air and oxygen supply systems shall be checked prior to each
use with the Predive Checklist and in accordance with PMS instructions. All
diving personnel shall be trained in the operation of the recompression chamber
equipment and should be able to perform any task required during treatment.
22-4
GAS SUPPLY
A recompression chamber system must have a primary and a secondary air supply
system that satisfy the following requirements.
Figure 22-9.
Fly Away Recompression Chamber.
CHAPTER 22 — Recompression Chamber Operation 22-11
Primary.
Sufficient air to pressurize the inner lock once to 165 feet and the
outer lock twice to 165 feet and ventilate during one Treatment Table 4 (Chap-
ter 21).
Secondary.
Sufficient air to pressurize the inner and outer locks once to 165
feet and ventilate for one hour at 70.4 scfm.
22-4.1
Capacity.
Either system may consist of air banks and/or a suitable compressor.
The primary recompression chamber support system must be capable of pressur-
izing the inner lock to a depth of 165 feet. The required total capacity is calculated
as follows.
Primary System Capacity:
C
p
= (5 × V
il
) + (5 × V
ol
) + 4,224
Where:
C
P
= minimum capacity of primary system in scf
V
il
= volume of inner lock in scf
V
ol
= volume of outer lock in scf
5 = atmospheres equivalent to 165 fsw
10 = twice 5 atmospheres
Figure 22-10.
Fly Away Recompression Chamber Life Support Skid.
22-12 U.S. Navy Diving Manual—Volume 5
45,390 = total air in scf required to ventilate during a Table 4 Treatment
Secondary System Capacity:
C
s
= (5 × V
il
) + (5 × V
ol
) + 4,224
Where:
C
s
= minimum capacity of secondary system in scf
V
il
= volume of inner lock
V
ol
= volume of outer lock
5 = atmospheres equivalent to 165 fsw
4224 = air in scf required for maximum ventilation rate of 70.4 scfm for
one hour (60 min)
22-5
OPERATION
22-5.1
Predive Checklist.
To ensure each item is operational and ready for use, perform
the equipment checks listed in the Recompression Chamber Predive Checklist,
Figure 22-11a.
22-5.2
Safety Precautions.
Do not use oil on any oxygen fitting, air fitting, or piece of equipment.
Do not allow oxygen supply tanks to be depleted below 100 psig.
Ensure dogs are in good operating condition and seals are tight.
Do not leave doors dogged (if applicable) after pressurization.
Do not allow open flames, smoking materials, or any flammables to be carried
into the chamber.
Do not permit electrical appliances to be used in the chamber unless listed in
the Authorized for Navy Use (ANU).
Do not perform unauthorized repairs or modifications on the chamber support
systems.
Do not permit products in the chamber that may contaminate or off-gas into
the chamber atmosphere.
CHAPTER 22 — Recompression Chamber Operation 22-13
RECOMPRESSION CHAMBER PREDIVE CHECKLIST
Equipment Initials
Chamber
System certified
Cleared of all extraneous equipment
Clear of noxious odors
Doors and seals undamaged, seals lubricated
Pressure gauges calibrated/compared
Air Supply System
Primary and secondary air supply adequate
One-valve supply: Valve closed
Two-valve supply: Outside valve open, inside valve closed, if applicable
Equalization valve closed, if applicable
Supply regulator set at 250 psig or other appropriate pressure
Fittings tight, filters clean, compressors fueled
Exhaust System
One-valve exhaust: valve closed and calibrated for ventilation
Two-valve exhaust: outside valve open, inside valve closed, if applicable
Oxygen Supply System
Cylinders full, marked as BREATHING OXYGEN, cylinder valves open
Replacement cylinders on hand
Built in breathing system (BIBS) masks installed and tested
Supply regulator set in accordance with OPs
Fittings tight, gauges calibrated
Oxygen manifold valves closed
BIBS dump functioning
Figure 22-11a.
Recompression Chamber Predive Checklist (sheet 1 of 2).
22-14 U.S. Navy Diving Manual—Volume 5
RECOMPRESSION CHAMBER PREDIVE CHECKLIST
Equipment Initials
Electrical System
Lights
Carbon dioxide analyzer calibrated
Oxygen analyzer calibrated
Temperature indicator calibrated
Carbon dioxide scrubber operational
Chamber conditioning unit operational
Direct Current (DC) power supply
Ground Fault Interrupter (GFI)
Communication System
Primary system tested
Secondary system tested
Fire Prevention System
Tank pressurized for chambers with installed fire suppression systems
Combustible material in metal enclosure
Fire-retardant clothing worn by all chamber occupants
Fire-resistant mattresses and blankets in chamber
Miscellaneous
Inside Chamber: CO
2
-absorbent canister with fresh absorbent installed
Urinal
Primary medical kit
Ear protection sound attenuators/aural protectors (1 set per person)
Outside Chamber: Heater/chiller unit
Stopwatches for recompression treatment time, decompression
time, personnel leaving chamber time, and cumulative time
Fresh CO
2
scrubber canister
U.S. Navy Diving Manual
, Volume 5
Ventilation bill
Chamber log
Operating Procedures (OPs) and Emergency Procedures (EPs)
Secondary medical kit
Bedpan (to be locked in as required)
Figure 22-11b.
Recompression Chamber Predive Checklist (sheet 2 of 2).
CHAPTER 22 — Recompression Chamber Operation 22-15
22-5.3
General Operating Procedures.
1.
Ensure completion of Predive Checklist.
2.
Diver and tender enter the chamber together.
3.
Diver sits in an uncramped position.
4.
Tender closes and dogs (if so equipped) the inner lock door.
5.
Pressurize the chamber, at the rate and to the depth specified in the appropriate
decompression or recompression table.
6.
As soon as a seal is obtained or upon reaching depth, tender releases the dogs
(if so equipped).
7.
Ventilate chamber according to specified rates and energize CO
2
scrubber and
chamber conditioning system.
8.
Ensure proper decompression of all personnel.
9.
Ensure completion of Postdive Checklist.
22-5.3.1
Tender Change-Out.
During extensive treatments, medical personnel may prefer
to lock-in to examine the patient and then lock-out, rather than remain inside
throughout the treatment. Inside tenders may tire and need relief.
22-5.3.2
Lock-In Operations.
Personnel entering the chamber go into the outer lock and
close and dog the door (if applicable). The outer lock should be pressurized at a
rate controlled by their ability to equalize, but not to exceed 75 feet per minute.
The outside tender shall record the time pressurization begins to determine the
decompression schedule for the occupants when they are ready to leave the
chamber. When the pressure levels in the outer and inner locks are equal, the
inside door (which was undogged at the beginning of the treatment) should open.
22-5.3.3
Lock-Out Operations.
To exit the chamber, the personnel again enter the outer
lock and the inside tender closes and dogs the inner door (if so equipped). When
ready to ascend, the Diving Supervisor is notified and the required decompression
schedule is selected and executed. Constant communications are maintained with
the inside tender to ensure that a seal has been made on the inner door. Outer lock
depth is controlled throughout decompression by the outside tender.
22-5.3.4
Gag Valves.
The actuating lever of the chamber gag valves shall be maintained in
the open position at all times, during both normal chamber operations and when
the chamber is secured. The gag valves must be closed only in the event of relief
valve failure during chamber operation. Valves are to be lock-wired in the open
position with light wire that can be easily broken when required. A WARNING
plate, bearing the inscription shown below, shall be affixed to the chamber in the
vicinity of each gag valve and shall be readily viewable by operating personnel.
22-16 U.S. Navy Diving Manual—Volume 5
The WARNING plates shall measure approximately 4 inches by 6 inches and read
as follows:
22-5.4
Ventilation.
The basic rules for ventilation are presented below. These rules
permit rapid computation of the cubic feet of air per minute (acfm) required under
different conditions as measured at chamber pressure (the rules are designed to
ensure that the effective concentration of carbon dioxide will not exceed 1.5
percent (11.4 mmHg) and that when oxygen is being used, the percentage of
oxygen in the chamber will not exceed 25 percent).
1.
When air is breathed, provide 2 cubic feet per minute (acfm) for each diver at
rest and 4 cubic feet per minute (acfm) for each diver who is not at rest (i.e., a
tender actively taking care of a patient).
2.
When oxygen is breathed from the built-in breathing system (BIBS), provide
12.5 acfm for a diver at rest and 25 acfm for a diver who is not at rest. When
these ventilation rates are used, no additional ventilation is required for
personnel breathing air. These ventilation rates apply only to the number of
people breathing oxygen and are used only when no BIBS dump system is
installed.
3.
If ventilation must be interrupted for any reason, the time should not exceed 5
minutes in any 30-minute period. When ventilation is resumed, twice the
volume of ventilation should be used for the time of interruption and then the
basic ventilation rate should be used again.
4.
If a BIBS dump system is used for oxygen breathing, the ventilation rate for
air breathing may be used.
5.
If portable or installed oxygen and carbon dioxide monitoring systems are
available, ventilation may be adjusted to maintain the oxygen level below 25
percent by volume and the carbon dioxide level below 1.5 percent surface
equivalent (sev).
22-5.4.1
Chamber Ventilation Bill.
Knowing how much air must be used does not solve the
ventilation problem unless there is some way to determine the volume of air actu-
ally being used for ventilation. The standard procedure is to open the exhaust
valve a given number of turns (or fraction of a turn), which will provide a certain
number of cubic feet of ventilation per minute at a specific chamber depth, and to
use the supply valve to maintain a constant chamber depth during the ventilation
period. Determination of valve settings required for different amounts of ventila-
tion at different depths is accomplished as follows.
WARNING
The gag valve must remain open at all times.
Close only if relief valve fails.
CHAPTER 22 — Recompression Chamber Operation 22-17
WARNING This procedure is to be performed with an unmanned chamber to avoid
exposin
g
occupants to unnecessary risks.
1.
Mark the valve handle position so that it is possible to determine accurately
the number of turns and fractions of turns.
2.
Check the basic ventilation rules above against probable situations to
determine the rates of ventilation at various depths (chamber pressure) that
may be needed. If the air supply is ample, determination of ventilation rates
for a few depths (30, 60, 100, and 165 feet) may be sufficient. It will be
convenient to know the valve settings for rates such as 6, 12.5, 25, or 37.5
cubic feet per minute (acfm).
3.
Determine the necessary valve settings for the selected flows and depths by
using a stopwatch and the chamber as a measuring vessel.
a.
Calculate how long it will take to change the chamber pressure by 10
feet if the exhaust valve lets air escape at the desired rate close to the
depth in question. Use the following formula.
Where:
T = time in seconds for chamber pressure to change 10 feet
V = internal volume of chamber (or of lock being used for test) in
cubic feet (cf)
R = rate of ventilation desired, in cubic feet per minute as measured at
chamber pressure (acfm)
P = Change in chamber pressure in fsw
D = depth in fsw (gauge)
Example:
Determine how long it will take the pressure to drop from 170
to 160 feet in a 425-cubic-foot chamber if the exhaust valve is releasing 6
cubic feet of air per minute (measured at chamber pressure of 165 feet).
1.
List values from example:
T = unknown
V = 425 cf
R = 6 acfm
P = 10 fsw
D = 165 fsw
2.
Substitute values and solve to find how long it will take for the
pressure to drop:
T
V60
P
××
RD33+
()×
-------------------------------
=
22-18 U.S. Navy Diving Manual—Volume 5
b.
Increase the empty chamber pressure to 5 feet beyond the depth in
question. Open the exhaust valve and determine how long it takes to
come up 10 feet (for example, if checking for a depth of 165 fsw, take
chamber pressure to 170 feet and clock the time needed to reach 160
feet). Open the valve to different settings until you can determine what
setting will approximate the desired time. Record the setting. Calculate
the times for other rates and depths and determine the settings for these
times in the same way. Make a chart or table of valve setting versus
ventilation rate and prepare a ventilation bill, using this information
and the ventilation rules.
22-5.4.2
Notes on Chamber Ventilation.
The basic ventilation rules are not intended to limit ventilation. Generally, if
air is reasonably plentiful, more air than specified should be used for comfort.
This increase is desirable because it also further lowers the concentrations of
carbon dioxide and oxygen.
There is seldom any danger of having too little oxygen in the chamber. Even
with no ventilation and a high carbon dioxide level, the oxygen present would
be ample for long periods of time.
These rules assume that there is good circulation of air in the chamber during
ventilation. If circulation is poor, the rules may be inadequate. Locating the
inlet near one end of the chamber and the outlet near the other end improves
ventilation.
Coming up to the next stop reduces the standard cubic feet of gas in the cham-
ber and proportionally reduces the quantity (scfm) of air required for
ventilation.
Continuous ventilation is the most efficient method of ventilation in terms of
the amount of air required. However, it has the disadvantage of exposing the
divers in the chamber to continuous noise. At the very high ventilation rates
required for oxygen breathing, this noise can reach the level at which hearing
loss becomes a hazard to the divers in the chamber. If high sound levels do
occur, especially during exceptionally high ventilation rates, the chamber
occupants must wear aural protectors (available as a stock item). A small hole
should be drilled into the central cavity of the protector so that they do not pro-
duce a seal which can cause ear squeeze.
T
425 60 10
××
6 165 33+
()
---------------------------------
=
215 seconds=
T
215 seconds
60 seconds / minute
-------------------------------------------------
=
3.6 minutes=
CHAPTER 22 — Recompression Chamber Operation 22-19
The size of the chamber does not influence the rate (acfm) of air required for
ventilation.
Increasing depth increases the actual mass of air required for ventilation; but
when the amount of air is expressed in volumes as measured at chamber pres-
sure, increasing depth does not change the number of actual cubic feet (acfm)
required.
If high-pressure air banks are being used for the chamber supply, pressure
changes in the cylinders can be used to check the amount of ventilation being
provided.
22-6
CHAMBER MAINTENANCE
22-6.1
Postdive Checklist.
To ensure equipment receives proper postdive maintenance
and is returned to operational readiness, perform the equipment checks listed in
the Recompression Chamber Postdive Checklist, Figure 22-12a.
22-6.2
Scheduled Maintenance.
Proper care of a recompression chamber requires both
routine and periodic maintenance. Every USN recompression chamber (with the
exception of the TRCS) shall be pressure tested upon installation, at 2-year inter-
vals thereafter, after a major overhaul or repair, and each time it is moved. This
test shall be conducted in accordance with the pressure test for USN recompres-
sion chambers (Figure 22-13a) contained in this chapter. The completed test form
shall be retained until retest is conducted. Chamber relief valves shall be tested in
accordance with the Planned Maintenance System to verify setting. Each tested
relief valve shall be tagged to indicate the valve set pressure, date of test, and
testing activity. After every use or once a month, whichever comes first, the
chamber shall receive routine maintenance in accordance with the Postdive
Checklist. At this time, minor repairs shall be made and used supplies shall be
restocked.
22-6.2.1
Inspections.
At the discretion of the activity, but at least once a year, the chamber
shall be inspected, both inside and outside. Any deposits of grease, dust, or other
dirt shall be removed and, on steel chambers, the affected areas repainted.
22-6.2.2
Corrosion.
Corrosion is removed best by hand or by using a scraper, being careful
not to gouge or otherwise damage the base metal. The corroded area and a small
area around it should then be cleaned to remove any remaining paint and/or
corrosion.
22-6.2.3
Painting Steel Chambers.
Steel chambers shall be painted in accordance with
approved NAVSEA procedures. The following paint shall be utilized on steel
chambers:
Inside:
Prime coat NSN 8010-01-302-3608.
Finish coat white NSN 8010-01-302-3606.
22-20 U.S. Navy Diving Manual—Volume 5
RECOMPRESSION CHAMBER POSTDIVE CHECKLIST
Equipment Initials
Air Supply
All valves closed
Air banks recharged, gauged, and pressure recorded
Compressors fueled and maintained per technical manual/PMS requirements
View Ports and Doors
View-ports checked for damage; replaced as necessary
Door seals checked, replaced as necessary
Door seals lightly lubricated with approved lubricant
Door dogs and dogging mechanism checked for proper operation and shaft seals for tight-
ness
Chamber
Inside wiped clean with Nonionic Detergent (NID) and warm fresh water
All but necessary support items removed from chamber
Blankets cleaned and replaced
All flammable material in chamber encased in fire-resistant containers
Primary medical kit restocked as required
Chamber aired out
Outer door closed
CO
2
canister packed
Deckplates lifted, area below deckplates cleaned, deckplates reinstalled
Support Items
Stopwatches checked and reset
U.S. Navy Diving Manual
, Operating Procedures (OPs), Emergency Procedures (EPs), ven-
tilation bill and pencil available at control desk
Secondary medical kit restocked as required and stowed
Clothing cleaned and stowed
All entries made in chamber log book
Chamber log book stowed
Figure 22-12a.
Recompression Chamber Postdive Checklist (sheet 1 of 2).
CHAPTER 22 — Recompression Chamber Operation 22-21
Outside:
Prime coat NSN 8010-01-302-3608.
Exterior coats gray NSN 8010-01-302-6838 or white NSN
8010-01-302-3606.
22-6.2.4
Recompression Chamber Paint Process Instruction.
Painting shall be kept to an
absolute minimum. Only the coats prescribed above are to be applied. Naval Sea
Systems Command will issue a Recompression Chamber Paint Process Instruction
(NAVSEA-00C3-PI-001) on request.
22-6.2.5
Aluminum Chambers.
Only steel chambers are painted. Aluminum chambers are
normally a dull, uneven gray color and corrosion can be easily recognized.
Aluminum chambers will not be painted.
22-6.2.6
Fire Hazard Prevention.
The greatest single hazard in the use of a recompression
chamber is from explosive fire. Fire may spread two to six times faster in a pres-
surized chamber than at atmospheric conditions because of the high partial
RECOMPRESSION CHAMBER POSTDIVE CHECKLIST
Equipment Initials
Oxygen Supply
BIBS mask removed, cleaned per current PMS procedures, reinstalled
All valves closed
System bled
Breathing oxygen cylinders fully pressurized
Spare cylinders available
System free of contamination
Exhaust System
One-valve exhaust: valves closed
Two-valve exhaust: inside valves closed
Two-valve exhaust: outside valves open
All circuits checked
Light bulbs replaced as necessary
Pressure-proof housing of lights checked
All power OFF
Wiring checked for fraying
Figure 22-12b.
Recompression Chamber Postdive Checklist (sheet 2 of 2).
22-22 U.S. Navy Diving Manual—Volume 5
NOTE
All U.S. Navy Standard recompression chambers are restricted to a
maximum pressure of 100 psig, regardless of design pressure rating.
A pressure test shall be conducted on every USN recompression chamber (except TRCS):
When initially installed
When moved and reinstalled
After repairs/overhaul
At two-year intervals at a given location
Performance of the test and the test results are recorded on a standard U.S. Navy Recompres-
sion Chamber Air Pressure and Leak Test form (attached).
The test is conducted as follows:
1.
Pressurize the innermost lock to 100 fsw (45 psig). Using soapy water or an equivalent
solution, leak test all shell penetration fittings, view-ports, dog seals, door dogs (where
applicable), valve connections, pipe joints, and shell weldments.
2.
Mark all leaks. Depressurize the lock and adjust, repair, or replace components as
necessary to eliminate leaks.
a.
View-Port Leaks. Remove the view-port gasket (replace if necessary), wipe clean.
CAUTION
Acrylic view-ports should not be lubricated or come in contact with any
lubricant. Acrylic view-ports should not come in contact with any volatile
detergent or leak detector (non-ionic detergent is to be used for leak test).
When reinstalling view-port, take up retaining ring bolts until the gasket
just compresses evenly about the view-port. Do not overcompress the
gasket.
b.
Weldment Leaks. Contact appropriate NAVSEA technical authority for guidance on
corrective action.
3.
Repeat steps 1 and 2 until all the leaks have been eliminated.
4.
Pressurize lock to 225 fsw (100 psig) and hold for 5 minutes.
5.
Depressurize the lock to 165 fsw (73.4 psig). Hold for 1 hour. If pressure drops below 145
fsw (65 psig), locate and mark leaks. Depressurize chamber and repair leaks in
accordance with Step 2 above and repeat this procedure until final pressure is at least 145
fsw (65 psig).
6.
Repeat Steps 1 through 5 leaving the inner door open and outer door closed. Leak test
only those portions of the chamber not previously tested.
Figure 22-13a.
Pressure Test for USN Recompression Chambers (sheet 1 of 3).
CHAPTER 22 — Recompression Chamber Operation 22-23
STANDARD U.S. NAVY RECOMPRESSION CHAMBER
AIR PRESSURE AND LEAK TEST
(Sheet 2 of 3)
Ship/Platform/Facility _____________________________________________________________
Type of Chamber: Double-Lock Aluminum
Double-Lock Steel
Portable Recompression Chamber
Other* ___________________________________________________
NAME PLATE DATA
Manufacturer ___________________________________________________________________
Date of Manufacture______________________________________________________________
Contract/Drawing No._____________________________________________________________
Maximum Working Pressure _______________________________________________________
Date of Last Pressure Test ________________________________________________________
Test Conducted by_______________________________________________________________
(Name/Rank)
1. Conduct visual inspection of chamber to determine if ready for test
Chamber Satisfactory ______________ Initials of Test Conductor ____________________
Discrepancies from fully inoperative chamber equipment:
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
2 Close inner door lock. With outer lock door open pressure inner lock to 100 fsw (45 psig) and verify
that the following components do not leak:
(Note: If chamber has medical lock, open inner door and close and secure outer door.)
Inner lock leak checks Initials of Test Conductor
A. Shell penetrations and fittings _____________________
Satisfactory
B. View Ports _____________________
Satisfactory
C. Door Seals _____________________
Satisfactory
D. Door Dog Shaft Seals _____________________
Satisfactory
E. Valve Connections and Stems _____________________
Satisfactory
F. Pipe Joints _____________________
Satisfactory
G. Shell Welds _____________________
Satisfactory
3. Increase inner lock pressure to 225 fsw (100 psig) and hold for 5 minutes.
Record Test Pressure ______________________ Satisfactory ________________________
(Note: Disregard small leaks at this pressure).
Figure 22-13b.
Pressure Test for USN Recompression Chambers (sheet 2 of 3).
22-24 U.S. Navy Diving Manual—Volume 5
STANDARD U.S. NAVY RECOMPRESSION CHAMBER
AIR PRESSURE AND LEAK TEST
(Sheet 3 of 3)
4. Depressurize lock slowly to 165 fsw (73.4 psig). Secure all supply and exhaust valves and hold for one hour.
Start Time ___________________________ Pressure 165 fsw
End Time ___________________________ Pressure ________________ fsw
If pressure drops below 145 fsw (65 psig) locate and mark leaks. Depressurize, repair, and retest inner lock.
Inner Lock Pressure drop test passed _______________ Satisfactory Initials of Test Conductor.
5. Depressurize inner lock and open inner lock door. Secure in open position. Close outer door and secure.
(Note: If chamber has medical lock, close and secure inner door and open outer door.)
6. Repeat tests of sections 2, 3, and 4 above when set up in accordance with section 5. Leak test only those
portions of the chamber not tested in sections 2, 3, and 4.
7. Outer Lock Checks Initials of Test Conductor
A. Shell penetrations and fittings _____________________
Satisfactory
B. View Ports _____________________
Satisfactory
C. Door Seals _____________________
Satisfactory
D. Door Dog Shaft Seals _____________________
Satisfactory
E. Valve Connections and Stems _____________________
Satisfactory
F. Pipe Joints _____________________
Satisfactory
G. Shell Welds _____________________
Satisfactory
8. Maximum Chamber Operating Pressure (100 psig) Test (5 minute hold)
Satisfactory __________________________ Initials of Test Conductor
9. Inner and Outer Lock Chamber Drop Test
Start Time ___________________________ Pressure 165 fsw
End Time ___________________________ Pressure ________________ fsw
Inner and outer lock pressure drop test passed satisfactorily ________ Initials of Test Conductor
10. All above tests have been satisfactorily completed.
______________________________________________
Test Director Date
______________________________________________
Diving Officer Date
______________________________________________
Commanding Officer Date
Figure 22-13c.
Pressure Test for USN Recompression Chambers (sheet 3 of 3).
CHAPTER 22 — Recompression Chamber Operation 22-25
pressure of oxygen in the chamber atmosphere. The following precautions shall be
taken to minimize fire hazard:
Maintain the chamber oxygen percentage as close to 21 percent as possible
and never allow oxygen percentage to exceed 25 percent.
Remove any fittings or equipment that do not conform with the standard
requirements for the electrical system or that are made of flammable materials.
Permit no wooden deck gratings, benches, or shelving in the chamber.
Use only mattresses designed for hyperbaric chambers. Use Durett Product or
submarine mattress (NSN 7210-00-275-5878 or 5874). Other mattresses may
cause atmospheric contamination. Mattresses should be enclosed in flame-
proof covers. Use 100% cotton sheets and pillow cases. Put no more bedding
in a chamber than is necessary for the comfort of the patient. Never use blan-
kets of wool or synthetic fibers because of the possibility of sparks from static
electricity.
Keep oil and volatile materials out of the chamber. If any have been used,
ensure that the chamber is thoroughly ventilated before pressurization. Do not
put oil on or in any fittings or high-pressure line. If oil is spilled in the cham-
ber or soaked into any chamber surface or equipment, it must be completely
removed. If lubricants are required, use only those approved and listed in
Naval Ships Technical Manual (NSTM) NAVSEA S9086-H7-STM-000,
Chapter 262. Regularly inspect and clean air filters and accumulators in the air
supply lines to protect against the introduction of oil or other vapors into the
chamber. Permit no one to wear oily clothing into the chamber.
Permit no one to carry smoking materials, matches, lighters or any flammable
materials into a chamber. A WARNING sign should be posted outside the
chamber. Example:
22-6.2.6.1
Fire Extinguishers.
Only fire extinguishers listed on the NAVSEA Authorized for
Navy Use (ANU) Lists are to be used.
22-7
DIVER CANDIDATE PRESSURE TEST
All U.S. Navy diver candidates shall be physically qualified in accordance with
the Manual of the Medical Department, Art. 15-66. Candidates shall also pass a
pressure test before they are eligible for diver training. This test may be conducted
at any Navy certified recompression chamber, provided it is administered by qual-
ified chamber personnel.
WARNING
Fire/Explosion Hazard. No matches, lighters, electrical appliances,
or flammable materials permitted in chamber.
22-26 U.S. Navy Diving Manual—Volume 5
22-7.1
Candidate Requirements.
The candidate must demonstrate the ability to equalize
pressure in both ears to a depth of 60 fsw. The candidate shall have also passed the
screening physical readiness test in accordance with MILPERSMAN 1410380,
Exhibit 5.
22-7.2
Inside Tender Requirements.
The inside tender(s) should be a qualified diver.
22-7.3
Procedure.
1.
Candidates shall undergo a diving physical examination by a Navy Medical
Officer in accordance with the Manual of the Medical Department, Art. 15-66,
and be qualified to undergo the test.
2.
The candidates and the tender enter the recompression chamber and are
pressurized to 60 fsw on air, at a rate of 75 fpm or less as tolerated by the
occupants.
3.
If a candidate cannot complete the descent, the chamber is stopped and the
candidate is placed in the outer lock for return to the surface.
4.
Stay at 60 fsw for at least 10 minutes.
5.
Ascend to the surface following standard air decompression procedures.
6.
All candidates shall remain at the immediate chamber site for a minimum of
15 minutes and at the test facility for 1 hour. Candidates or tenders who must
return to their command via air travel must proceed in accordance with
Chapter 9, paragraph 9-13.
22-7.3.1
References.
Navy Military Personnel Manual, Art. 1410380
Manual of the Medical Department, Art. 15-66
SECNAVINST 12000.2A