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Titanium Regulators and Nitrox... A Dangerous Combination


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#1 Guest_TexasStarfish_*

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 08:54 PM

I recently heard that titanium regulators and nitrox aren't a good mix. Does anyone know the full story behind this? I checked through all my manuals and no such warning exists. I own a Cressi Titanium Ellipse and haven't had any problems yet. Some sites just say nothing over 40%, which I'm not diving on...

Any clarity would be extremely helpful. Thanks!

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#2 Dive_Girl

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 10:01 PM

From a ScubaPro equipment seminar I was told the potential issues with titanium regs and Enriched Air (aka common term Nitrox) are for O2 mixes above 40% - "technical" diver's realm.

Good quesiton - I am curious to hear more from our local experts!
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#3 Guest_TexasStarfish_*

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 06:54 AM

Thanks Dive Girl. Its my high end recreational diving reg. When I eventually have the time and the money I want to start my technical work. Then I'll need to buy a new reg, which involves even more money.

Why do I pick the really expensive sports? :birthday:

:thankyou:


#4 dustbowl diver

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 07:01 AM

Thanks Dive Girl. Its my high end recreational diving reg. When I eventually have the time and the money I want to start my technical work. Then I'll need to buy a new reg, which involves even more money.

Why do I pick the really expensive sports? :birthday:

:thankyou:


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#5 PerroneFord

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 07:47 AM

What is it the titanium regs bring to the table for all the extra money?

If Reg A is a titanium reg, breathes great, costs $700, but can't be used as you go forward in diving...

And Reg B is a non-titanium reg, breathes as good as Reg A, costs $400, and you can take it forward in your diving, why would you purchase Reg A?

#6 Diverbrian

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 08:10 AM

What is it the titanium regs bring to the table for all the extra money?

If Reg A is a titanium reg, breathes great, costs $700, but can't be used as you go forward in diving...

And Reg B is a non-titanium reg, breathes as good as Reg A, costs $400, and you can take it forward in your diving, why would you purchase Reg A?



If you already have the Titanium reg and you work as a DiveCon/DM/Inst., why sell it at a net loss? Many of the dive pros (the one who dive doubles in their non-class time like me) keep a set of regs for their doubles and a separate reg for their class dives which won't have a nitrox mix above forty percent. This prevents having to swap hoses between rigs as frequently.

I have done the same with my gear purchases that won't go forward from "recreational" diving, but aren't inherently "lousy" gear. My jacket BC comes to mind here.

If I were buying initial gear, I would purchase the non-titanium reg knowing what we know now about them.

But, if I already had it, it would be a great "class reg" while I got another type of reg for my doubles.
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#7 ScubaDadMiami

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 08:20 AM

Titanium regulators are fine for standard EANx mixes. It is only in a high oxygen environment where they are said to react with oxygen to such a degree that it becomes a problem.

One advantage of the Titanium regulator is that it is much more resistant to scratching when compared to chrome, which many regulators have plated over brass as the finishing. So, this kind of regulator will stay looking good for a long time.

You can always make use of this kind of regulator for your main breathing mix. If you start using higher mixes, you will likely be adding tanks. So, you can dedicate another high oxygen environment tolerant reguator to your mix at that time.
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#8 PerroneFord

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 08:44 AM

Right,


So if you already OWN the Ti regs I get it. (I'd sell it anyway, but that's just me :wub: )


I just see people talk about buying new titanium regs and spending a fortune on them. I just wondered if there was something special about them. I guess they are lighter to a degree. And more scratch resistant. Seems like a lot of money to pay for just those features though. But admittedly, I am frugal!

#9 Guest_TexasStarfish_*

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 10:27 AM

When I was in CT I was diving a lot more in colder water. The Cressi Titanium Ellipse is for cold water diving and its lighter. It was appealing at the time, but now that I know more.... :cool1:

I'm not into any technical work... yet, and it has worked just fine for me. I also notice that diving five dives a day it continues to work as smoothly on day 7 as it did on day 1. I definitely love that.

Anyways, like my jacket BC... It will all get upgraded when I move into technical. But I will have to wait until I start working again and have a regular income before I make a NEW investment.

What happens with the higher O2 mixes and titanium? What exactly happens to the reg, 1st and 2nd stage?


:wub:

#10 PerroneFord

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 10:55 AM

Ripped from the internet:

Saltwater divers find benefit in Ti's resistance to corrosion but that doesn't mean that it doesn't oxidize easily - it does. The solid metal will self-ignite in air at 1200C, in particulate form it can self-ignite at 480C, in a high oxygen/high pressure environment the combustion point is much, much lower. Mixed gas divers know a little bit about adiabatic compression: in a Ti regulator, a little chip off the old block in a bad place and opening a valve too quickly can be enough to set the thing on fire. The fire is explosive and you probably won't be able to put it out until all the Ti has been consumed. Actually, the fire is so hot that it can ignite other things that you wouldn't normally think of as flammable - including carbon dioxide (CO2), dihydrogen oxide (H2O) and aluminium - which means that many fire extinguishers will actually make a Ti fire worse, not better. Yoikes!

One of the negatives about brass is that it is relatively soft and titanium isn't. On the hardness scale, Ti rates near the top and that's a good thing for regulators. Unfortunately, that hardness comes at a price - Ti is quite brittle. I've got a couple of brass regulators that have some pretty deep gouges in them that happened when the tanks they were attached to took a tumble. I've got a friend that had a titanium regulator that cracked into pieces when the same thing happened. My regulators may look kinda punky but they still work.

Finally, because many acids are highly corrosive to Ti, cleaning them (especially for oxygen service) can be very difficult and, if your service technician isn't paying attention, a dip in many of the solutions used in ultrasonic cleaners can do serious damage to the metal.


Edited by PerroneFord, 28 June 2006 - 10:55 AM.


#11 ScubaGypsy

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 03:34 PM

Well there does seem to be another reason that I see them up here and that is their excellant corrosion resistance. Though we all try to rinse down our equipment after diving, it either doesn't always get done or it is done poorly. This seems particularly true after night dives which are a large portion of our dives. Though I don't have a Ti regulator, I have seen folks with them that never clean and yet they still look and work great. Meanwhile my SP regulator is scratched and abit faded while I do rinse after every dive!
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#12 webhead

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 04:34 PM

I agree with SG, Ti does do better in sea water than most other metals. And at the time Ti became available, I don't think there was much nitrox and 2nd stages were heavy. So the Ti is lighter in the water than plated brass or stainless.

But I would add that I too have been told that a high PO2 in a Ti reg is considered dangerous. But that's just urban legend that I haven't research to be true ... yet. What I do know is that none of the tek divers I've met (i.e. trimix and high O2 content) have Ti regs.
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#13 PerroneFord

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 07:33 PM

Its FAR more than urban legend. Take a blending class. Or talk to the guy who runs the local filling station. I sat through half the PSI visual inspection class and learned a TON. I recommend this to ANYONE interested in techincal diving. That and a blending class.

#14 Scuba210

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 08:27 AM

What is it the titanium regs bring to the table for all the extra money?

If Reg A is a titanium reg, breathes great, costs $700, but can't be used as you go forward in diving...

And Reg B is a non-titanium reg, breathes as good as Reg A, costs $400, and you can take it forward in your diving, why would you purchase Reg A?

 

First of all, titanium is totally impervious to corrosion, so if you dive salt water there is a huge upside to titanium. Second, the manufacturers that make titanium regulators have them at the top of their line, so you are getting their best in terms of engineering and features. Also, because of the inherent properties of titanium and the difficulty factor in machining it, you will usually see much closer tolerances in the parts themselves then you will with non-titanium. Bottom line, they last longer and stay in tune longer. 



#15 Scuba210

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Posted 09 August 2018 - 08:29 AM

Its FAR more than urban legend. Take a blending class. Or talk to the guy who runs the local filling station. I sat through half the PSI visual inspection class and learned a TON. I recommend this to ANYONE interested in techincal diving. That and a blending class.

 

Titanium is not recommended for use with any mix higher than 40% O2. But the danger is generally overstated. The "danger" is that titanium can be ignited, but the flashpoint is ridiculously high - jet engines are lined with titanium!






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