Scuba Tech Tips: Steel vs Aluminum Tanks – S03E07

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What are the differences between steel and aluminum scuba tanks? Alec explains the practical pros and cons of each plus how yoke and DIN valves factor into tank selection.

***** Alec Peirce Scuba *****

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Rating: 4.87

  1. Steven Liu says

    Nice video as always. Can you make a video addressing how a steel is better when diving due to its buoyancy characteristics?

  2. Mark Stengel says

    Hi Alec, Was looking at tanks yesterday, so this is most helpful. I saw the Steel Faber tanks come HP High Pressure & Reg, some are Hot Dipped Galvanized with higher prices. Other question is on Aluminum tanks come in many colors however not the Steel tanks. A short answer will help me on both questions. Thank's Alec…

  3. david frank says

    If you want to start a argument inside of a dive shop ask someone which is better steel or aluminum. Everybody has their own opinion. I personally only use aluminum. It doesn't matter if I'm wearing my heavy wetsuit or even my dry suit I dial in my buoyancy.

    Then you have the whole argument about should you buy your own tanks or just rent them. Even before I was certified I owned all my own equipment. Every week as I was getting certified I would buy what I needed and by the time we went to the quarry I have owned all my own stuff. Same thing with the scuba tanks. I'm not saying that when you travel that you would get a bad tank with bad o-rings but why take the chance.

    I will tell you that after your discussion on the steel tank I might actually get one and trying out this year. I like the fact of the more air seeing that the older I get the faster my tank goes dry.

  4. Ranjit says

    Where are you located sir.? Guessing Florida.?

  5. anthony9thompson says

    Hi Alec. Can you tell me why Australia requires tanks to be hydrostaticly every 12 months ?

  6. anthony9thompson says

    Mate you know your stuff

  7. Denise Falkenberg says

    i have old conshelf supreme yoke style it is stamped 4000psi can i use this over the3500 psi.

  8. ScubaTastic says

    I like your videos!

  9. Kim Siewers says

    Steel is the way to go. You will carry the tank anyway; with steel you will carry less lead weight.

  10. Vince Vario says

    This guy is great

  11. Fine marine service says

    Avilebale on scba and diving cylinder stoke. Start price 10000 Indian rupees. +918511055696 call me.

  12. Nathan Parry says

    Having now dived with both steel and aluminium, i think i prefer the buoyancy characteristics of the aluminium. No scientific reason, just personal preference, but that's probably down to me having more experience with aluminium.

  13. Jim Marriott says

    I love my black epoxy twin 45 steelies. Still prefer the short package. Time flies.

  14. Dave N Japan says

    The tape on the valve is anti -seize tape, Just used to make it easy to take off the valve and that's all"

  15. Carlo Kop says

    Here in Europe Aluminium tanks are very rare. Pretty much everyone is diving with steel 230 Bar tanks. Those cost actually no more that about €250,-. 300 Bar (4350 psi) tanks are getting more and more popular. I'm diving with a 300 Bar carbon tank. It's very light. Empty it's about 2 kg positive buoyant. So you need to take addition weights with you.

  16. Imanol Atchet says

    Just when I though this was being an interesting channel, here comes and American, being American, thinking they are the only that exist in the planet.
    1. Aluminum tanks are not the most common, they are in America (the continent, the country is called United States) and Asia. Europe uses steel tanks for better buoyancy, specially on low depths.
    2. The international valve is not the most common. Again is common on the states but Europe uses DIN for it’s safer.
    The states usually takes the easy way on this. We use the safe way.

    I wish the channel was most international oriented when addressing the tips.

  17. Norman Witzler says

    I still have my first tank from 1973, a US Divers Mark 1, which is an aluminum 80 rated for 3000 PSI. It is the same brand of tank that was in the first Jaws movie and exploded the shark. I think this was the first available aluminum 80. No shop will fill it anymore because of it's age. (so I fill it myself to 2000 PSI) Now I prefer 100 cubic foot high pressure steel tanks.

  18. Ben Allen says

    fire extinguishers aren't always red…just sayin

  19. MDO VIDEO says

    I used an aluminum 63 when I took my training course in the pool

  20. Chase Kaplan says

    Hi Alec! thanks for a very informative video! I am looking into buying myself the Luxfer AL 80 tank for my diving. Would you recommend this? Or are there better aluminum alternatives? Regards, Chase

  21. C K Khoo says

    Thank you for the video. It is always nice to hear a sensible voice. Definitely, a steel cylinder needs more care.
    I personally dive steel DINs but use an adapter abroad as required. The DIN fitting I find is less bulky which is useful with side mount configurations. It is also idiot proofing with regards to high pressure cylinders in that the 300bar DIN cylinders have 7 turn threads, whereas the 237bar DIN have 5 turns. A first stage DIN that is rated for 237bar has only 5 turns on the screw so when fitted to a 300bar cylinder will not seal and will leak loudly when turned on, whereas a 300bar regulator will still work on a 237bar cylinder (2 turns will remain exposed after the first stage is screwed in).
    The Oring is the same size for both DIN and yoke which is very nice. DIN O rings are lost on removal or replacement of the first stage, but as you say, they are captured rings otherwise.
    I would also add that a Faber 12.2L steel filled to working pressure (232bar) weighs a teeny little bit less that a Luxfer Ali80 filled to working pressure (3000psi), while holding more breathing air. That means I carry more air, for the same weight on my back, plus I get to lose about 2kg of lead from my belt. Win-win!

  22. Ajesh Kunjumani says

    So steel tank is better than aluminium tank

  23. William Cronin says

    Faber also makes/made a "steel 95" low pressure tank very popular with Techies. (Some use older steel 104's also, but getting rarer.) The 95 is 95 cf at approx. 2400 psi, as rated in the US. However, tech/cave divers (agree or disagree, trust me, it's done at tech/cave dive shops everyday) overfill these tanks to 3600-3800 psi. Approx 140 CF of gas! Set of doubles, 280 cf! I was told that European stds allow this same tank filled to 300 bar, over 4000 psi, which is used as justification for US overfills. Any Europeans can shed any light on this?

  24. We , here in Romania/Europe dive only steel 300 bar tanks. We use Alu only for stages.

  25. Flugschüler Fluglehrer says

    I don‘t know why, but here in Europe we use steel tanks.

  26. tim wilhelmson says

    your great thank for the info I am looking into scuba so it all helps

  27. Judson Holt says

    I run steel 100's and am paranoid about moisture getting in the cylinder, particularly after a dive washing them,off,with fresh water. Rinsing the valve and outlet I notice a good,amount of,water in the outlet. Can I just let some air out to,blow all that accumaulated water out and then take them to get filled and,be ok? I notice some shops dont always let air out to,make sure there's no residual water. What do,you suggest?

  28. Jeremy Watson says

    Never mind the extra pressure available, probably you are not going to need that. However, there are other reasons the DIN excels over yoke the main one being that you are most unlikely to have an O-ring problem, actually, I’ve yet to see anyone have a problem.

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