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The Atmospheric Inhalation Resistance (A.I.R.) Flow Test Stand

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Scuba Instruments has developed a PC based flow test stand that records and documents regulator performance. The test stand utilizes the same basic instrumentation configuration as flow analyzers supplied by others in the industry. Scuba Instruments' A.I.R. Flow Test Stand is designed to test diving regulators under both static and dynamic conditions. In addition to the standard “static tests” for cracking effort and intermediate pressure, the “dynamic performance” of the complete regulator (first and second stage) can be automatically monitored, recorded and logged to files while the regulator is supplying air at varying flow rates. These dynamic tests are important on modern regulators that utilize venturi assists as part of the overall work of breathing.

The following outlines the tests that can be performed with the A.I.R. Flow Test Stand:
- Precision Cracking Effort
- Static & Dynamic IP Levels
- Demand Effort vs Flow
- Venturi Performance

Scuba Instruments has developed this test stand to make the technicians job of testing, evaluating, and documenting regulator performance easier by utilizing the latest in measurement and data acquisition technologies. All data from the sensors in the test stand are processed and sent via USB interface to a PC running the test program. This information is displayed along with measurement data control functions in an intuitive familiar instrument layout as shown.

The main display provides analog representations of gauges as well as digital values. Analog gauge response times are fast and are comparable to the mechanical gauges used in conventional instruments. The accuracy of the pressure measurements are typically 0.25% FS at standard conditions and the flowrate measurement accuracy is typically 1.0% FS at standard conditions. Analog to digital conversions are resolved to10 bits (0.1%). The analog representations of the gauges are augmented with digital counterparts to allow increased measurement resolution. Two modes of measurements are provided; free-run testing or data logging. The free-run testing mode allows the technician to perform testing of the first and second stages of the regulator while making adjustments. The data logging mode allows the technician to perform diagnostic testing prior to regulator maintenance for evaluation and final testing to verify regulator performance after maintenance. All data values for Flowrate, H.P., I.P. and Vacuum are written to an Excel spread sheet during a data log cycle. Two data log cycles are provided, one for tests emulated at high tank pressure and one for low tank pressure. The user may also customize the spreadsheet -except for the areas data is written- to show other information related to the testing such as regulator model/serial numbers, tech notes, etc.

The data values are displayed in Excel graphics format for easy diagnostic and performance evaluation as shown.

Data Log Procedure

A data log cycle is initiated from the main display panel by selecting the “Start Data Log Measurement” control button; the operator manually increases the flowrate gradually to the maximum test flow of typically 25 CFM over a predetermined (approx. 30 seconds) interval. The first data log cycle records 500 points for all four parameters (flowrate, H.P., I.P. Vacuum) at a high tank pressure setting. When 500 points of data is captured, the log cycle stops, the “Data Log Complete” indicator illuminates Red. The operator then initiates the second data log cycle with the same procedure except with a low tank pressure setting. The second data log cycle also captures 500 points of data. The two series of data streams are recorded for simulated High/Low tank pressures and are juxtaposed in the Excel graphic charts for easy comparison. The high and low tank pressures can be simulated through an optional H.P. manager connected to a high pressure source or SCUBA tank. The flowrate is controlled by the operator through a manual air control valve located on the test stand. The test stand requires a low pressure (100-150 psi) air supply. This low pressure can be generated by a low pressure port on a diving regulator, a pressure reducing regulator, or a standard low pressure air compressor.

The A.I.R. Flow Test Stand includes the following items:

- Test Stand comprised of : Venturi Pump, Flow Controls,
  Flowmeter, Pressure Transducers,
  Dive Regulator interface, High Pressure & Intermediate
  Pressure ports, Data Acquisition interface.
- A.I.R. Flow Test Software with drivers.
- USB Interface Cable
- Power Supply Adapter
Recommended Minimum System Requirements:

- PC with Windows XP
- One USB Port
- 256 MB RAM and 40 MB free hard drive space


A.I.R. Flow Test Stand


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