Your Complete Air System Information Center
American Airworks™ PO Box 1000, Sophia, WV 25921-1000 / 1-800-523-7222
Information Center
Your Complete Air System Information Center

This area is designed to offer the visitor a concise yet comprehensive explanation covering all aspects of the breathing air industry. Bookmark this page as a quick reference to information you need. Please email any comments or questions you may have about the information given on this page. Your comments and suggestions will help us to better serve you.

Choose a topic from this list.

Air Booster Pump

A device for those who need higher pressure from their air system or compressor. An air booster gives you the capability of greatly increasing the psi of your existing air system. Our boosters can take 500 psi and increase it to 6000 psi for refilling a DOT or ASME cascade system. Air boosters are also used to increase the psi from an air system in a vehicle for refilling SCBA air cylinders on site.

Users find that the long term use of an air booster pays for itself by eliminating the need for outside sources to refill their air cylinders and cascades systems.

Also see: Oxygen Booster

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Air Control Panel

Custom made for your particular needs, an air control panel is the perfect compliment to your high pressure DOT & ASME Storage system, Mobile Air Cart, Mobile Air Trailer, air filling stations, and for use in your shop or installed on your truck. Our control panels come with easy to follow airflow directional indicators making them very user friendly. The gauges are shock resistant; custom features like lights and powder coated colors are available.

With an air control panel, you are able to control the amount of air you are sending to your SCBA cylinders. This increases refilling efficiency, and reduces the chance of overfilling the cylinder and the possibility of a dangerous cylinder rupture.

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Air Hose Reel

A storage device for securing the fill hose on an air cascade system. The reel keeps your hose from being damaged in the shop or station, as well as keeping things tidy.

Rewind options are manual hand crank, electric AC or DC powered and spring rewind.

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Air Purifying Respirator (APR)

A respirator used to filter out airborne contaminants from entering the user's respiratory system.

Air purifying respirator (APR) are often used in cleanup situations, auto painting, and where allergens are present. They should never be used in lieu of a self-contained breathing apparatus for fire fighting operations.

APR are available in disposable and non-disposable models, with replacement filters being available.

Also see: Supplied Air Respirator

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Air Quality Testing

Laboratory testing of breathing air produced by a compressor for use in self-contained breathing apparatus.

CGA Grade "E", NFPA 1500 is the standard safety level of breathing air. Systems that produce breathing air in any situation should be evaluated periodically for this safety level to ensure that all purification systems are operating correctly.

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ASME Cascade System

These cylinders are usually installed in industrial settings, dive shops, fire stations or fire trucks. ASME cylinders never needs hydrostatic testing due to the massive construction of the individual cylinders.

These cylinders dual pressure rated 5000 and 6000 psi. When used at 5000 or 5250 psi, they have a 4:1 safety factor. The safety factor is 3:1 when cylinders are used at 6000 or 7000 psi.

An approved ASME safety relief valve is required to be used with each cylinder.

Also see: DOT Cascade System

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Blackout Cover

An opaque, form-fitting cover for an SCBA facepiece and used for training fire fighters to function in situations without visual references. Volunteer and paid firemen alike find that blackout covers are very effective training devices.

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Compressor Purification Filter

High pressure compressor cartridge filter to produce either CGA Grade "D" or Grade "E", NFPA 1500 breathing air and for the removal of moisture, odor and carbon monoxide. Filters may vary for each model of compressor, and each filter will only process a certain amount of air (in cubic feet) before it needs to be replaced. See the documentation that came with your compressor for the filter's specifications.

Tracking the total cubic feet of air produced by your compressor, compared to the cubic feet of air the filter will purify, will tell you when a new filter is needed. Follow the compressor's installation instructions for filter replacement to ensure the system will operate safely and efficiently.

Also see: High Pressure Air Compressor

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Containment Enclosed Fill Station

An enclosure who's design will contain the cylinder fragments, not the air blast, should an SCBA cylinder rupture during refilling. These units will only fill a cylinder when the door has been shut and locked. These units can be installed in either stationary or mobile applications.

Certain configurations may accommodate the filling of one to three cylinders at once. These units may also be used with a compressor or an air control panel to regulate the air flow to the cylinders.

The most effective use, however, is to install one of these units in your cascade system, allowing you to fill one cylinder when needed, or to fill all of your cylinders at once using the compressor.

Also see: Fragmentation Fill Station

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DOT & ISO Cascade System

An air cascade system serves as bulk storage of high pressure breathing air to be used to refill breathing apparatus cylinders used in fire fighting, industry and scuba diving. Cascade systems can be used in either stationary or mobile applications. They can be made up of either ASME, DOT or ISO storage cylinders. The only practical pressures used in a cascade system are 3600 - 6000 PSI. Using 2400 PSI storage cylinders is a waste of time and resources. This is results in incomplete SCBA cylinder refills, which is against NIOSH regulations and places the user in additional danger.

Also see: ASME Cascade System

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Emergency Breathing Apparatus (EBA)

Emergency breathing apparatus (or Escape Breathing Apparatus) are designed to provide 5 to 10 minutes of breathing, and geared toward ease of use for the novice air in an emergency.

Like a fire extiguisher, EBA's can be a life saver if provided in large buildings where occupants could be detained while escaping a fire and smoke situation.

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Fragmentation Deflector Fill Station

A strong, portable container for refilling SCBA cylinders designed to help reduce most of the flying debris, in the event of a cylinder rupture. Using either a single unit or a double unit, SCBA cylinders can be filled, on location, in an emergency.

It is important to note that these units do not contain the air blast or fragments associated with a cylinder rupture, and when filling a cylinder, be sure not to stand or reach over the deflector while in use.

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Fragmentation Fill Station

A Class 3 or Class 4 fill station in which breathing air cylinders can be filled while providing a measure of protection in the event of a cylinder rupture. However, this station will not contain the air blast or fragments from a rupture. It can be coupled with a cascade system, compressor and air booster.

Also see: Containment Enclosed Fill Station

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High Pressure Air Compressor

A machine designed to compress and purify ambient air to high pressures such as 5000-6000 PSI air pressure while refilling breathing air systems. Compression usually takes place in three to four stages, and most compressors offer charging rates between 4 to 20 cubic feet per minute. Compressors are driven by a single or three phase electric motor, gasoline or deisel engines. Cartridges are available for the removal of moisture, odor and carbon monoxide. Systems used to refill self-contained breathing apparatus must produce that CGA Grade "D".

Also see: Compressor Purification Filter

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High Pressure Regulator

A piston actuated device designed to precisely reduce the pressure of air in a cascade system, air control panel, or from a compressor. This type of precision is critical when filling modern, light weight breathing air cylinders to their set tolerances.

These devices do not reduce airflow unless an in-line restrictor is used. They only reduce the force of the air from its source.

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Hydrostatic Testing Equipment

The machine used to test the integrity of air and gas cylinders. Cylinders are placed in a containment tube, surrounded with water and overfilled to test their integrity. This machine accurately measures the tolerances of a cylinder while under pressure, and after the pressure has been released. If the cylinder does not meet the required tolerances, it must be destroyed.

This equipment completely contains the air cylinder making it safe even in the event of a rupture. It also allows those who use air or gas cylinders to test their own breathing air cylinders instead of sending them away for testing.

Also see: SCBA Reconditioning

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Mobile Air Carts

A DOT cylinder rack in either a vertical or horizontal configuration that can roll on casters and be positioned where you need it in your shop or station.

This offers convenience to fire departments and SCUBA shops when filling many breathing air cylinders loaded on a truck. The cascade system can be taken to the truck instead of unloading the breathing air cylinders off the truck.

If your shop or station is equipped with a compressor, the cascade does not have to be located in the same place as the compressor. It also allows you to put the cascade system away after use, and reduces the possibility of damage to the cascade system.

Also see: DOT Cascade System | ASME Cascade System

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Mobile Air Hand Carts

A two-wheel hand cart that is normally equipped with two 30 minute breathing air cylinders, two 25 or 50 foot low pressure air hoses and two face masks. This allows two people to use this unit at one time.

A hand cart is best suited for situations where someone needs to enter a confined space such as down a manhole or into a culvert. In these situations fresh breathing air is needed, but a full SCBA harnessed to them would prevent entry into that area.

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Mobile Air Trailer

A trailer with a DOT cascade system mounted inside complete with air control panel and fill hoses that can be towed by truck for on-site refilling of breathing air cylinders. This type of system is often needed when a department has all the vehicles they need, but none of them will accommodate an onboard cascade system. This is a more affordable alternative to meet theses needs.

Mobile air trailers also offer the convenience of on-site refilling of underwater breathing air cylinders to SCUBA shops. The cascade can be towed to the location, and with custom graphics, the SCUBA shop has a rolling billboard advertisement at their disposal.

Also see: DOT Cascade System

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Oxygen Booster Pump

A powerful device for those who need higher pressure from their oxygen system. It gives you the capability of greatly increasing the psi of your existing oxygen system. This booster works the same way that the air booster pump works, but the flow line throughout the oxygen booster is clean so as not to contaminate the oxygen.

This unit works well for EMS departments and hospitals where the pressure of existing oxygen lines needs to be increased.

Also see: Air Booster Pump

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Oxygen Filling System

A system typically designed for filling portable oxygen cylinders from a supply bank of large cylinders. This system is for safe filling of high pressure aluminum or steel oxygen cylinders in a wide range of configurations.

A system such as this is a must for emergency medical services and hospitals needing to refill oxygen cylinders.

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Supplied Air Respirator (SAR)

A respirator used to filter out airborne contaminants from entering the user's respiratory system.

Supplied air respirator (SAR) are used in confined spaces where the area would be too small for the use of an industrial SCBA, but the operator needs a supply of breathing air. Similar in operation to an SCBA, the users wears a facepeice and the air is supplied from a breathing air cylinder, but the air line can be very long allowing the user to move far from the air source.. They should never be used in lieu of a self-contained breathing apparatus for fire fighting operations.

Also see: Air Purifying Respirator

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(Self Contained Breathing Apparatus)

A fully contained breathing apparatus including the air cylinder, air regulator, high and low pressure air hoses, harness and full facemask. The SCBA is designed to supply a person with fresh breathing air in an emergency situation such as fire fighting. There is 2216 psi or 4500 psi of breathing air contained in the air cylinder which will last for 30 minutes to one hour. These cylinders can be made of wrapped fiberglass, carbon fiber, aluminum or steel. The amount of heat each cylinder can withstand varies with its composition.

Other options include a buddy-breather, motion and heat sensitive alarm, radio communication devices, voice amplifiers, and supplied air respirator. Various straps and modification kits are available for most of the SCBA brands on the market.

Also see: Air Purifying Respirator

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SCBA Mounting Brackets

A storage bracket for SCBA units that can be mounted on the wall in your station or on a truck. The SCBA snaps into the bracket keeping them from moving around during transport.

This type of storage is a good investment when considering the replacement cost of SCBA units.

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SCBA Testing and Reconditioning

All self-contained breathing apparatus must pass an annual performance flow test and must be overhauled at least every three years, even with infrequent use. Apparatus used daily or subjected to particularly severe service, such as extreme temperatures or exposure to chemicals, require more frequent overhauls.

Overhauls include the cleaning or replacement of parts as needed, as well as the cleaning of the harness and high and low pressure hoses and the facemask.

Also see: Hydrostatic Testing

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Thread Saver®
The ultimate in cylinder valve thread protection. Damaged valve threads can disable your SCBA just when you need it most. A damaged valve can cost up to $225 to repair. Thread Saver® provides protection by helping to keep dirt, dust sand, snow, ice and water away from your low pressure or high pressure valve threads.

Thread Saver® will keep the threads from being flattened if the cylinder would ever be dropped. Threads on the valve that are damaged can also damage the threads on the air hose. This is an inexpensive way to prevent cylinder valve damage.

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Ultrasonic Cleaners

A device that offers cleaning that is faster, more thorough, and safer than any other method. This method of cleaning is far more effective than scrubbing, soaking and steam cleaning. It's powerful enough to remove heavy oils, waxes, or proteins, penetrating enough to deflux circuit boards and SMDs, yet gentle enough to clean tiny precision assemblies.

Ultrasonic sound waves moving though a cleaning solution create an effect called cavitation, the rapid formation and implosion of microscopic bubbles. Heat enhances the process. The deep-cleaning action of ultrasonics removes even the most stubborn dirt and contaminants.

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Ziamatic SCBA Mounting Brackets

A storage bracket for SCBA units that can be mounted on the wall in your station or on a truck. The SCBA snaps into the bracket keeping them from moving around during transport.

This type of storage is a good investment when considering the replacement cost of SCBA units.

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Your Complete Air System Information Center

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American Airworks™ • PO Box 1000, Sophia, WV 25921-1000
1-800-523-7222 • 304-683-4595 • Fax: 304-683-3257

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