Does anyone have some documented recommendations on the life expectency of high pressure lifting airbags?


I'm looking for manufacturer recommendations as well as internal stuff.


Also, does your department have a pressure testing schedule in palce, etc? How often? Who does it?

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That's why we bought ResQtec NT bags. They can be taken apart,inspected,repaired. i've been TOLD they can be hydroed as well,although I can't confirm that at this time. So I guess they should last longer than systems where you can't do that.
TC- any idea how often hydro testing is recommended by any of the manufacturers?

I'm hearing war stories, but no facts...
I've never seen any manufacturer recommend hydro testing for their bags. The way the bags are made, any failure will typically be a small leak, not a catastrophic failure as would occur with a rigid cylinder such as a compressed gas cylinder.

It is very rare for rescue air bags to be used at anywhere near their rated burst pressue in real life.
Hydro testing at pressures above the working pressure will first and formost shorten the life of the bag.

I've seen bags that were removed from service due to slow leaks from cuts or to obvious chemical degradation, but in 35 years I've never seen or heard of a catastrophic air bag burst.

There are several articles and blog-type war stories as you say, Luke. I searched for quite a while this morning and can't find any manufacturer information that calls for hydrotesting.

I found a couple of bag failure war stories that involved bags that were twice as old as their recommended service life. I also found one 1995 article recommending hyddrotesting, but it was by a 3rd party that had a financial interest in conducting - you guessed it - hydrotests of rescue air bags. his recommended testing method was inflating the bag to 1.3 times the working pressure - something that the manufacturers all tell you to NEVER do, and to do it with the bag unconfined (no load on the bag), something the manufacturers of most bags tell you to NEVER do.
I disagree, for several reasons.

1) How long air bags last is more a function of how many times they are used, how fully they are inflated, and any damage thay acquire along the way than if they are hydrotested or not.

2) Hydrotesting is much more stressful to the air bag than normal working-pressure use. Hydro testing bags that are otherwise well-taken-care-of will likely shorten the life of the air bag, not lengthen it. Adding high-stress inflations for hydrotesting is going to add unnecessary stress on the bags.

3) Any air bag interior can be inspected with a bore scope or similar fiber optic visual device that incorporates a light source. Just stick it in the air inlet and look around.
And the ResQtec NT can be turned inside out to inspect if necessary. Buy whatever you like Ben, we bought Nt's for all the above reasons and more. Nt's with the Octopus system gives you a LOT of options
Just got the product and Hydroing was NOT the reason. It is my understanding they CAN be. Factory staff is coming to do initial training,I'll pose the question and post their answer. We bought them for their versatility, and ability to be REPAIRED. We've never had to repair a bag but the fact these can be disassembled to do so made sense to us.
Taken apart,INSPECTED and REPAIRED. These items are of greater interest to US than hydro's. If you DON'T want these features,buy Paratech or Vetter,I won't think any less of you.
I think a an air bag that is designed to come apart is a bad thing.

As for the ability to be repaired when you've never needed that capability means that you're paying for a capability that isn't going to be used.
I've used that system and frankly, I wasn't impressed. Compared to some of the other air bags I've used, their system is unnecessarily complex, it takes longer to set up, and the simpler systems still do the job.
Guess you're not buying NT's then,huh Ben?
Ummn,Hello? A bag would NOT be "unrestrained"if you were HYDRO testing it. HYDRO testing ANYTHING is a PRECISE process.
Not according to the article I read that was the only thing Google I found on the topic after an extensive Google search.

That might not be the way that you would do it, but it was the way that a person who had a vested financial interest in the results recommended to do it.


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