A fireman in the middle of a 1400-degree blaze doesn’t have time to think about his breathing apparatus. He just needs it to work. 3D Instruments, a subsidiary of WIKA, designed a gauge that works reliably.

The 3D Instruments gauge has only one moving part: a helically wound Bourdon tube made of Iconel X750, a material that allows the tube to expand several times without losing memory. This one-part design distinguishes itself from the traditional C-shaped Bourdon tube commonly used in self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBA), which includes several parts. The 3D Instruments gauge provides a direct drive difference in five ways.

  1. Durability SCBA wearers encounter harsh environments. Their SCBA gear, including the gauges, must be able to handle shock. With a single part, 3D gauges are solid and compact, making them well equipped to withstand shock. Plus, the material the Bourdon tubes are made of — the highly elastic Iconel X750 or the copper beryllium Bourdon tube — make the gauges more durable.
  2. Accuracy How important is it for a SCBA gauge to be accurate? A five percent loss in gauge accuracy equals 1:42 less air at normal breathing rates. For firefighters and other SCBA wearers, that could mean the difference between life and death. The beatings the breathing apparatuses take, not to mention the repeated cycling from refilling the tanks, can cause a loss in accuracy. Direct drive gauges maintain accuracy because they have only one sensing element. The elastic Bourdon tube is able to absorb overpressure and return to its original setting. Also, the direct drive technology provides burst protection, preventing early failure.
  3. No Calibration Required 3D gauges never require calibration because they have only one part.
  4. Proven technology Direct drive gauges have proven themselves in the field time and time again. Still 3D Instruments puts the gauges through their own tests to make sure each one is reliable, accurate, and can perform well under pressure.Leak testing 3D Instruments puts the direct drive gauges through helium tests to make sure no unwanted particles get in and no air gets out. Particle-free 3D Instruments is adamant about not mixing oxygen with hydrocarbons. Gauges and hoses are cleaned to ensure they are free of hydrocarbons.Heat testing 3D Instruments heat tests the Cycolac ABS plastic cases to make sure the gauge can perform well in the hottest conditions. The direct drive gauges extinguish themselves in 15 seconds or less if they come in contact with direct flames.
  5. Customizable Having only a single moving part in the direct drive gauge makes it easily customizable too. 3D Instruments can help create a gauge as small as a half inch or less in diameter, perfect for those wearing self-contained breathing apparatuses who must fit in the close confines of residential fires, mines, and cockpits. 3D Instruments can also customize hoses to meet any company’s specifications.3D Instruments’ direct drive gauges also contain a six-year warranty, providing even more reason to use them.

Want more information about direct drive gauges? Send us a message or call us at 714-399-9200.

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