Dräger’s light-weight cylinders reduce firefighter fatigue

Dräger has commercialised a firefighting breathing apparatus that uses the world’s lightest type 4 composite cylinders, thanks to graphene nanotubes that help minimise the weight.

To date, over 16,000 of the apparatus have been distributed to fire services in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Indonesia, the UK, Germany and other countries.

The nanocylinders were developed by Techplast, and Dräger received exclusive rights to use these nanocylinders in its self-contained breathing apparatus back in 2021. Piotr Saferna, R&D Leader of Techplast, said: “Reduced weight and a non-limited life performance are the key features of the compressed air breathing cylinders.

“The combination of lightweight sturdy cylinder material, which was achieved with the use of OCSiAl’s graphene nanotubes, and impact-resistant caps, ensures the high durability and solid robustness of the nanocylinders. They are 75% lighter than steel cylinders and 30% lighter than aluminium alternatives.”

Mike George of Dräger Safety UK, added: “Since 2021, we have provided fire service companies in more than twenty countries worldwide with self-contained breathing apparatus equipped with nanocylinders fully compliant with EN12245:2009. Now airport and industrial fire brigades, marine firefighters and mine rescue teams have the opportunity to increase safety via a longer duration of air consumption and air supply if using a twinning option.”

The benefits to firefighters of lighter cylinders are significant. Not only does it improve their agility while responding to calls, but it also helps to reduce fatigue. The Dräger NANO Type 4 has a a shell weight of only 2.8kg and 6.8 litres of air.

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