Carbon composite cylinders for medical oxygen
- Why is Luxfer offering carbon composite cylinder technology for medical oxygen?
- What advantages do Luxfer carbon composite cylinders offer a homecare company?
- How do Luxfer carbon composite cylinders compare with liquid oxygen (LOX) systems?
- What is the service pressure? Where can I get my Luxfer carbon composite cylinders filled?
- What types of valves and regulators does a Luxfer carbon composite cylinder require?
- Will I need special handling equipment to protect the cylinder?
- How often must carbon composite cylinders be retested?
- How long does a carbon composite cylinder last?
- Significantly lighter weight improves ambulation and mobility and helps oxygen users lead more active lives, which physicians regard as therapeutically important.
- More oxygen per cylinder increases the duration of ambulation and enables oxygen users to exercise more and to participate more actively in longer-term activities with fewer cylinders.
- In short, because of their lighter weight, more compact size and longer-lasting oxygen supply, Luxfer composite cylinders give oxygen users greater freedom and help them get more out of life.
- LOX systems constantly vent whether being used or not. Carbon composite cylinders do not vent, and their contents can be stored until needed.
- Although some LOX systems are safer than others, hazardous liquid oxygen spills are always a possibility. Some units cannot be tilted 90 degrees or more without spilling-which can cause severe skin burns and increase the risk of dangerous oxygen-fed fires. Also, LOX transfilling can be difficult-especially for users with reduced hand dexterity-and potentially hazardous because of possible skin burns from touching liquid oxygen residue on connections. No such dangers exist with carbon composite cylinders.
- LOX requires expensive storage and delivery equipment, and because of special handling requirements, each home visit involving LOX is more time-consuming than visits to drop off and pick up cylinders. Carbon composite cylinders require no additional investment and allow you to use your current filling and delivery equipment.
- Some LOX portable units operate only with conserving devices, making them unsuitable for patients who require continuous oxygen flow. Carbon composite cylinders can be used with or without conserving devices, offering a continuous flow option for users who need it.
- LOX has one unit with no backup in case of equipment malfunction or other type of failure. (Some cautious oxygen users have actually reported purchasing more than one LOX unit in case one unit should fail.) With carbon composite cylinders, multiple cylinders provide continuous backup, and composite cylinders can also be used in conjunction with standard aluminum cylinders, allowing you to provide the most appropriate, cost-effective product mix depending on each user's needs.
- Portable LOX systems are not allowed on airplanes for passenger use because of safety concerns. Composite cylinders can be used during air travel-in fact, because they are so easy to transport and handle, they are an ideal choice for all types of travel.
Why is Luxfer offering carbon composite cylinder technology for medical oxygen?
Carbon composite cylinder technology provides significant clinical benefits to patients, especially those who are ambulatory. Physicians often encourage ambulation for oxygen patients, and cylinder weight is an important factor in a patient’s ability to remain active. Luxfer carbon composite cylinders are the lightest-weight portable oxygen cylinders available in the market today, which makes them an ideal choice for ambulatory patients.
Luxfer composite cylinder technology has been widely used for home oxygen therapy in Japan for more than 15 years and in Europe for nearly a decade—and in both these demanding markets, use of composite cylinders continues to grow for medical oxygen, as well as other applications.
The U.S. is now emerging as the next major market for medical composite cylinder technology. More than a half-million Luxfer composite cylinders are already in use in the U.S. as part of self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) life-support systems for firefighters, and use of composites for emergency medical services (EMS) is on the rise. This proven Luxfer cylinder technology is ideal for home medical use as well, and Luxfer is now making it available for homecare providers and medical institutions.
Luxfer is the world’s largest manufacturer of aluminum and composite cylinders with four manufacturing facilities in the U.S., as well as plants in England, France and Australia.
What advantages do Luxfer carbon composite cylinders offer a homecare company?
Getting your company involved with composite cylinder technology in the early stages will give you the opportunity to differentiate your company from your competitors and take advantage of growing referrals from medical prescribers in your area. This new technology will set you apart as an innovative, future-oriented company, helping you not only to retain existing customers but also to attract new ones as Luxfer's advertising and other promotional activities build awareness and preference for carbon composite cylinders.
Most of all, you will be providing the most advanced cylinder technology that will truly improve the quality of life for oxygen users you serve. Composite cylinders provide the following major clinical benefits for users:
Because Luxfer carbon composite cylinders hold more oxygen in a much smaller package than comparable steel or aluminum cylinders, composite cylinders will significantly decrease your delivery costs by leaving more oxygen with the user with each trip-that means fewer visits and less transportation cost. Composite cylinders are about half the weight of comparably sized aluminum cylinders, but composites offer significantly more oxygen capacity because they can be filled to 3,000 psi. For example, an M09B composite cylinder is the same size package as an M6 aluminum cylinder, but the composite cylinder can hold 50% more oxygen.
Luxfer composite cylinders are a cost-effective, profitable alternative to expensive liquid-oxygen (LOX) systems. Composite cylinders offer all the clinical advantages of LOX without the significant financial and safety drawbacks. (See the next question for a more detailed discussion of this point.)
Luxfer composite cylinders also offer you an outstanding opportunity for retail sales. If you had family members who needed oxygen, wouldn't you be willing to invest in the best equipment to improve the quality of their lives? Research has shown conclusively that many people pay more for products that enhance their lifestyle. This is particularly true of the aging "baby boom" population in the U.S, the largest and most affluent generation in American history-and also the most brand-conscious and technology-focused. This huge population segment begins turning 60 in 2006, and demographic experts are predicting that they will have a major impact on retail sales of medical devices of all types, including oxygen delivery systems. The "boomers" will demand the real advantages provided by Luxfer carbon composite cylinders.
How do Luxfer carbon composite cylinders compare with liquid oxygen (LOX) systems?
Luxfer carbon composite cylinders are a profitable, cost-effective alternative to more expensive LOX systems because Luxfer composite cylinders allow you to leverage your existing filling and delivery equipment. Unlike LOX, composite cylinders do not require major investments in equipment and infrastructure. Moreover, since carbon composite cylinders cost less initially than LOX systems, you will recoup your initial investment and start getting your payback in far less time.
Carbon composite cylinders also offer significant advantages to oxygen users compared to LOX systems:
In short, Luxfer carbon composite medical cylinders offer the compact size, lightness of weight, portability and lifestyle enhancements offered by LOX systems-but without the significant financial and safety drawbacks.
What is the service pressure? Where can I get my Luxfer carbon composite cylinders filled?
Luxfer has designed all our U.S. carbon composite cylinders with a service pressure of 3,000 psi, which permits the use of standard components while maximizing the oxygen capacity in the lightest container. With more gas in a lighter-weight package, you can reduce the total number of cylinders required by each user and reduce your visits and deliveries.
Many gas locations in the U.S. can fill composite cylinders to 3,000 psi, and the number is growing as higher-pressure cylinders become more popular. This is the same trend already experienced in Europe and Japan, where filling to 3,000 psi is now routine. In fact, in Europe there is a growing demand for oxygen cylinders filled to 300 bar (4,350 psi), and the trend toward higher pressures and greater gas capacities is continuing around the world.
Most filling systems in the U.S. can already handle 3,000 psi, and many others can be easily and inexpensively adapted to do so. Please contact your gas supplier for more information. If your current supplier is not yet filling to 3,000 psi, request that the higher pressure be made available as soon as possible. If you wish to locate a filler in your area who is already filling to the higher pressure, call Luxfer toll-free at 800-764-0366 or visit our website at www.luxfercylinders.com for a list of gas suppliers that can meet your needs.
In areas where 3,000-psi filling is not yet available, Luxfer carbon composite cylinders can be filled to the standard 2,015 psi-in which case your patients will still derive the important clinical benefits of a composite cylinder's lighter weight and more compact size. As soon as higher-pressure filling becomes available, you and your oxygen users will be able to enjoy even greater benefits when your composite cylinders can be used at their full 3,000-psi service pressure.
What types of valves and regulators does a Luxfer carbon composite cylinder require?
Luxfer's medical composite cylinders take standard valves and regulators. Please note that the 3,000-psi service pressure rating will require the valve to have the appropriate pressure release device, which is already available as a standard product from valve manufacturers. Luxfer will ensure that you get the proper valve with your cylinder when you place your order.
Will I need special handling equipment to protect the cylinder?
Luxfer’s carbon composite cylinders do not need any special handling equipment—in fact, they are the strongest, most durable cylinders ever made. Around the world, carbon composite cylinders are used daily in one of the most demanding, abusive environments imaginable—providing breathing air for firefighters while they battle blazing infernos. You’ll find care and maintenance for Luxfer carbon composite cylinders neither time-consuming nor expensive. For more information, call Luxfer toll-free at 800-764-0366.
How often must carbon composite cylinders be retested?
Luxfer's carbon composite cylinders must be retested (i.e., requalified for continued service) every five years, the same as aluminum oxygen cylinders. In fact, Luxfer was the first company to receive a full five-year requalification exemption for its carbon composite cylinders from the U.S. Department of Transportation. (Some competitive composite cylinders must be requalified every three years.)
How long does a carbon composite cylinder last?
All composite cylinders have a 15-year service life in accordance with regulations around the world. In the United States, the service life is set by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
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