Dräger Develops Drägersorb for Saturation Divers

Dräger Marine & Offshore, part of the Dräger Group, is among the leading providers of safety solutions in the Oil & Gas industry with its Drägersorb product used by saturation divers.

With safety one of the top priorities for the Health and Safety Executive’s Offshore Division, and with manned diving an essential part of operations in the Oil & Gas industry, Dräger is passionate about protecting lives.

On offshore oil and gas assets it is critical that divers are equipped with the best safety solutions to enable them to remain submerged in really deep water for long periods of time.

Drägersorb (soda lime) gives offshore divers a lifeline after they have carried out challenging underwater inspections and maintenance work on installations in the field.

Trips up and down from great depths – risk causing ‘the bends’. Therefore due to the rising demand for deepwater operations up to 300MSW and up to 28 days inside a decompression chamber system on board a Dive Support Vessel (DSV).

On board every DSV as part of the entire saturation diving system (SAT) are life Support Systems with Environmental Control Unit (ECU) which contain Drägersorb-ECU (soda lime). An average ECU will contain around 20 to 30kg soda lime, that needs to be exchanged on a regular basis during diving operations. Depending on the SAT system used it will contain different numbers of ECU units.

Divers’ lives depend on these tiny white granules which absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) while they wait in a decompression chamber for their bodies to readjust to surface air pressure. Exhaled air contains around 4% carbon dioxide and the soda lime removes this CO2, so the remaining air – enriched with oxygen – can be fed back into the breathing circuit. On average, 1kg gram of soda lime can absorb up to 120 litres of carbon dioxide.

An integrated gas detection system on board the DSV is able to pick up when the Drägersorb is low and needs to be replaced. It can be refreshed by an on-board technician who look after the diving team.

Frank Pietrowski, business development manager for Dräger, says it’s interesting to see performance tests from established users have found capacity of Drägersorb to be approximately 20% better than the company’s main competitors.

Drägersorb is manufactured 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at Dräger’s Lübeck plant in Germany.

Mr Pietrowski added that Dräger’s innovation in its soda lime has helped to improve safety critical markets such as in self-contained rebreathing equipment used in mining, and also within anaesthesia applications used in hospitals.

Drägersorb is already supplied to offshore vessels across different North Sea locations, from the UK to Norway, Netherlands and Denmark, as well as worldwide, wherever supply is required.

There are flexible price options available, dependent on demand, location and quantities. And contracts enabling call-off in line with customer requirements enable flexibility.

Press Release, June 19, 2014

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