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Fibre v Steel

DonBossi

Member
Mar 4, 2021
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The low and high describes there relative position, ie pre or post regulation.
If the physical tank is over pressurised / gets left in the sun and pressure increases etc the high side burst disk will rupture and vent the tank.
If the reg is supercharging, ie it needs a service and is outputting way over its design the low side will rupture.
Most regs also have cross drilled threads so if you somehow start to unthread a reg from a tank it will vent the tank before the reg could be possibly sent flying.

As I'm old I may be wrong but in the early years of air being used, it was all co2 before, not all regs had all the safety features but all regs marketed now will.

The energy involved in tanks is something to be given the utmost respect.

Treat the tank well, as above a tank cover is a great option.
If the reg is misbehaving have it serviced by a professional.
If the tank exhibits any damage have it checked professionally.
Never put any for of oil in the reg.
Never try to override any of the safety mechanisms.
Thanks for that. All good to know. I had wondered if bottle tests also test the reg as well, as that's obviously very important too. But it sounds from what you've said if the reg is going to fail then the burst discs in the bottle do their job. So as long as the bottle is looked after everything else should look after itself.
 

BOD

The brotherhood
Aug 1, 2003
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Very informative once again Tom, thanks very much!

You mentioned burst discs - I saw one aluminium bottle use "High and low pressure burst discs for the highest level of safety". Others state dual burst disc safety.

This got me thinking, don't all bottles have a high and low, for rapid over compression or what I assume would be a rapid decompression from being pierced?

Is expect the more expensive fibre have 2 bursts, but would the cheaper bottles also have and they've just used that line as part of the sales pitch? Or do some cheaper bottles actually come with only one high or low burst disc?

None of this really impacts my playing experience but I do like to learn ;-)
It's the regulators that carry the burst discs and the majority of them now have 2 burst discs, the high pressure disc usually around 7.5k on 4.5k bottles is meant to blow if the bottle becomes over pressurised, 7.5k is about 517bar which is the test pressure of the bottle, 3k bottles have a lower high pressure disk. Regs for Both 3k and 4.5k have a 1.8k low pressure burst disk, this is meant to burst if the reg malfunctions, it's purpose is to stop your gun from blowing to pieces, though 1.8k is way above what most paintball guns operate at. Regulators aren't included in the hydro test and i'm pretty sure there's no certifications for them either though most will carry a CE making.
 

k4p84

Platinum Member
Oct 14, 2009
973
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www.paintballskirmish.co.uk
Thanks for that. All good to know. I had wondered if bottle tests also test the reg as well, as that's obviously very important too. But it sounds from what you've said if the reg is going to fail then the burst discs in the bottle do their job. So as long as the bottle is looked after everything else should look after itself.
Think of the hydro places like MOT centers, they are only interested in a specific part and that is what they test, the cylinder.

Burst discs will do there job as soon as the pressure required to rupture them is exceeded. A reg that needs servicing can do anything from just plain leak / inconsistent output / pressure spikes. A reg tester is basically just an ASA with a gauge on so its easy enough to check them from time to time
 

DonBossi

Member
Mar 4, 2021
61
22
8
It's the regulators that carry the burst discs and the majority of them now have 2 burst discs, the high pressure disc usually around 7.5k on 4.5k bottles is meant to blow if the bottle becomes over pressurised, 7.5k is about 517bar which is the test pressure of the bottle, 3k bottles have a lower high pressure disk. Regs for Both 3k and 4.5k have a 1.8k low pressure burst disk, this is meant to burst if the reg malfunctions, it's purpose is to stop your gun from blowing to pieces, though 1.8k is way above what most paintball guns operate at. Regulators aren't included in the hydro test and i'm pretty sure there's no certifications for them either though most will carry a CE making.
Ah right. Thanks for that. So the reg is letting the 3k or 4.5k air out of the bottle but at only around 300psi or whatever it is that markers run on, and this is why the 1.8k doesn't blow when the bottle is at 3k/4.5k. If for some reason air comes through the reg at 1.8k, then the low pressure disc goes instead of putting 1.8k through your grip and blowing it up in your hand - if I've got that right.
 

DonBossi

Member
Mar 4, 2021
61
22
8
Think of the hydro places like MOT centers, they are only interested in a specific part and that is what they test, the cylinder.

Burst discs will do there job as soon as the pressure required to rupture them is exceeded. A reg that needs servicing can do anything from just plain leak / inconsistent output / pressure spikes. A reg tester is basically just an ASA with a gauge on so its easy enough to check them from time to time
This is why I've seen what I think was an Axe or Mini with a little gauge on the bottom of the grip / on the ASA similar to the guage you have on the reg?
I thought that must be a feature of the Axe / Mini but maybe I just saw a reg tester on a marker that happens to be an Axe or whatever it was.
 

Tom

Tom
Nov 27, 2006
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Most modern markers have their own regulator as well.
The pressure gauge on the marker/gun itself shows the internal pressure after its own inline regulator

A ‘full’ cylinder starts with 3000psi or 4500psi

The cylinders regulator releases at its output pressure. Back in the day that would be somewhere around 800-850psi which is similar to the gas output of the co2 cylinders. (Depending on temperature etc)

A ‘modern’ regulator may output at around 650psi
The guns internal regulator then drops that down to its preferred operating pressure somewhere between 200 & 300psi

As long as the incoming pressure isn’t excessive, you want the previous step to be at sufficient pressure to aid a quick refresh rate.
 

DonBossi

Member
Mar 4, 2021
61
22
8
Most modern markers have their own regulator as well.
The pressure gauge on the marker/gun itself shows the internal pressure after its own inline regulator

A ‘full’ cylinder starts with 3000psi or 4500psi

The cylinders regulator releases at its output pressure. Back in the day that would be somewhere around 800-850psi which is similar to the gas output of the co2 cylinders. (Depending on temperature etc)

A ‘modern’ regulator may output at around 650psi
The guns internal regulator then drops that down to its preferred operating pressure somewhere between 200 & 300psi

As long as the incoming pressure isn’t excessive, you want the previous step to be at sufficient pressure to aid a quick refresh rate.
I've learned a lot from this thread. Thanks everyone for the input.
 

BOD

The brotherhood
Aug 1, 2003
693
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68
YORK
Visit site
The gauge on the bottle regulator is on the high pressure side of the regulator and tells you how much air is the bottle 0-3000/4500psi so you know when you need to fill up or have sufficient for a game, same as a fuel gauge on a car. The gauges on the ASA of some guns is to indicate what the output pressure ( low pressure side of the reg) is, which nowadays can vary from 400-900 psi depending on the working pressure of your gun, 850psi used to be standard reg output pressure.
 

DonBossi

Member
Mar 4, 2021
61
22
8
The gauge on the bottle regulator is on the high pressure side of the regulator and tells you how much air is the bottle 0-3000/4500psi so you know when you need to fill up or have sufficient for a game, same as a fuel gauge on a car. The gauges on the ASA of some guns is to indicate what the output pressure ( low pressure side of the reg) is, which nowadays can vary from 400-900 psi depending on the working pressure of your gun, 850psi used to be standard reg output pressure.
Thanks. That answers another question I had which was how to know when you're running low on air and need to refill.

How much air would you say you use per average game (if there is such a thing)?

What kind of level is normally acceptable to go for a refill?
 

DonBossi

Member
Mar 4, 2021
61
22
8
Months prior to re test? Effectively the same, 5 years between tests - but aluminium’s are cheap enough to not bother testing..
Re test cost? Should be same irrespective of type, but varies depending on who you go to
Re test ease of use? No different to you regarding testing, the correct fibres can be more ergonomic when you’re playing
Re test likelihood of failing??? You’re going to have to try hard to break an aluminum, you can easily scratch the finish of a fibre which should not affect it. But the first stage of a test is visual inspection - if the tester doesn’t like the look of a deep scratch etc then it’s an instant fail. The easy solution is a bottle cover

For 99% of new players I would recommend going for an aluminium until you decide on exactly what will suit you........


‘Steelies’ in paintball these days are actually aluminum. There might be a steel one still about, but I wo

(Roughly) A standard aluminium cylinder will cost around £30-£40, a standard fibre will cost £150, and premium ultra lite fibres £200+

The normal timeframe between retests is 5 years, but aluminium’s are legally valid in the UK for 10 years between tests. However most sites will permit cylinders to be used for 5 years between tests.
When an aluminum is marked that it has a 5 year test cycle then we should stick to that

Aluminum cylinders have an unlimited lifetime, if they keep getting tested. (But with the cost of a new aluminum vs the cost of a test it’s not generally worth the cost to test them)

Fibre wrapped cylinders typically have a maximum 15 year life - which means they need to be tested for continued use from the 5 and 10 year point.
(you don’t need to hit the right dates, but like an MOT you need to be in date to use the cylinder

A newer international standard allows certain types of fibre wrap to have an unlimited lifetime, however these mostly seem to still have an expiry date shown

Test costs vary. If you can do a face to face drop off and pickup then it’s around £25-£30
More if it needs to be posted to or from the test centre.
There can sometimes be tests for as little as £15 or £20

On a test price of £25, a £150 fibre cylinder would cost £200 over 15 years
(Averaged to £13.33 per year)
An aluminum at £30 used for only 5 years averages at £6 per year
An aluminum is the cheapest to start you off and has the cheapest lifecycle costs
(You could potentially get some scrap value out of it at the end of its life too)

A fibre wrap gives you the advantage of 50% more air when you have 4500psi fills available. But most sites supply 3000psi fills only. So you don’t get the advantage of the extra pressure.
Special events such as scenarios, big games and tournaments may bring in HPAC etc to provide higher fills to 4500psi
Players then need to make sure they use the right fill station for their cylinder.
A 3000 bottle should only be filled at a 3000 fill station - you can technically fill at a 4500 fill station if you are careful but you will get shouted at
A 4500 can be filled at either (but won’t get to its capacity unless at a 4500 fill station?
Back in the day when there were not many fill stations and there was a long queue in the morning I would get my first fill at the 3000 fill station instead of waiting for 4500, then top up later

Fibre cylinders are lighter than aluminum
But only when like for like.
A ‘standard’ 3000psi is 48ci and a ‘standard ‘ fibre is 68ci
Their weight is similar, you get 20ci more space in a 68ci
A small 48ci fibre is lighter than the standard 48ci aluminum

Unless you are counting milligrams or are a weakling then you won’t notice any practical difference in weight across a day

Modern guns should be efficient, and unless you are a super ninja shooting ropes, never being eliminated and never eathen you will be fine on the fill for a 3000psi between games or between respawns

The real advantage of fibre is the range of size and shapes. You can fine tune the right bottle to your arm and elbow length for personal ergonomics

Aluminium’s typically have a flat base (there is one aluminum that I have seen that has a curved base, but I don’t think it is sold anymore)
Fibres have a curved base which helps them sit in your shoulder as a rolling stock

The cylinders themselves are just a bottle that holds air. They perform no differently

The regulator may have the ability to be adjusted in its output pressure or be quicker at refresh rates if you are making sustained high rates of fire
Unless you have a special gun then the regulator won’t make much noticable difference - it gets air to the gun.
Old regulators might have a higher output and could blow the internals of some modern guns.
Certain older model guns required a specific low pressure regulator


The only maintenance would be if there is a need to replace o rings or burst disks.
But for most players it’s hands off and won’t notice any problems as long as you keep a fill nipple cover on to avoid dirt and debris etc, and don’t over fill
Don't know what was happening here. Tried deleting to avoid random posts but no delete options showed.
 
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