What things do people consider when picking a life raft? The list typically includes capacity, service interval, equipment, etc. One item that hasn’t been on the list—but should be—is the inflation system. CO2 has historically been the only inflation system option for marine life rafts…until now. Now consumers have the option to choose between a raft inflated with Air or CO2.
What’s the advantage of using Air instead of CO2? There’s several. First and foremost is that air isn’t affected by temperature. When you compress CO2 into a cylinder, the pressure changes based on temperature. This can affect the speed of inflation—at low temperatures, the gas compresses (which lowers the pressure), and your life raft will inflate slowly. In some cases the CO2 will even solidify into dry ice which slows inflation even more. Air, on the other hand, is not affected by temperature. Your raft will inflate with greater speed than CO2, regardless of the temperature.