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PLA and SCUBA


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Posted · PLA and SCUBA

I've been thinking lately of things I could fab up that would be helpful when SCUBA diving. I'm really not sure of how PLA would stack up in the water though.

So this is a two part question. One, would PLA hold up vs various conditions underwater? And if no one is sure, maybe put together a bunch of test scenarios and I can just bring some PLA with me on the next dive.

So here's a list of conditions:

- Pressure at various depths (up to 130ft).

- Colder temperatures (I'm diving in Canada, its cold eh).

- Warmer temperatures (when diving on vacation). I know the glass transition temp is pretty low, but I don't think the ocean ever gets that hot.

- Constant exposure to fresh water.

- Constant exposure to salt water.

- Constant exposure to chlorinated water (for when testing in pool).

Other things based on what the PLA is shaped into:

- Small solid infilled objects (such as a printed clasp or carabiner).

- Small objects with 20% infill. Small pieces added to existing accessories (such as a stopper for the reel on your dive flag).

- How thick would container walls need to be in order to withstand pressure.

- Could you even make a container that held together well enough, if you employed rubber seals?

So, what do you think? Looking for answers, helpful advice, or even more questions to add to my list. :D

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    • 4 years later...
    Posted · PLA and SCUBA

    You will probably find that regardless of the material you use, the pressure will force water into the piece if it has any infill less than 100%, and perhaps even then, as there are always voids in any printed piece.

    Have fun experimenting, though.

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    • 2 weeks later...
    Posted · PLA and SCUBA

    Last year I printed a replacement skimmer flap for my (chlorine) swimming pool, its been installed for more than six months without noticeable degradation.

    The only problem is that it goes green inside - caused by bacteria easily removed by bleach, I plan to re-print but solid this time rather than hollow (with infill)

    My only other thought is that if you print anything which is hollow inside I suspect it will suffer from pressure, from my diving days the volume of air is half at one atmosphere depth, so the plastic would be damanged, so I would try solid (100% infill)

    hope this is of interest

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