46 CFR 160.170-7 - Design, construction, and performance of automatic release mechanisms.
(a) To seek Coast Guard approval of a release mechanism, a manufacturer must comply with, and each release mechanism must meet, the requirements of the following -
(1) IMO LSA Code, Chapter VI/6.1.5 (incorporated by reference, see § 160.170-5 of this subpart);
(2) IMO Revised recommendation on testing Part 1/8.2 (incorporated by reference, see § 160.170-5 of this subpart).
(3) 46 CFR part 159; and
(4) This subpart.
(b) Each release mechanism must meet the following requirements -
(1) Design. All functions of the release mechanism, including removal of interlocks, operation of the release handle, resetting the hooks, and reattaching the falls to the hooks, must be designed to be operable by persons wearing immersion suits;
(2) Each release mechanism should be designed following standard human engineering practices described in ASTM F 1166 (incorporated by reference, see § 160.170-5 of this subpart). Design limits should be based on a range from the fifth percentile female to the ninety-fifth percentile male values for critical body dimensions and functional capabilities as described in ASTM F 1166. The dimensions for a person wearing an immersion suit correspond to the arctic-clothed dimensions of ASTM F 1166;
(3) Steel. Each major structural component of each release mechanism must be constructed of steel. Other materials may be used if accepted by the Commandant as equivalent or superior. Sheet steel and plate must be low-carbon, commercial quality, either corrosion resistant or galvanized as per ASTM A 653 (incorporated by reference, see § 160.170-5 of this subpart), coating designation G115. Structural steel plates and shapes must be carbon steel as per ASTM A 36 (incorporated by reference, see § 160.170-5 of this subpart). All steel products, except corrosion resistant steel, must be galvanized to provide high-quality zinc coatings suitable for the intended service life in a marine environment. Each fabricated part must be galvanized after fabrication. Corrosion resistant steel must be a type 302 stainless steel per ASTM A 276, ASTM A 313 or ASTM A 314 (incorporated by reference, see § 160.170-5 of this subpart) or another corrosion resistant stainless steel of equal or superior corrosion resistant characteristics;
(4) Welding. Welding must be performed by welders certified by the Commandant, a classification society recognized by the Commandant in accordance with 46 CFR 8.220, the U.S. Navy, or the national body where the release mechanism is constructed or the national body's designated recognized organization. Only electrodes intended for use with the material being welded may be used. All welds must be checked using appropriate non-destructive tests;
(5) Metals in contact with each other must be either galvanically compatible or insulated with suitable non-porous materials. Provisions must also be made to prevent loosening or tightening resulting from differences of thermal expansion, freezing, buckling of parts, galvanic corrosion, or other incompatibilities;
(6) Screws, nuts, bolts, pins, keys, and other similar hardware, securing moving parts must be fitted with suitable lock washers, cotter pins, or locks to prevent them from coming adrift;
(7) The on-load operation of the release mechanism must require two separate, deliberate actions by the operator;
(8) To prevent an accidental release during recovery of the boat, the release hooks must not be able to carry any weight until the release mechanism is properly reset;
(9) The release and recovery procedures must be included as an illustrated operation instruction plate or placard. The plate or placard must be corrosion resistant and weatherproof and must be marked with the word “Danger”. The illustrations must correspond exactly to those used in the instruction and maintenance manual provided by the manufacturer;
(10) The release lever or control must be red in color, and the area immediately surrounding the control must be a sharply contrasting light color;
(11) Each load carrying part of the release mechanism, including its connection to the boat, must be designed with a safety factor of six based on the ultimate strength of the materials used;
(12) The release lever and its connection to the release mechanism must be of sufficient strength so that there is no deformation of the release lever or the release control assembly during on-load release;
(13) Positive means of lubrication must be provided for each bearing which is not permanently lubricated. Points of lubrication must be so located that they are clearly visible and accessible in the installed position in the boat; and
(14) A hydraulic system, if used to activate the release mechanism, must be in accordance with 46 CFR part 58, subpart 58.30, with hose and fittings in accordance with 46 CFR part 56, subpart 56.60, except that -
(i) Push-on type fittings such as Aeroquip 1525-X, 25156-X, and FC332-X are not permitted;
(ii) The length of nonmetallic flexible hose is limited to 760 mm (30 in); and
(iii) If a hand pump is provided, adequate space must be provided for the hand pump or hand operation.
(c) Determinations of equivalence of design, construction, and materials will be made by the Commandant only.