46 CFR 160.171-9 - Construction.

§ 160.171-9 Construction.

(a)General. Each immersion suit must be constructed primarily of a closed-cell flexible foam that meets the buoyancy and thermal insulation requirements in § 160.171-11 (a) and (c). Each suit must be designed to cover the wearer's entire body, except for the area of the nose and eyes. It must be capable of being worn inside-out or be clearly capable of being worn in only one way and, as far as possible, incapable of being donned incorrectly.

(b)Impact resistance and body strength. The body of each suit must be designed to allow the wearer to jump from a height of at least 4.5 m into the water without injury and without dislodging or damaging the suit.

(c)Seams. Stitching in each sewn structural seam of an immersion suit must be lock type stitching that meets the requirements in Federal Standard No. 751 for one of the following:

(1) Class 300 Lockstitch.

(2) Class 700 Single Thread Lockstitch.

Other stitches which are not true lock stitches may be used to reinforce a glued seam provided the adhesive alone has the required seam strength after the non-standard stitch has been removed.

(d)Seam strength. Each seam must have a strength of at least 225 Newtons (50 lb.).

(e)Closures and seals. Each closure and seal must be designed so that, following a jump from a height of not less than 4.5 m into the water, there is no undue ingress of water into the suit.

(f)Hardware. All hardware of an immersion suit must be of a size and design that allows ease of operation by the wearer. The hardware must be attached to the suit in a manner that allows the wearer to operate it easily and that prevents it from attaining a position in which it can be operated improperly.

(g)Metal parts. Each metal part of an immersion suit must be -

(1) 410 stainless steel or have salt water and salt air corrosion characteristics equal or superior to 410 stainless steel; and

(2) Galvanically compatible with each other metal part in contact with it.

(h)Suit exterior. The primary color of the exterior of each suit must be vivid reddish orange (color number 34 of National Bureau of Standards Publication 440). The exterior surface of the suit must resist tearing and abrasion when tested as prescribed in § 160.171-17 (n) and (o).

(i) Buoyant materials and compartments. Buoyant materials used in a suit must not be loose or granular. The suit must not have an inflated or inflatable chamber, except as prescribed in § 160.171-11(a)(2).

(j)Hand and arm construction. The hand of each suit must be a glove that allows sufficient dexterity for the wearer to pick up a 9.5 mm (3/8 in.) diameter wooden pencil from a table and write with it, after being immersed in water at 5 °C for a period of one hour. The glove may not be removable unless it is attached to the arm and unless it can be secured to the arm or stowed in a pocket on the arm when not in use. A removable glove must be designed so that there is no undue ingress of water into the glove during use. Each arm with a removable glove must have a wristlet seal that meets paragraph (e) of this section.

(k)Leg construction. Each suit must be designed to minimize or reduce free air in its legs when the wearer enters the water headfirst.

(l)Foot construction. Each leg of a suit must have a foot that has a hard sole or enough room for a work shoe to be worn inside. The sole of each foot must be -

(1) Natural or synthetic rubber that is ribbed or bossed for skid resistance; and

(2) Designed to prevent the wearer from slipping when the suit is tested as prescribed in § 160.171-17(c)(5).

(m)Size. Each adult suit must fit persons ranging in weight from 50 kg (110 lb.) to 150 kg (330 lb.) and in height from 1.5 m (59 in.) to 1.9 m (75 in.). Each child size suit must fit children or small adults ranging in weight from 20 kg (44 lb.) to 50 kg (110 lb.) and in height from 1.0 m (39 in.) to 1.5 m (59 in.). An oversize adult suit is intended for persons too large for the standard adult suit. Each suit must be capable of being worn comfortably over clothing and must not restrict the wearer's motion. The suit size and design must allow successful completion of the mobility tests prescribed in § 160.171-17(c)(2) through (7).

(n)Retroreflective material. Each immersion suit must be fitted with Type I retroreflective material that meets subpart 164.018 of this chapter. When the wearer of an immersion suit is in any stable floating position, at least 200 cm 2 (31 sq. in.) of the material must be visible above water.

(o)PFD Light. Each immersion suit must be designed so that a light meeting the requirements of subpart 161.012 of this chapter can be attached to its front shoulder area and so that the light when attached does not damage the suit and cannot adversely affect its performance. If the manufacturer of the suit designates a specific location for the light, or designates a specific model light, this information must be clearly printed on the suit or in the instructions prescribed by § 160.171-15(c).

(p)Inflation tube. If the suit has an inflatable auxiliary means of buoyancy, each joint in the oral inflation tube must be joined with a clamping device. A flange connection between the tube and the inflatable chamber must be reinforced so that the flange on the inflation tube is secured between the material of the inflatable section and the reinforcement.

[CGD 84-069a, 52 FR 1188, Jan. 12, 1987, as amended by USCG-2014-0688, 79 FR 58285, Sept. 29, 2014]

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

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United States Code
Presidential Documents

Executive Order ... 12234

Title 46 published on 09-May-2017 04:27

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 46 CFR Part 160 after this date.

  • 2016-07-22; vol. 81 # 141 - Friday, July 22, 2016
    1. 81 FR 48220 - Harmonization of Standards for Fire Protection, Detection, and Extinguishing Equipment
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      Final rule.
      This final rule is effective August 22, 2016. The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register on August 22, 2016.
      33 CFR Parts 140, 145, 148, and 149