SCBA and life support cylinders

SCBA and life support cylinders

Product info

Luxfer Gas Cylinders has been manufacturing self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and life-support cylinders for firefighters and first-responders since the early 1970s. Luxfer is the most widely used cylinder brand for these applications, having supplied millions of cylinders. Trusted by all major SCBA original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), Luxfer offers the most comprehensive range of full-wrap carbon composite cylinders, as well as high-pressure aluminum cylinders and hoop-wrap cylinders.


Luxfer’s carbon-composite cylinder range includes not only our proven LCX® products—used by more firefighters than any other composite cylinder—but also exclusive Luxfer offerings such as our LCX-SL (Super Light) cylinders, the lightest-weight SCBA cylinders available; LCX-XD (Xtreme Duty) cylinders, the toughest, most durable cylinder designs on the market; and LCX-EL (Extra Life) cylinders with the potential for service life of up to 30 years. Luxfer SCBA cylinders are manufactured in our facilities in the United States, Europe and China, and are designed and tested to meet and exceed all applicable global standards.

With an unmatched record for safety, state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities, a dedication to innovation and products of the highest quality, Luxfer will continue to lead the way, providing firefighters and first-responders products they can trust every demanding day.


A legacy of SCBA and life-support cylinder innovation

Luxfer’s legacy of SCBA and life-support cylinder innovation dates back to 1958, when the company—then called Luxfer Ltd—invented the cold-extruded, seamless aluminum cylinder in England. Aluminum cylinders were first used for beverage applications, but in the early 1960s, Luxfer began expanding into many other markets, including SCBA and life support. In 1965, Luxfer Gas Cylinders became a separate company specializing in high-pressure gas containment. Because lightweight aluminum cylinders are easier to move and transport than steel cylinders, they became increasingly popular in Europe with fire brigades and first responders and their support personnel who regularly handle cylinders. In 1972, Luxfer opened its first U.S. cylinder manufacturing plant in Riverside, California, and use of Luxfer aluminum SCBA and life-support cylinders quickly spread throughout North America. In 1976, the company introduced fiberglass-reinforced (hoop-wrapped) aluminum cylinders to the SCBA market.

A decade later, Luxfer introduced its LCX® line of ultra-lightweight composite cylinders fully wrapped with fiberglass and, later, Kevlar®. In 1997, Luxfer expanded its LCX line to include cylinders fully wrapped with aerospace-grade carbon fiber. These were the first composite SCBA cylinders in the world to be granted a five-year requalification cycle by regulatory authorities (earlier composite cylinders made from other materials were on a three-year cycle).

Over the past several years, Luxfer has added exclusive new designs to its LCX carbon composite product line, including LCX-SL (Super Light ) cylinders, LCX-XD (Xtreme Duty) cylinders and LCX-EL (Extra Life) cylinders with the potential for service life of up 30 years. Available in more than 50 countries, LCX composites are now the most widely used SCBA and life-support cylinders in the world.

Metallurgical innovation is also an important part of Luxfer’s history. In 1987, Luxfer introduced its own proprietary formula of 6061-T6 aluminum alloy and began making SCBA and life-support cylinders from this alloy in 1988. Now marketed as L6X®, this exclusive alloy has been optimized by Luxfer metallurgists to improve its durability, fracture toughness and resistance to tearing and cracking. More than 40 million L6X all-metal and composite cylinders in service around the world have an exemplary record for safety and dependability.

Today Luxfer manufactures cylinders at plants in Riverside, California; Graham, North Carolina; Nottingham, England; Gerzat, France; Shanghai, China; and New Delhi, India.

Related products and services

Extra protection for Luxfer’s LCX® high-performance carbon composite SCBA cylinders


Luxfer’s standard LCX carbon composite SCBA cylinders are designed to withstand rough treatment typically encountered in fire and rescue operations. But in more demanding situations—including training environments—exposed cylinder domes may need extra protection against impact and abrasion damage. For those tougher times, Luxfer offers a rugged, versatile line of protective boots and caps for standard Luxfer 30-minute and 45-minute full-wrap carbon composite cylinders. Robustly designed for the most demanding in-service and training environments. Made from a proprietary, flame-retardant polymer. Easily installed and removed for hydrostatic retesting and inspection. Reusable—may be moved from cylinder to cylinder.

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LCX® composite cylinder specifications

In 1997, Luxfer introduced its LCX line of ultra-lightweight composite cylinders fully wrapped with aerospace-grade carbon fiber. LCX composites are now the most widely used SCBA and life-support cylinders in North America. Available in a wide range of sizes, LCX cylinders are up to 70% lighter than steel cylinders and up to 30% lighter than all-aluminum cylinders with the same gas capacity.

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LCX-HP® composite cylinder specifications

Smaller. Lighter. Same high performance.

World’s first 5,500-psi SCBA cylinders

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LCX-SL® composite cylinder specifications

Luxfer’s LCX-SL (Super Light) cylinders are the lightest-weight carbon composite SCBA cylinders available in North America. Available in 30-, 45-, and 60-minute sizes, Luxfer’s SL cylinders are more than 10% lighter than standard Luxfer LCX® cylinders and cylinders available from other manufacturers.

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LCX-XD® composite cylinder specifications

Luxfer’s LCX-XD® (Xtreme Duty) cylinders are uniquely designed for the most demanding firefighting and first-response situations encountered by units requiring exceptionally rugged cylinders. XD cylinders were designed and developed in consultation with departments carrying out operations in close-quarter urban environments such as fire escapes and underground transit systems.Additionally, XD cylinders are ideal for drag-rescue simulation training activities.

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LCX-EL® composite cylinder specifications

Luxfer’s LCX-EL cylinders are based on international design standards and have the potential for service lives of up to 30 years*. In environments where SCBA use is intermittent, LCX-EL cylinders provide fire service and industrial users the opportunity to use cylinders longer than the 15 years defined for standard carbon composite cylinders.

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L6X® aluminum cylinder specifications

Luxfer’s all-aluminum SCBA and life-support cylinders have been the industry workhorse in North America since the early 1970s. Up to 40% lighter in weight than comparable steel cylinders, Luxfer aluminum SCBA cylinders are non-magnetic and extremely corrosion resistant—unlike corrosion-prone steel cylinders.


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L6X® hoop-wrapped cylinder specifications

Introduced in 1976, Luxfer hoop-wrapped composite cylinders consist of an aluminum SCBA cylinder with its barrel reinforced with high-strength fiberglass or carbon wrapping to permit higher-pressure filling. Up to 40% lighter in weight than comparable steel cylinders, Luxfer hoop-wrapped SCBA cylinders are non-magnetic and extremely corrosion resistant—unlike corrosion-prone steel cylinders.

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