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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of October 16, 2019

Title 46Chapter ISubchapter QPart 160 → Subpart 160.055


Title 46: Shipping
PART 160—LIFESAVING EQUIPMENT


Subpart 160.055—Life Preservers, Unicellular Plastic Foam, Adult and Child, for Merchant Vessels


Contents
§160.055-1   Incorporation by reference.
§160.055-2   Type and model.
§160.055-3   Materials—standard life preservers.
§160.055-4   Materials—nonstandard life preservers.
§160.055-5   Construction—standard life preservers.
§160.055-6   Construction—nonstandard, life preservers.
§160.055-7   Sampling, tests, and inspections.
§160.055-8   Marking.
§160.055-9   Procedure for approval—standard and nonstandard life preservers.

§160.055-1   Incorporation by reference.

(a) Specifications and Standards. This subpart makes reference to the following documents:

(1) Military Specifications:

MIL-W-530F—Webbing, Textile, Cotton, General Purpose, Natural or in Colors.

MIL-T-3530E—Thread and Twine; Mildew Resistant or Water Repellant Treated.

MIL-W-17337D—Webbing, Woven, Nylon.

MIL-C-43006D—Cloth and Strip Laminated, Vinyl-Nylon High Strength, Flexible.

(2) Federal Specifications:

CCC-C-700G—Cloth, Coated, Vinyl, Coated (Artificial Leather).

CCC-C-426D—Cloth, Drill, Cotton.

(3) Federal Standards:

No. 191—Textile Test Methods.

No. 595A—Color.

No. 751A—Stitches, Seams, and Stitchings.

(4) Standards of ASTM:

ASTM D 413-82 (1993), Standard Test Methods for Rubber Property—Adhesion to Flexible Substrate—160.055-3

ASTM D 570-95, Standard Test Method for Water Absorption of Plastics—160.055-3

ASTM D 882-97, Standard Test Method for Tensile Properties of Thin Plastic Sheeting—160.055-3

ASTM D 1004-94a, Standard Test Method for Initial Tear Resistance of Plastic Film and Sheeting—160.055-3

(5) Coast Guard specification:

164.015—Plastic Foam, Unicellular, Buoyant, Sheet and Molded Shape.

(b) Plans. The following plans, of the issue in effect on the date unicellular plastic foam life preservers are manufactured, form a part of this subpart:

Dwg. No. 160.055-IA:

Sheet 1—Construction and Arrangement, Vinyl Dip Coated, Model 62, Adult.

Sheet 2—Construction and Arrangement, Vinyl Dip Coated, Model 66, Child.

Dwg. No. 160.055-IB:

Sheet 1—Construction and Arrangement, Cloth Covered, Model 63, Adult.

Sheet 2—Buoyant Inserts, Model 63.

Sheet 3—Construction and Arrangement, Cloth Covered, Model 67, Child.

Sheet 4—Buoyant Inserts, Model 67.

(c) Copies on file. Copies of the specifications, standards, and plans referred to in this section shall be kept on file by the manufacturer, together with the approved plans and certificate of approval. The Coast Guard Specification and plans may be obtained upon request from the Commandant (CG-ENG), Attn: Office of Design and Engineering Systems, U.S. Coast Guard Stop 7509, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20593-7509. The Federal standards may be obtained from the General Services Administration, Federal Acquisition Service, Office of the FAS Commissioner, 2200 Crystal Drive, 11th Floor, Arlington, VA 22202; telephone 703-605-5400. The Military Specifications may be obtained from the Military Specifications and Standards, Standardization Documents Order Desk, Building 4D, 700 Robbins Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111-5094, https://assist.daps.dla.mil/quicksearch/. The ASTM Standards may be purchased from ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, P.O. Box C700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959; telephone 877-909-2786 or Web site http://www.astm.org.

[CGFR 66-73, 32 FR 5500, Apr. 4, 1967, as amended by CGD 72-163R, 38 FR 8121, Mar. 28, 1973; CGD 78-012, 43 FR 27153, 27154, June 22, 1978; CGD 88-070, 53 FR 34536, Sept. 7, 1988; CGD 95-072, 60 FR 50467, Sept. 29, 1995; CGD 96-041, 61 FR 50733, Sept. 27, 1996; CGD 97-057, 62 FR 51048, Sept. 30, 1997; USCG-1999-5151, 64 FR 67184, Dec. 1, 1999; USCG-2009-0702, 74 FR 49237, Sept. 25, 2009; USCG-2013-0671; 78 FR 60157, Sept. 30, 2013]

§160.055-2   Type and model.

Each life preserver specified in this subpart is a:

(a) Standard, bib type, vinyl dip coated:

(1) Model 62, adult (for persons weighing over 90 pounds); or

(2) Model 66, child (for persons weighing less than 90 pounds); or

(b) Standard, bib type, cloth covered;

(1) Model 63, adult (for persons weighing over 90 pounds); or

(2) Model 67, child (for persons weighing less than 90 pounds); or

(c) Nonstandard, shaped type:

(1) Model,1 adult (for persons weighing over 90 pounds); or

(2) Model,1 child (for persons weighing less than 90 pounds).

1A model designation for each nonstandard life preserver is to be assigned by the manufacturer. That designation must be different from any standard lifesaving device designation.

[CGD 72-163R, 38 FR 8121, Mar. 28, 1973, as amended by USCG-2014-0688, 79 FR 58285, Sept. 29, 2014]

§160.055-3   Materials—standard life preservers.

(a) General. All components used in the construction of life preservers must meet the applicable requirements of subpart 164.019 of this chapter. The requirements for materials specified in this section are minimum requirements, and consideration will be given to the use of alternate materials in lieu of those specified. Detailed technical data and samples of all proposed alternate materials must be submitted for approval before those materials are incorporated in the finished product.

(b) Unicellular plastic foam. The unicellular plastic foam shall be all new material complying with the requirements of Subpart 164.015 of this chapter for Type A foam.

(c) Envelope. The life preserver envelope, or cover, shall be made of cotton drill. The color shall be Indian Orange, Cable No. 70072, Standard Color Card of America, issued by the Textile Color Association of the United States, Inc., 200 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y., or Scarlet Munsell 7.5 Red 6/10. The drill shall be evenly dyed, and the fastness of the color to laundering, water, crocking, and light shall be rated “good” when tested in accordance with Federal Test Method Standard No. 191, Methods 5610, 5630, 5650, and 5660. After dyeing, the drill shall be treated with a mildew-inhibitor of the type specified in paragraph (e) of this section. The finished goods shall contain not more than 2 percent residual sizing or other nonfibrous material, shall weigh not less than 6.5 ounces per square yard, shall have a thread count of not less than 74 in the warp and 56 in the filling, and shall have a breaking strength (grab method) of not less than 105 pounds in the warp and 70 pounds in the filling. Properly mildew-inhibited drills meeting the physical requirements of Federal Specification CCC-C-426 for Type I, Class 3 drill will be acceptable. If it is proposed to treat the fabric with a fire-retardant substance, full details shall be submitted to the Commandant for determination as to what samples will be needed for testing.

(d) Thread. Each thread must meet the requirements of subpart 164.023 of this chapter. Only one kind of thread may be used in each seam.

(e) Mildew-inhibitor. The mildew-inhibitor shall be dihydroxydichloro-diphenylmethane, known commercially as Compound G-4, applied by the aqueous method. The amount of inhibitor deposited shall be not more than 1.50 percent and not less than 1 percent of the dry weight of the finished goods.

(f) Adhesive. The adhesive shall be an all-purpose waterproof vinyl type. (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co. EC-870 or EC-1070, United States Rubber Co. M-6256, Herculite Protective Fabrics Corp., CVV, Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. R 828, or equal.)

(g) Reinforcing fabric. The reinforcing fabric shall be Type III, Class I, laminated vinyl-nylon high strength cloth in accordance with the requirements of Specification MIL-C-43006.

(h) Webbing. There are no restrictions as to color, but the fastness of the color to laundering, water, crocking, and light shall be rated “good” when tested in accordance with Federal Test Method Standard No. 191, Methods 5610, 5630, 5650, and 5660. The complete body strap assembly shall have a minimum breaking strength of 360 pounds.

(1) Nylon webbing. This webbing shall be 1-inch wide nylon webbing in accordance with the requirements of Specification MIL-W-17337.

(2) Cotton webbing. This webbing shall be 1-inch cotton webbing meeting the requirements of Specification MIL-W-530 for Type IIb webbing. This webbing shall be treated with a mildew-inhibitor of the type specified in paragraph (e) of this section.

(i) Hardware. All hardware shall be brass, bronze, or stainless steel, and of the approximate size indicated by the drawings. Steel hardware, protected against corrosion by plating, is not acceptable. Snap hook springs shall be phosphor bronze or other suitable corrosion-resistant material. Dee ring, o-ring, slide adjuster and snap hook ends shall be welded or brazed, or they may be a one-piece casting. The complete body strap assembly shall have a minimum breaking strength of 360 pounds.

(j) Coating. The coating for the plastic foam shall be a liquid elastomeric vinyl compound. The coating shall be International Orange in color (Color No. 12197 of Federal Standard 595) or Scarlet Munsel 7.5, Red 6/10 and shall meet the following requirements in Table 160.055-3(j):

Table 160.055-3(j)

PropertyTest methodRequirement
Tensile strengthASTM-D882, Method B, 12 in. dumbbell die1,200 p.s.i., minimum.
Ultimate elongationASTM-D882, Method B, 12 in. dumbbell die320 percent, minimum.
Tear resistanceASTM-D1004, Constant Elongation Machine90 pounds per inch, minimum.
Abrasion resistanceFS CCC-T-191, Method 5304, No. 8 cotton duck, 6 lb. tension, 2 lb. pressure100,000 double rubs.
BlockingFS CCC-T-191, Method 5872, 30 minutes at 180 °F., 14 p.s.iNo blocking.
Accelerated weatheringFS CCC-T-191, Method 5670, 120 hoursColor change—very slight.
Cracking—None.
Flexibility—No change.
Plasticizer heat lossFS CCC-A-700, paragraph 4.4.4, 48 hours at 221 °F8 percent, maximum.
Adhesion to foam—Tensile pullASTM-D413, machine method, 12 in. per minute, 1 in. strip
Film to foam skin4 lb./in., minimum.
Film to foam (no skin)2 lb./in., minimum.
Water absorptionASTM-D570, 24 hours at 70 °F0.5 percent, maximum.
Cold crack (unsupported film) 0 °FCoast Guard, 164.015, paragraph 164.015-4(j)No cracking.

[CGFR 66-73, 32 FR 5500, Apr. 4, 1967, as amended by CGD 72-163R, 38 FR 8121, Mar. 28, 1973; CGD 78-012, 43 FR 27153, 27154, June 22, 1978; CGD 84-068, 58 FR 29493, May 20, 1993]

§160.055-4   Materials—nonstandard life preservers.

All materials used in nonstandard life preservers must be equivalent to those specified in §160.055-3 for standard life preservers.

[CGD 72-163R, 38 FR 8121, Mar. 28, 1973]

§160.055-5   Construction—standard life preservers.

(a) General. This specification covers life preservers which essentially consist of plastic foam buoyant material arranged and distributed so as to provide the flotation characteristics and buoyancy required to hold the wearer in an upright or slightly backward position with head and face clear of the water. The life preservers are also arranged so as to be reversible and are fitted with straps and hardware to provide proper adjustment and fit to the bodies of various size wearers.

(b) Construction—standard, vinyl dip coated life preserver. This device is constructed from one piece of unicellular plastic foam with neck hole and the body slit in the front, vinyl dip coating, and fitted and adjustable body strap.

(1) Buoyant material. The buoyant material of the life preserver shall be a molded shape or made from one or two sheets of foam finished so as to have dimensions after coating in accordance with the pattern shown on Dwg. No. 160.055-1A, Sheet 1, for adult size and Sheet 2 for child size. The reinforcing fabric shall be cemented on the foam buoyant body before coating.

(2) Coating. After all cutting and shaping of the buoyant body and installation of the reinforcing fabric, the entire body of the life preserver shall be coated evenly and smoothly to a minimum thickness of 0.010 with a liquid vinyl coating material of the type described in §160.055-3(j).

(3) Body strap. After the coating on the buoyant body of the life preserver is fully cured, a nylon webbing body strap shall be attached as shown on Dwg. No. 160.055-IA.

(4) Stitching. All stitching shall be a short lock stitch, conforming to Stitch Type 301 of Federal Standard 751, with nylon thread, and there shall be not less than 9 nor more than 11 stitches to the inch. Bar tacking with nylon thread is acceptable as noted on Dwg. No. 160-055-IA.

(c) Construction—standard, cloth covered life preserver. This device is constructed from three sections of unicellular plastic foam contained in a cloth envelope and has a neck hole, the body slit in the front, and a fitted and adjustable body strap.

(1) Buoyant material. The buoyant material of the life preserver shall be three sections of foam cut so as to have finished dimensions in accordance with the patterns shown on Dwg. No. 160.055-IB, Sheet 2, for adult size and Sheet 4, for child size. One or two layers of foam may be used to make up each section.

(2) Envelope. The envelope shall be cut to the pattern shown on Dwg. No. 160.055-IB, Sheet 1, for adult size, and Sheet 3, for child size, and joined by seams and stitching as shown on the drawing. Alternate finished envelopes are permitted as noted on Dwg. No. 160.055-IB.

(3) Body strap. The body strap may be cotton or nylon webbing and shall be attached by stitching as shown on the Dwg. No. 160.055-IB, Sheet 1, for adult size and Sheet 3, for child size.

(4) Stitching. All stitching shall be a short lock stitch conforming to Stitch Type 301 of Federal Standard No. 751, and there shall be not less than 7 nor more than 9 stitches to the inch if cotton thread is used, and not less than 9 nor more than 11 if nylon thread is used. Bar tacking is acceptable as noted on Dwg. No. 160.055-IB.

(d) Workmanship. Life preservers shall be of first-class workmanship and shall be free from any defects materially affecting their appearance or service-ability.

[CGFR 66-73, 32 FR 5500, Apr. 4, 1967, as amended by CGD 72-163R, 38 FR 8121, Mar. 28, 1973]

§160.055-6   Construction—nonstandard, life preservers.

(a) General. The construction methods used for a nonstandard life preserver must be equivalent to the requirements in §160.055-5 for a standard life preserver and also meet the requirements in this section.

(b) Size. Each nonstandard life preserver must contain the following volume of plastic foam buoyant material, determined by the displacement method:

(1) 700 cubic inches or more for an adult size;

(2) 350 cubic inches or more for a child size.

(c) Arrangement of buoyant materials. The buoyant material in nonstandard life preservers must:

(1) Be arranged to hold the wearer in an upright or backward position with head and face out of water;

(2) Have no tendency to turn the wearer face downward in the water; and

(3) Be arranged so that 68 to 73 percent of the total is located in the front of the life preserver.

(d) Adjustment, fit, and donning. Each nonstandard life preserver must be capable of being:

(1) Worn reversed;

(2) Adjusted to fit a range of wearers for the type designed; and

(3) Donned in a time comparable to that of a standard life preserver.

[CGD 72-163R, 38 FR 8121, Mar. 28, 1973]

§160.055-7   Sampling, tests, and inspections.

(a) Production tests and inspections must be conducted by the manufacturer of a life preserver and the accepted laboratory inspector in accordance with this section and §160.001-5.

(b) Buoyancy test. The buoyancy of the pad inserts from the life preserver shall be determined according to §160.001-5(f) of this part with each compartment of the buoyant pad insert covers slit so as not to entrap air. The period of submersion must be at least 48 hours.

(c) Buoyancy required. The buoyant pad inserts from Model 3 adult life preservers shall provide not less than 25 pounds buoyancy in fresh water, and the pads from Model 5 child life preservers shall provide not less than 16.5 pounds buoyancy.

[CGD 95-028, 62 FR 51215, Sept. 30, 1997]

§160.055-8   Marking.

Each life preserver must have the following information clearly marked in waterproof lettering:

(a) In letters three-fourths of an inch or more in height;

(1) Adult (for persons weighing over 90 pounds); or

(2) Child (for persons weighing less than 90 pounds).

(b) In letters that can be read at a distance of 2 feet:

Inspected and tested in accordance with U.S. Coast Guard regulations.

(Name of buoyant material) buoyant material provides a minimum buoyant force of (22 lb. or 11 lb.).

Approved for use on all vessels by persons weighing (90 lb. or more, or less than 90 lb.).

U.S. Coast Guard Approval No. 160.055/(assigned manufacturer's No.)/(Revision No.); (Model No.).

(Name and address of manufacturer or distributor).

(Lot No.)

[CGD 72-163R, 38 FR 8121, Mar. 28, 1973, as amended by CGD 75-008, 43 FR 9771, Mar. 9, 1978; 43 FR 10913, Mar. 11, 1978; USCG-2013-0263, 79 FR 56499, Sept. 22, 2014]

§160.055-9   Procedure for approval—standard and nonstandard life preservers.

(a) General. Manufacturers seeking approval of a life preserver design shall follow the procedures of subpart 159.005 of this chapter, as explained in §160.001-3 of this part.

(b) Assignment of inspector; standard life preservers. Upon receipt of an approval of a standard life preserver, a Coast Guard inspector is assigned to the factory to:

(1) Observe the production facilities and manufacturing methods;

(2) Select from a lot of 10 manufactured life preservers or more, three or more of each model for examination;

(3) Test the selected sample for compliance with the requirements of this subpart; and

(4) Forward to the Commandant a copy of his report of the tests and the production and manufacturing facilities, a specimen life preserver selected from those already manufactured but not tested, and one copy of an affidavit for each material used in the life preservers.

(b-1) Approval number—standard life preserver. An approval number is assigned to the manufacturer by the Coast Guard for a standard life preserver found to be in compliance with the requirements of this subpart.

(c) Assignment of inspector—nonstandard life preserver. Upon receipt of an application from a manufacturer for approval of nonstandard life preservers, an inspector is assigned to the factory to:

(1) Observe the production facilities and manufacturing methods;

(2) Select three samples of life preservers of each model for which approval is desired;

(3) Forward to the Commandant:

(i) Three samples of each model of life preserver;

(ii) A copy of the inspector's report of tests and the production and manufacturing facilities; and

(iii) Four copies each of fully dimensioned, full-scale drawings showing all details of construction of the sample life preservers submitted, material affidavits, and four copies of a bill of materials showing all materials used in construction of the life preservers submitted by the manufacturer.

(c-1) Approval number—nonstandard life preserver. An official approval number is assigned to the manufacturer by the Coast Guard for a nonstandard life preserver approved after tests.

(d) Private brand labels. Private brand labels are those bearing the name and address of a distributor in lieu of the manufacturer. In order for a manufacturer to apply for an approval number to be used on such a private brand label, he shall forward a letter of request to the Commander of the Coast Guard District in which the factory is located, setting forth the life preservers involved, together with a letter from his distributor also requesting that approval be issued. The manufacturer's request for approval together with that of his distributor, will be forwarded to the Commandant, and when deemed advisable, an approval number or numbers will be issued in the name of the distributor. Approvals issued to a distributor under such an arrangement shall apply only to life preservers made by the manufacturer named on the certificate of approval, and this manufacturer shall be responsible for compliance of the life preservers with the requirements of this subpart.

[CGFR 66-73, 32 FR 5500, Apr. 4, 1967, as amended by CGD 72-163R, 38 FR 8121, Mar. 28, 1973; CGD 78-012, 43 FR 27154, June 22, 1978; CGD 88-070, 53 FR 34536, Sept. 7, 1988; CGD 95-028, 62 FR 51215, Sept. 30, 1997]

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