Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering


The purpose of this thesis was to present the design of a Life-Support Circulation System for Hyperbaric Chambers as specified by the Themis Committee.

An important objective was to design a versatile circulation system which could be constructed from commercial products.

Circulation specifications were set by conditions required for the animals under observation in the hyperbaric chambers. Since these studies were to be conducted for prolonged periods, cost analysis warranted a closed system design.

The versatility of the system required investigation of several types of valves for satisfactory operation. Also, pressure monitoring controlled valves and pressure regulators had to be examined for precision of their settings along with their time response.

A schematic layout presenting the locations of three major circulation lines and various types of valves and regulators was constructed. Each valve and regulator, on the layout, was given two numbers; one number classified them as to size and type, and the second classified them as to order of operation.

From these operation numbers were constructed twelve flow charts depicting the entire operation routine for the maximum effective use of the circulation systems. These flow charts present the basic routines which could be converted to computer language.

The complexity of the system warrants controlled operation by a process computer. Since a process control computer was acquired by the Themis Committee for the purpose of controlling the systems, mechanized operators had to be investigated for both the valves and pressure regulators.