SMP LTD  - Submarine Manufacturing and Products Limited
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SMP Ltd - Submarine Manufacturing & Products

Commercial Diving Equipment & Hyperbaric Chambers Manufacturers

Introduction to Hyperbaric Tunnelling Chambers

Compressed air has been used since the 1840’s to pressurise mines and caissons for the purpose of holding out water to permit excavation. The first known case of decompression sickness in man occurred in a coal miner and was reported in 1845. By 1854, decompression sickness was recognised as an entity peculiar to compressed air workers and noted that returning to elevated pressure alleviated the symptoms.

In 1878 it was demonstrated that decompression sickness was caused specifically by bubbles of nitrogen which dissolve from the tissues into gas phase during decompression. (This is the same problem experienced by divers when exposed to long periods of nitrogen at pressure greater than atmospheric pressure).

Decompression rates for caisson workers continued to vary widely from company to company; there were no published tables for this purpose. When a tunnel was driven under the Hudson River in 1889, the death rate due to caisson disease (decompression sickness) was, at one time, 25% of the men employed. A new superintendent installed a recompression chamber. Later known as a Hyperbaric Tunnelling Chamber and reduced the mortality to the point where in 15 months only 2 deaths occurred out of 120 men employed in the tunnel. It was noted on the same project that an increase of carbon dioxide in the tunnel produced a serious increase in the incidence of decompression sickness.

Therefore Hyperbaric Tunnelling Chambers were used on all sites where compressed air workers were working in pressurised mines and caissons. There is a significant development in hyperbaric activity in tunnelling which has required the transfer of hyperbaric technology from the diving industry to tunnelling.


SMP Hyperbaric Tunnelling Chambers

Hyperbaric Tunnelling Chambers of the type SMP HTC-01 to 5 Range are used worldwide on tunnelling and construction sites mainly as a modular integrated system.  This hyperbaric treatment chamber is used for emergency treatment of workers and divers with decompression sickness.  The standard HTC Systems have a diameter from 1500 mm to 2200 mm and a maximum operating pressure of 10 Bar according to 100 mtrs depth.  Chambers with higher working pressures are available.


Special higher pressure versions or with the possibility of docking to a Transfer Shuttle Chamber (TSC) can be designed and built to the Client’s requirements.

Let us know your specific requirement, there are many modular options among others mix gas breathing systems, heating/cooling systems, gas and air compression and gas/air distribution.

SMP Hyperbaric Tunnelling Chambers are designed and manufactured according to specific customer’s requirement.  Whether three, two or single person capacity from 2 people up to 40 people, pressures up to 10 Bar and more, please let us know your requirements and we will work out a design tailor-made for you.

We have produced more than 200 Hyperbaric Chamber Systems in a variety of designs in various dimensions realised as, for example:  Horizontal single/twin compartment and triple lock chamber systems and Transfer Under Pressure (TUP) leaving chambers.

These systems are extremely robust and easy to operate.  Staff can be locked in and out quickly and safely.

Download our Product Brochures
Hyperbaric Tunnelling Systems Brochure (pdf)

Transfer Shuttle Chambers Brochure (pdf)

Optional Components and Equipment

Besides the standard equipment there are many optional modular components and equipment for example:

Round or rectangular doors

Oxygen breathing systems with atmospheric monitoring
Heating/cooling systems
Fire suppression systems    Integral life support gas storage systems
Gas and air compressors Specialist gas and air distribution panels and mixing systems
Automation console system (TBM) Transfer flange closure systems

DOWNLOAD - Product Brochures

Click on the links below to view and download our product brochures for Hyperbaric Tunnelling Systems and Transfer Shuttles.

Hyperbaric Tunnelling Systems Brochure (pdf)

Transfer Shuttle Chambers Brochure (pdf)


SMP Ltd Announce Staff Expansion

Tue 19th June 2018

In response to our planned expansion into new markets we are now looking to recruit across our desig
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SMP LTD Easter Opening 2017

Thu 13th April 2017

Please be advised of the following SMP LTD office opening times for the forthcoming Easter Holiday.
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Oceanology International 2016

Fri 4th March 2016

OCEANOLOGY INTERNATIONAL 201615th - 17th March 2016 ExCeL London United Kingdom Visit us on Stand R1
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Pat Murphy

Tue 20th October 2015

It is with great sadness that we announce that Pat Murphy, one of our longest serving employees, pa
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SMP Apprentices achieve success
SMP LTD apprentices

Mon 10th August 2015

SMP LTD congratulate their apprentices on passing their exams for the academic year 2014/2015 and we
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Submarine Manufacturing and Products Ltd
Submarine Manufacturing and Products Ltd
Blackpool Road, Newton, Nr. Kirkham
Preston, Lancashire, UK, PR4 3RE

Email: Click here to send us email
Tel: +44 (0)1772 687775
Fax: +44 (0)1772 687774

We are BSI Registered

We are BSI Registered for ISO 9001 & ISO 14001