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Cylinders used for scuba typically have an internal volume (known as water capacity) of between 3 and 18 litres (0.11 and 0.64 cu ft) and a maximum working pressure rating from 184 to 300 bars (2,670 to 4,350 psi).
Cylinders are also available in smaller sizes, such as 0.5, 1.5 and 2 litres, however these are often used for purposes such as inflation of surface marker buoys, drysuits and buoyancy compensators rather than breathing.
They are occasionally used when portability for accessing the dive site is critical, such as in cave diving.
Composite cylinders certified to ISO-11119-2 or ISO-11119-3 may only be used for underwater applications if they are manufactured in accordance with the requirements for underwater use and are marked "UW".
The aluminium alloys used for diving cylinders are 60.Other accessories such as manifolds, cylinder bands, protective nets and boots and carrying handles may be provided.Various configurations of harness may be used to carry the cylinder or cylinders while diving, depending on the application.The functional diving cylinder consists of a pressure vessel and a cylinder valve.
There are usually one or more optional accessories depending on the specific application.
They rarely contain pure oxygen, except when used for rebreather diving, shallow decompression stops in technical diving or for in-water oxygen recompression therapy.