Design Engineering

Oseco’s discs tests myth on MythBusters


General DPN

MythBusters has once again turned to rupture disc manufacturer Oseco for help in busting a myth.

This time, the TV show used Oseco’s rupture discs to test the protection that water provides from explosions.

The Discovery Channel’s MythBusters puts myths found in urban legend and movies to the test under real world conditions, to see if they are “Confirmed,” “Plausible” or “Busted.” In the latest episode entitled “Dive to Survive,” the show’s cast attempted to determine the truth behind a movie-inspired myth that a person can dive beneath water to avoid injury from a nearby explosion.

The show used Oseco rupture discs that were calibrated to burst at 13 psi, which is the force required to cause harm to the human body. The discs were placed on buoys floating five, 10, 20 and 50 feet from an explosion set on the surface of a lake to measure the force of the resulting shockwave. Each buoy had three rupture disc rigs set at five feet above water and five and 10 feet below water. Three increasingly powerful explosions, culminating in the detonation of 50 pounds of TNT, were set off at the planned epicenter and the post-explosion conditions of the discs were recorded.


The MythBusters noted that, even with the most powerful explosion, both underwater discs on the buoy floating 50 feet away from the explosion were intact, while the above water disc on same buoy had ruptured. The show analyzed these results and determined that water does have a shielding effect, thus classifying this myth as “Plausible.”

Besides its standard range of disc sizes, Oseco offers custom manufacturing such as the specially designed rupture discs used on the show. Oseco staff was on-site during the shoot to provide engineering expertise and ensure that the equipment was installed and operating properly.

This most recent episode is Oseco’s third appearance on the show. In its MythBusters debut, the company’s bursting discs demonstrated that an underwater explosion would generate enough force to kill a swimmer 75 feet away, proving the end of the movie Deep Blue Sea was impossible in real life. Oseco’s discs were also used to prove that if exposed to a force that would “knock your socks off,” the person wouldn’t survive the force of impact.

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