The Bühlmann decompression algorithm

The Bühlmann decompression algorithm is a mathematical model (algorithm) which calculates inert gases entering and leaving the human body as the ambient pressure changes. Versions of the Buhlmann decompression algorithm are used to create Bühlmann decompression tables and in personal dive computers to compute no-decompression limits and decompression schedules for dives in real-time. These decompression tables allow divers to plan the depth and duration for dives and the required decompression stops.

The algorithm  was developed by Swiss physician Dr. Albert A. Bühlmann, who did research into decompression theory at the Laboratory of Hyperbaric Physiology at the University Hospital in Zürich, Switzerland. The results of Bühlmann’s research that began in 1959  were published in a 1983 German book  whose English translation was entitled Decompression-Decompression Sickness The book  was regarded as the most complete public reference on decompression calculations and was soon incorporated in dive computer algorithms.

Building on the previous work of John Scott Haldane and Robert Workman, and working off funding from Shell Oil Company, Bühlmann designed studies to establish the longest half-times of nitrogen and helium in human tissues. These studies were confirmed by the Capshell experiments in the Mediterranean Sea in 1966.

As you can see, The Bühlmann decompression algorithm has been around since diving began. Following a great deal of scientific research it has become one of the most popular algorithms in the diving market today.

In response to requests from the diving community and in an effort to provide the best possible product Suunto has now produced a computer with multiple algorithms to suit all divers needs at all levels.


A computer with both the Suunto RGBM FUSED 2 Algorithm and Buhlmann 16 with Gradient Factors – the choice is yours. Designed and tested by divers , for divers

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