The one of the bigger problems with any standard second stage is to do with how the second stage valve closes and the materials that are used within the valve. Nearly all regulators use a component called an orifice that sits in the inlet tube and can be made from plastic or metal and another piece called a seat that is made from a rubber material which is located in the valve assembly itself. When these two pieces are in contact the valve is closed but when you breathe in and activate the valve lever the two components are separated and air is allowed to flow into the second stage.
The problem with this is that the valve mechanism is always trying to force the seat on to the orifice in order to keep the valve shut. Even when the regulators aren't in use that pressure continues to push the orifice into the seat. Over time this pressure causes a recessed ring to develop in the softer seat material which will eventually cause the valve to leak, allowing a trickle of air to constantly seep past the valve. The seat is routinely changed as part of a service but as manufacturers try to extend the service periods indentations on the seat become more of a risk.
Atomic developed and patented a special self retracting orifice that prolongs the life of the seat and allows their regulators to benefit from longer service periods. The exclusive orifice is only engaged into the correct position when the regulator system is pressurised, giving a small characteristic hiss from the second stage as it makes contact with the seat.
As soon as Atomic Regulators are depressurised the orifice returns to its idle position. By eliminating the constant pressure on the sharp edge of the orifice the seat is saved from deep grooves forming in its soft surface, ensuring that the regulators maintain their highly tuned factory performance for much longer.
Watch the video for a demonstration of how this exclusive technology works.