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Controversy in the Cylinder Industry

Posted on July 25, 2017 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)

These days, no subject is without controversy or drama and that includes the cylinder manufacturing industry. Recently, the Department of Transportation (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued Special Permit 16320 to Digital Wave Corporation to allow “the extension of the 15-year service of certain carbon fiber reinforced aluminum-lined cylinders (DOT-CFFC) that are used in self-contained breathing apparatuses by firefighters and first responders.” The PHMSA website states that under this new Special Permit 16320, issued to Digital Wave Corporation, “cylinder life can be extended an additional 15 years through the use of Modal Acoustic Emissions (MAE) testing.” In accordance with the special permit, PHMSA “may authorize extensions of service for DOT-CFFC cylinders in five-year increments when they are re-qualified by MAE testing” and “the incremental extensions may enable the cylinders to remain in service for up to 30 years.”

Luxfer Gas Cylinders, a manufacturer and supplier of breathing air cylinders to SCBA manufacturers, has issued a formal statement concerning the life extension of DOT-CFFC carbon composite cylinders by means of Modal Acoustic Emissions testing.

To summarize Luxfer cylinders statement; Luxfer was never involved in this new testing program by Digital Wave corporation. Because they were not involved in this program dealing with their cylinders, Luxfer cannot accept responsibility or liability for use of their cylinders beyond the 15 year service life that they were designed for. Additionally, Luxfer will not warranty cylinders past their 15 year service life.

Scott Safety has publically stated that if these cylinders are re-qualified under this new method, it will invalidate the NIOSH approvals for the air packs.

Meanwhile Digital Wave Corporation has publically stated that their method is safe, and the only reason that cylinder manufactures disagree is because they fear the loss of a revenue stream.

Who is right? That is for the user to decide.

 

New regulations in regards to requalifying cylinders

Posted on January 23, 2017 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Two new regulations for re-qualification of cylinders will become mandatory starting Monday - January 23, 2017.

 

New Re-qualification period for DOT4 series cylinder such as Propane

 

And

 

Option to now use test labels rather than stamps on all cylinders, except for 3HT series.



 

Section 180.209(e) of 49CFR

(e) Proof pressure test. A cylinder made in conformance with DOT Specifications 4B, 4BA, 4BW, or 4E protected externally by a suitable corrosion-resistant coating and used exclusively for non-corrosive gas that is commercially free from corroding components may be requalified by volumetric expansion testing or proof pressure testing every 10 years instead of every 5 years. When subjected to a proof pressure test, the cylinder must be carefully examined under test pressure and removed from service if a leak or defect is found.


This is a rule change, previously Propane 4B specification cylinders were requalified by:

- Volumetric Test every 12 years

- Proof Test every 7 years

- External Visual Examination every 5 years


 

With this rule change, Propane 4B specification cylinders are now requalified by:

- Volumetric Test every 10 years

- Proof Test every 10 years

- External Visual Examination every 5 years



 

Section 180.213(c) of 49CFR

(c) Requalification marking method. The depth of requalification markings may not be greater than specified in the applicable specification. The markings must be made by stamping, engraving, scribing, or applying a label embedded in epoxy that will remain legible and durable throughout the life of the cylinder, or by other methods that produce a legible, durable mark.

 

Previously the use of labels to mark the re-qualification information on a cylinder was only permitted on Composite cylinders and fire extinguishers. This rule change now allows labels to be used on all cylinders except the 3HT cylinder which specifically states you must use Low Stress stamps.

 

2016 ERG Guide Correction

Posted on November 18, 2016 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (0)

An issue has been found with the 2016 ERG’s that were part of the first batches printed. 

 

On page 13, ROAD TRAILER IDENTIFICATION CHART, Compressed Gas/Tube Trailer, gives a guide page of 137. This is incorrect and should state Guide 117. This was discovered and reported several months ago and apparently this issue  was corrected in the latest printed versions of the ERG.

 

Please make sure your personnel are aware of this issue when utilizing the ERG’s.

 

Changes to the New 2016 Emergency Response Guidebook

Posted on September 12, 2016 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

If you’re a first responder, or involved with Hazardous Materials in any way, you should be familiar with the Emergency Response Guidebook (also known as the ERG or Orange Book). The 2016 edition was released this year with some significant from the previous 2012 version. The current changes are:

-The addition of a flow chart the describes “How to use the Guidebook”

-A area has been included for local emergency response numbers to be written in.

-A section has been added for the Global Harmonization System (GHS) of classification and labeling of chemicals.

-Addition of all new dangerous goods listed in the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods up to the 19th revised edition.

-In the table of initial isolation and protective action distances (Green Pages) there is the addition to table 3 of “Estimating wind speed from environmental clues”.

These changes definitely improve the ERG and make initial responses actions safer. I highly recommend any user of this manual pick up the latest copy and flip through it for familiarization or review.

 

Potential Inclusion of CGA C-1 into 49 CFR

Posted on September 8, 2016 at 11:50 PM Comments comments (0)

If you are a facility that hydrotests compressed gas cylinders, you need to read this. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), is proposing to amend CFR Title49, section 180. This is the section that pertains to cylinder re-qualification.

A petition from the Compressed Gas Association (CGA) and others to incorporate the Pamphlet C-1 into the regulations is being considered and recommended by the PHMSA. If this happens, this regulatory change will adversely effect the safety of this industry and add an unnecessary monetary burden to all DOT licensed facilities.

What Does The Inclusion of The C-1 Pamphlet Mean To DOT Licensed Cylinder Re-Qualifiers ???

 

At a Minimum:

• New expansion indicating (EID) components

• Additional pressure gauges (PID)

• Additional calibrated cylinders

• New test record forms or software

• Training to understand these new regs.

• Mobile re-test facilities ( fire extinguisher mobile shop) will be limited to a 100 mile radius.

WHAT EVERY DOT RE-TEST FACILITY NEEDS TO DO !!!

• Comments close on September 26th, 2016.

• All cylinder retest facilities need to read the Proposed Regulations.

• Please Make Comments - This Is Your Business !!

• Whether you agree with PHMSA or not, you need to make your opinion known. See Federal Register, Page 48978 for how and where to make comments.

• This is Your Business - Do Not Let Proposed Regulations Get Passed Without Your Input.

 

A link to the Federal Register is: http://www.hydro-test.com/Federal%20Register%202016-16689%20[1].pdf

A link to a good summary by Hydrotest Products can be found here: http://www.hydro-test.com/Comments%20Docket%20No.%20PHMSA-2011-0141.pdf

 

Possibile Scuba Cylinder Rupture in Australia this week

Posted on August 25, 2016 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)

As some people may have heard, there is the report of the rupture of a recreational SCUBA cylinder in Sidney, Australia this week. Preliminary reports are that the cylinder was being filled at a recreational dive shop, and one individual was injured. Contrary to the assumptions and speculations that are circulating on online forums, as of now, no official report or findings have been published in reference to the type of cylinder, and cause of the rupture. If the reports of the injury are factual, our hearts go out to the individual who was injured and wish him/her a speedy recovery. More information will be posted as it comes available.

New SCBA Valve Removal Tool

Posted on March 9, 2016 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (0)

American Cylinder and Safety is proud to announce that we are now carrying and selling the new PSI-PCI, Inc SCBA Valve Removal tool. This tool allows the removal and insertion of SCBA Valves to the proper torque. Manufactured from aircraft grade aluminum, this tool fully encloses the SCBA vale to protect the gauge. Metal ridges milled into the tool ensure you only have metal to metal contact. As one knows, an SCBA Valve sells new for an average price of over $300 each so this tool is necessary for proper maintenance. This tool works on Scott, Drager, ISI, and other valves.   Professional Maintenance requires the proper tools. Available now in our online store.

The Hazards of Falsely Certifying Compressed Gas Cylinders

Posted on January 16, 2016 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (0)

When an owner drops off a cylinder to be re-qualified, they expect that the hydrotester will not cut corners. After all, when a cylinder ruptures, 90% of the time, it’s during the filling process and usually it is the owner filling it. They expect the test to be accurate because it is their own safety on the line. But what happens if the hydrotester they take the cylinder to cuts corners during the test. Or even worse, what if the tester stamps the tank and falsifies the records without even testing the tank? Well..the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) takes a dim view of this. The fines can be pretty steep if the hydrotester is found in violation. Take for example what happened in California this last fall. On October 29, 2015, Danniel Allen Hoose, of Redding, California, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Sacramento, California, related to falsely certifying oxygen cylinders for aircraft. He was sentenced to 36 months' probation and ordered to pay a fine of $3,000. He pleaded guilty in July 2015 to one count of falsely certifying more than 570 oxygen cylinders for re-use, including re-use in aircraft. In the spring of 2013, Hoose represented that he performed hydrostatic testing on a special permit oxygen cylinder installed in an aircraft. But, no such testing was done. The investigation determined that Hoose's re-qualification equipment was in disrepair so he was unable to properly test the cylinders in accordance with Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) regulations. Hoose falsified the cylinder hydrostatic testing certifications and returned the cylinders to their owners for use.

New Ed. of NFPA 53 Published

Posted on December 22, 2015 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) has released the most current (2016) version of NFPA53: Recommended Practice on Materials, Equipment, and Systems Used in Oxygen-Enriched Atmospheres.  American Cylinder and Safety, LLC is proud of this release since American Cylinder and Safety, LLC sits on the technical committee that is responsibile for oversight, review, and revision of these standards.


NFPA 53 combines new requirements and real-world experience to advance safety in Oxygen-Enriched Atmospheres (OEAs).

Developed by experts, NFPA 53: Recommended Practice on Materials, Equipment, and Systems Used in Oxygen-Enriched Atmospheres is your single source for the latest criteria for the safe use of oxygen (liquid/gaseous) and the design of systems for use in oxygen and oxygen-enriched atmospheres. Information is provided for the selection of materials, components, and design criteria that can be used safely in oxygen and OEAs.

Extensively used by designers, engineers, and facility managers in health care, industrial, and fire service fields, NFPA 53 applies to:

  • Gas and compressed air supplies
  • Medical applications, including home oxygen systems
  • Spaceflight operations
  • Industrial processes
  • Welding applications
  • Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)
  • Self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA)
  • Underwater tunneling and caisson work
  • Commercial and military aviation

Improvements make it easier to select materials and components, and offer important lessons learned:

  • Expanded Table F.3.3.8 now includes heat of combustion and autoignition temperature data, in addition to oxygen index data, that can be used to determine the suitability of a longer list of nonmetallic materials for oxygen service.
  • Must-read new Fire Experience reports in Annex D share vital examples of fire and explosion incidents, based on recent field experience and incident reviews.

As information about safety in OEAs continues to progress, make sure you stay up-to-date and informed. Save time while you protect lives with the 2016 edition of NFPA 53.  (Softbound, 60 pp., 2016)

 

New GHS/HAZCOM Enforcement Guidence

Posted on August 21, 2015 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (0)

As you should be aware by now, the USA is transitioning over to the new Global Harmonization System/Hazardous Communication Standard. (GHS/HAZCOM) This new standard is designed to bring the US onto the same system used by other members of the UN and global community.  It includes new standards on Safety Data Sheets, labels, and placards/symbols.  The changeover period is a 4 year transition starting in December 2012.  Unfortunitly, durring this transition period, there has been some questions on what standards OSHA will inforce durring an inspection.  In june this year, OSHA finnally clarified this by issuing a new directive for the enforcement of the new GHS standard. To summarize, during the transition period to the new 2012 GHS standard, the goal is to establish consistent policies and procedures to ensure uniform enforcement of the hazard communication standard. It also provides inspectors with a detailed review of the areas they will be inspecting, including revised hazard classification of chemicals, standardizing label elements for containers of hazardous chemicals, and specifying the format and required content for safety data sheets, and how chemical users should manage their MSDS/SDS library. MOST IMPORTANTLY, it states that inspectors can use both the old standard, and the new standard to issue violations.  If you need a copy of this directive, email me at tanktest@gmail.com


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