Hydrostatic Testing Versus Ultrasonic Examination – Part 1

Travis Jolliff

Many industries use compressed gas cylinders to store substances such as oxygen, propane, acetylene, or fire suppressants. Structural flaws in a cylinder can turn dangerous resulting in leaks, ruptures, or even deadly explosions. The two primary methods of testing cylinders to detect these potential flaws are hydrostatic testing and ultrasonic examination. The processes of these two testing methods are vastly different in technique, time, and cost.

This 3 part article discusses the different testing methods for re-qualification of portable cylinders. The information addressed includes:

  • Hydrostatic Testing
  • Ultrasonic Examination
  • Benefits of Ultrasonic Examination

Part 1 addresses Hydrostatic Testing, Part 2 will address Ultrasonic Examination and Part 3 will address the Benefits of Ultrasonic Examination.

Hydrostatic Testing

When a cylinder is hydrostatically tested, the cylinder is emptied of its contents, de-valved, cleaned, filled with water, allowed to reach the specified temperature, and submerged into a test tank. The cylinder is tested by raising the inside pressure to a specified level and held for 90 seconds before it is released. The walls of the cylinder then relax and return to the pre-tested condition. The amount of water displaced by the expanding cylinder during pressurization is measured against the displaced water’s zero reference. A cylinder will pass the hydrostatic test if the permanent expansion does not exceed 5% for wrapped cylinders and 10% for all other cylinders. This is determined by measuring the volume of water that entered and comparing that with the amount of water that was released. This process takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.

The Jay L Harman Fire Equipment team understands your fire fighting and cylinder re-qualification needs and is ready to help

Jay L Harman’s DOT Hydrostatic Testing and Ultrasonic Examination facility and equipment meet all NFPA requirements for the hydrostatic testing and Ultrasonic Examination of compressed gas cylinders and portable fire extinguisher cylinders.

Jay L Harman Fire Equipment Company is your local AMEREX dealer offering the full range of AMEREX Fire Extinguishers, Kitchen Protection systems, Vehicle Systems, Automatic Gas Detection and Industrial Systems.

Jay L Harman is the best and one of the biggest firefighting equipment suppliers and service providers in the region, specializing in fire suppression systems, fire extinguishers, emergency lighting, fire hoses, hydrostatic testing and more. Serving El Paso TX, Las Cruces NM and the surrounding areas, we pride ourselves on buying local and hiring local whenever possible.

Jay L Harman Fire Equipment is your go-to distributor for OVAL low-profile fire extinguishers in West Texas and New Mexico.

Contact Jay L. Harman Fire Equipment in El Paso TX at 915-533-7021 or Las Cruces NM at 575-523-8880.

Since 1925, we have protected businesses throughout the area from the harms and hazards of fires. Every Jay L Harman technician is licensed and regulated by the Texas Department of Insurance State Fire Marshal’s Office.  Each of these technicians continually receives the most up-to-date factory training and certifications by our manufacturers. Contact Jay L Harman Fire Equipment today. Let our friendly and knowledgeable staff tell you more about our fire suppression systems and help you find the ideal fire suppression system for your needs. Learn more about our full offering of fire extinguisher training, firefighting services, firefighting products, request a quote, ask a question or request additional information.