Hydrostatic Testing Versus Ultrasonic Examination – Part 2

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

Ultrasonic Examination

Ultrasonic examination consists of sensors that send and receive signals along longitudinal waves and shear waves. Longitudinal waves are directed straight down at a 90-degree angle. These waves can detect defects that are angled perpendicular to the wave and measure flaws in the wall thickness. Shear waves enter the cylinder at a 45-degree angle. These waves can locate and identify cracks in the material from any direction. The sensor does not have to be directly over the defect to find it due to the refraction of the shear waves. By using ultrasonic examination, a technician can successfully find flaws that are missed during hydrostatic testing.

Ultrasonic examination details information about the cylinder that includes wall thickness and relevant defect information that was detected. One of the main benefits of ultrasonic examination is the prevention of moisture and other contaminants into the cylinder during testing since the cylinder does not need to be emptied. Ultrasonic examination is the preferred option of cylinder testing and is recognized by the United States Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT), the Compressed Gas Association (CGA), and referenced in many publications of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Ultrasonic examination testing also reduces common issues that result from hydrostatic testing.

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.

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

Since1925, 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.