The choice of re-qualification testing method for portable cylinders is based on a variety of factors. In most cases, DOT regulations offer choices.
This 5 part article discusses the different choices when it comes to re-qualification testing methods for portable cylinders. Each part will identify the type of re-qualification testing method and provide a brief description of each. These choices include such methodologies as:
- Visual Examination Method
- Hydrostatic Testing Methods
- Water jacket method
- Direct expansion method
- Proof pressure method
- Acoustic Emission Method
- Ultrasonic Examination Methods
- Automated ultrasonic examination
- Hand-held ultrasonic examination
- Other Test Methods
Part 1 addressed the Visual Examination Method, Part 2 addressed Hydrostatic Testing Methods, Part 3 addresses Acoustic Emission Method, Part 4 will address Ultrasonic Examination Methods and Part 5 will address Other Test Methods.
Acoustic Emission Method
When re-qualifying a seamless cylinder using Acoustic Emission, the cylinder is subjected to internal pressurization, utilizing a gas or a liquid, to a specified test pressure while a transducer is affixed to each end. If the cylinder material contains a growing flaw a release of stress energy from an event source will occur, resulting in elastic waves that propagate within the cylinder wall. Acoustic Emission equipment will monitor and record these events and, most importantly, determine the Acoustic Emission source location where the event occurred. Events deemed “significant” and potentially detrimental to the integrity of the cylinder are later inspected, measured, and characterized by ultrasonic examination. A comparison of ultrasonic examination findings to maximum allowable flaw sizes will determine if the cylinder is suitable for continued service or must be rejected and condemned.
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