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  • Industrial oxygen cylinder testing

    Sil, welding supply and cylinder rental business owner, has cylinders approaching test dates. Considering getting into the gig and I am curious as to the required equipment, techniques, and insurance costs. May want to invest $.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Guido View Post
    Sil, welding supply and cylinder rental business owner, has cylinders approaching test dates. Considering getting into the gig and I am curious as to the required equipment, techniques, and insurance costs. May want to invest $.
    Does the SIL fill rentals and customer owned tanks from bulk storage or does she swap tank as some smaller welding supply places do?

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    • #3
      My local Air Gas distributor charges like $10 for a cylinder that is out of inspection date. Starting a business that does nothing but inspect cylinders doesn't sound like a very lucrative business to be in taking into consideration the initial investment in the equipment needed plus the liability that comes with it unless you're a big supplier of bottled gases.
      All all the big corporations have consumed all the small mom-and-pop welding gas supply businesses.

      JL.....



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      • #4
        Here in town , the gas cylinder testing business is mostly for fire extinguishers --busy with that end
        rich
        Green Bay, WI

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        • #5
          Here you go-

          https://www.hydro-test.com/product-catalog.html

          I just need one more tool,just one!

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          • #6
            Around here the same place with the same hydro testing gear does fire cylinders, welding cylinders, SCUBA cylinders and even the carbon wrapped thin wall aluminium cylinders used by fire departments and paintball shops. In for the one and you might as well do the full range service. It's the same test gear and just uses a wide variety of adapters to suit I'd guess.
            Chilliwack BC, Canada

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            • #7
              Bottles are dropped into a pit in the ground and filled with water (pit, not the bottle). The tank is pressurized and how much water is displaced is measured. If it displaces more than a certain amount then the bottle is bad and they strike out the dates and remove the valve and into scrap it goes.

              So you will need about a 7' deep concrete hole in the ground to fit a cylinder, hoist, high pressure air compressor and a way to measure water displacement. Probably a significant chunk of money.

              Here the cost of hydro is amortized into the refill cost, unless you have an oddball size cylinder you dont get the same bottle back.

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              • #8
                Wellllll.... The inside of the bottle is also filled with water. And I understood that there's a volumetric gauge of some manner on the test setup which pressurizes the tanks. But yeah, you need an outer jacket also filled with water to contain the energy from a bursting tank. Being water on the inside instead of air this reduces any bursting to more of a sharp THUMP! instead of a bottle trying to rocket it's way around the shop as you'd have with air.
                Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                • #9
                  I have done hydrostatic testing, mostly on aircraft bottles, oxygen, nitrogen and air. The thinwall lightweight bottles have a 25 year total life, but standard and most commercial bottles have an indefinite lifespan, as long as they do not exhibit external damage or fail the test. Our tester was above ground, and threre was a large burst disc on the rear side to rupture at a few psi if a bottle failed completely. The bottles were inspected visually internally for rust and had to be throughly dried after testing.

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                  • #10
                    Indeed tanks can have a long life. A couple years ago I got a Q size oxygen tank from the suppier dated 1948.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by I make chips View Post
                      Indeed tanks can have a long life. A couple years ago I got a Q size oxygen tank from the suppier dated 1948.
                      I've cut up some of those old tanks for projects, they have much thicker wall than the newer ones. Newer ones I have cut a 200cf Ox bottle is about 5/16" thick, the old ones were closer to 1/2".
                      I just need one more tool,just one!

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                      • #12
                        Sil and employee back in town after show/tell trip to Salt Lake City mfg. Test stand bought for 3rd quarter 2022 delivery.
                        Before hydro with WATER to 5000 psi, cylinders are visually inspected for accidental weld stinger strikes/damage.
                        Minimum of 3500 cylinders, on rent/lease agreements, with test dates expiring this year. Been paying 25 bucks per test to local facility. Considering acetylene mfg/fill facility——talk about safety—-.
                        Thanks for info inputs, learn everyday. Be safe.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Guido View Post
                          Sil and employee back in town after show/tell trip to Salt Lake City mfg. Test stand bought for 3rd quarter 2022 delivery.
                          Before hydro with WATER to 5000 psi, cylinders are visually inspected for accidental weld stinger strikes/damage.
                          Minimum of 3500 cylinders, on rent/lease agreements, with test dates expiring this year. Been paying 25 bucks per test to local facility. Considering acetylene mfg/fill facility——talk about safety—-.
                          Thanks for info inputs, learn everyday. Be safe.
                          Wow, pretty interesting. I hope you will give us all a photo/video tour of the setup when it is all up and running. Be interesting to see how it's done.

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                          • #14
                            We had a local outfit called Hydrostatic Testing, started many years ago. The original guy even made his own acetylene until he had an explosion. When he retired, his daughter took it over, then HER daughter stepped in. They were also selling gases and some welding supplies. Dunno what happened, but they shut down recently, as in the past year or so. Sad to see them go.

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                            • #15
                              Hydrotesting, hence the name, is hydraulic testing of gas cylinders. To fill with compressed gas would be an unacceptable risk due to stored potential energy, not to mention the waste of energy to compress all that gas then have to dump it.

                              Even with just water, that's a boatload of energy to stuff a couple thousand psi into a cylinder.

                              There's stories of people having test apparatus fail and there being catastrophic collateral damage every few years. The last one I can recall was a scuba or small fiber wrapped tank for paintball and I believe it was a dive shop.
                              -paul

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