NOTTINGHAM, England – July 17, 2000 — Luxfer Gas Cylinders has announced a new inspection and replacement policy for scuba cylinders manufactured at its facilities in the United Kingdom. The primary purpose for the new policy is to clarify inspection and testing procedures for the two different aluminium alloys from which Luxfer scuba cylinders have been manufactured. The policy conforms to British Standards and has been approved for publication by the Health & Safety Executive. The text of the policy is as follows:
Luxfer Scuba Cylinder Inspection and Replacement Policy
Section I: Inspection and Testing of Luxfer Scuba Cylinders Manufactured from Aluminium Alloy 6351 (AA6351)
Luxfer scuba cylinders were manufactured from Aluminium Alloy 6351 during the following periods:
- England: 1963 through 1995
- United States: 1972 through mid-1988
- Australia: 1975 through 1990
In compliance with United Kingdom legislation (Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Consumer Protection Act 1987), Luxfer requires that every Luxfer 6351-alloy all-aluminium scuba cylinder be visually inspected at least every two years by a properly trained inspector in accordance with BS5430, Part 3 or 6. As part of this inspection, Luxfer recommends that the cylinder neck be tested with an eddy-current device such as Visual Plus, Visual Eddy or equivalent non-destructive testing equipment. When properly used, eddy-current devices contribute significantly to early detection of difficult-to-observe sustained-load cracks in the necks of 6351-alloy cylinders. Do not fill Luxfer 6351-alloy scuba cylinders that have not been visually inspected in accordance with BS5430, Part 3 or 6, eddy-current tested (see next paragraph) and properly documented.
In exceptional circumstances where eddy-current testing equipment is not yet available, a visual inspection (performed in accordance with BS5430, Part 3 or 6) is acceptable until the next required visual inspection, which must include an eddy-current test; all subsequent required visual inspections must also include an eddy-current test.
If the cylinder passes the inspection, the inspector will document that fact. If the cylinder fails the inspection, it must be removed from service immediately.
Section II: Inspection and Testing of Luxfer Scuba Cylinders Manufactured from Aluminium Alloy 6061 (AA6061)
Luxfer has manufactured scuba cylinders exclusively from a proprietary 6061 aluminium alloy since 1995 in England, since mid-1988 in the United States, and since 1990 in Australia. The majority of Luxfer scuba cylinders currently in service globally are made from this proprietary 6061 alloy, which Luxfer still uses.
Cylinders made from Luxfer’s proprietary Aluminium Alloy 6061 are not susceptible to sustained-load cracks. Therefore, Luxfer does not deem it necessary to test these cylinders with eddy-current devices such as Visual Plus and Visual Eddy. In fact, field experience has shown that use of such eddy-current devices with Luxfer 6061-alloy cylinders can result in misleading “false-positive” readings.
In compliance with United Kingdom legislation (Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Consumer Protection Act 1987), Luxfer requires visual inspection of Luxfer 6061-alloy cylinders at least every two years by a properly trained inspector in accordance with BS5430, Part 3 or 6.
Section III: Identifying the Alloy of Manufacture of Luxfer Scuba Cylinders
The aluminium alloy from which a Luxfer scuba cylinder is manufactured can be determined from the stamping on the shoulder and around the base of the cylinder.
Identifying Aluminium Alloy 6351 (AA6351)
Luxfer cylinders stamped with any of the following markings are manufactured from Aluminium Alloy 6351:
- HOAL 1
- HOAL 2
- HOAL 3
- HOAL 4
- P****X (as part of serial number)
- P****P (as part of serial number)
On some small cylinders manufactured at Luxfer’s Aldridge plant, the above markings may not be present. In that case, the alloy can be determined from the three-digit type number stamped around the base. If the three-digit number is of the form 1**, 3** or 5**, then the alloy of manufacture is AA6351.
Identifying Aluminium Alloy 6061 (AA6061)
Luxfer cylinders stamped with any of the following markings are manufactured from Aluminium Alloy 6061:
- P****Z (as part of serial number)
On some small cylinders manufactured at Luxfer’s Aldridge plant, the above markings may not be present. In that case, the alloy can be determined from the three-digit type number stamped around the base. If the three-digit number is of the form 2**, 4** or 6**, then the alloy of manufacture is AA6061.
If there is any doubt, please contact Luxfer Gas Cylinders, Colwick, Nottingham, England NG4 2BH; telephone: (0)115 980 3800; fax: (0) 115 980 3899.
Section IV: Luxfer Scuba Cylinder Replacement Policy
This replacement policy applies only to the original owner of a Luxfer scuba cylinder. If a properly inspected Luxfer scuba cylinder is found to have either sustained-load cracking (in the case of 6351-alloy cylinders) or a manufacturing defect (i.e., any imperfection that fails to meet product specifications at the time of manufacture), Luxfer will honor the following replacement policy for cylinders manufactured in England:
- If the cylinder is 10 years old or less (based on the original hydro-test date), Luxfer will replace the cylinder at no charge with a new 6061-alloy cylinder. However, Luxfer will not replace cylinders that have been damaged, abused or mistreated.
- If the cylinder is more than 10 years old, the original owner may purchase an equivalent replacement cylinder from the current product range at the following prices: £42 for a 7-litre cylinder; £55 for a 10-litre or 12-litre cylinder; Prices for other sizes are available on request.
For cylinders manufactured elsewhere, the purchase price of the replacement cylinder will be determined in the country of origin based on local currency rates.
For more information about this policy, contact Luxfer Gas Cylinders, Colwick, Nottingham, England NG4 2BH; telephone: (0) 115 980 3800; fax: (0) 115 980