HSE issues cylinder safety warning

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HSE issues cylinder safety warning

March 16, 2018 - 13:24

The UK Diving Inspectorate has just issued a safety alert about old aluminium cylinders used for scuba diving.

A typical collection of aluminium dive cylinders awaiting refill at a dive center

The Diving Inspectorate has just issued this safety alert concerning cylinders manufactured from aluminium alloys HE30/AA6082 and AA6351 and used primarily for gases for underwater breathing apparatus.

The aluminium diving cylinders referred to in this bulletin are typically over 23 years old. For sometime now a number of dive centres have recommended scrapping these cylinders as they are often uneconomic to service, not just due to the requirement for crack testing but also because many of the valves fitted (e.g. early Apeks / Typhoon etc) are obsolete. The cylinders were also mainly fitted with 3/4 BSP neck threads and whilst replacement 3/4 BSP valves are still available this adds considerably to the cost of refurbishment.

During the period of this liaison, there have been serious incidents both in the UK and internationally where cylinders manufactured from aluminium alloys HE30/AA6082 and AA6351 have failed catastrophically.

As a result of this, the HSE in conjunction with manufacturers and industry experts have investigated these failures and have issued a safety alert -  Cylinders manufactured from aluminium alloys HE30/AA6082 and AA6351 and used primarily for gases for underwater breathing apparatus.

The information is relevant to anyone with old aluminium cylinders in use or in storage.

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