Steve Robinson from Scuba Com advises that all Luxfer scuba cylinders constructed from Aluminium Alloy AL6351 have now been banned in South Australia following some recent explosions involving these cylinders interstate and overseas.
For example, a 62-year old scuba diver had his right hand severed at the wrist when his diving tank ruptured. Police said the man was refilling scuba diving tanks at a diving business when the one exploded. The intensity of the blast tore large gouges into nearby brick walls. The man, who was treated at Kempsey District Hospital, also suffered several compound fractures to his right leg. He was airlifted to a Sydney hospital for continued treatment. (Source: http://www.portnews.com.au/news/local/news/general/scuba-tank-explodes-man-airlifted/1597743.aspx )
All clubs and divers have been requested to ensure that these cylinders are removed from service. Luxfer scuba cylinders were manufactured from 6351 aluminium alloy overseas from 1972 to 1988 and in Australia from 1975 to 1990. Luxfer acquired CIG Gas Cylinders in 1997 and some of the 6351 tanks are stamped with "CIG/Luxfer".
Tanks made by Luxfer after 1990 no longer used Aluminium Alloy AL6351 and are safe. The new alloy is AL6061. The AL6351 aluminium tanks can suffer from fatigue (SLC or Sustained Load Cracking). One example exploded at approximately 1500-2000 psi.
Steve recommends that you check your tank and, if it is suspect, drain it now. He says, "For safety reasons, we are committed to getting these tanks off the market. Thousands of tanks nationwide have already been taken out of service. We advise all clubs and divers to ensure that these cylinders are removed from service."
Details are as follows: -
Identification: CIG/Luxfer cylinders marked AS1777 manufactured between 1975 and 1990 where the serial number does NOT start with an 'S'.
Luxfer cylinders marked DOT3AL or DOTE6498 manufactured between 1972 and 1988.
There should also be an identifying stamp with the numbers 6351.
Scuba Com will no longer accept these cylinders for testing or filling. They believe that ALL SA filling stations have adopted the same stance following another cylinder explosion in Queensland this week.
Some photos provided by Scuba Com have been posted at http://picasaweb.google.com.au/stevereynolds600/ExplodedScubaCylinder. It is understood that this cylinder was tested regularly, had never been over-filled and was 'in test'.
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